Reading Human Interest Stories Makes Me Feel Like a Bad Person

No, really…sometimes I read a human interest story that is really well written and I just read through it all, so sad and sappy, and I regard it with this implicit disinterest and lack of empathy.  I read about the terrible conditions of squalor that these hoarders live in and can’t keep myself from finishing the story and guffawing, “You’d think with a shopping addiction they would eventually buy a trash can!”

I read about the kids being bullied in school by having people unfriend them on Facebook and can only click my tongue and make petulant jokes about ‘teen angst’ as I remember my own high school days when I’d skip recess because the alternative was to simply walk out of the building and play ‘protect the vital organs’ against the ten guys that would immediately surround me and begin beating the hell out of me.  Another fun game was, “Guess what we’re gonna beat you with today?”  It was a new game every day!  One day it was a football, the next day it was a plastic bat, the day after that a pair of sneakers with the laces tied together (Shoe-chuks, maybe?)!  I wonder why I still don’t miss High School.

Then there are even worse moments.  Moments when I read a story and I feel genuinely sorry for the person…but because of a typo or a badly written line, or maybe even a line I’ve misread, I find amusement from their suffering.  It makes me feel horrible (not that I’m not, mind you).

The latest occurrence of this was about the unfortunate story about a young lady suffering from Tourette Syndrome.  She says the word ‘biscuit’ about 16,000 times a day; biscuit meaning cookie because she’s British.  Now I was totally on the line and empathetic with her…right up until they quoted her:

“I know I tic all the time and it sort of pisses me off — biscuit, biscuit,” Thom told “But if I paid attention to it all the time, I wouldn’t get much done. Sometimes with the Tourette’s, I get overloaded — biscuit, biscuit. I’ll punch myself in the chest hundreds of times a day and my legs move erratically about.”

Seriously, I felt horrible as I fell out of my chair (from laughing, of course).  Why the hell would you write a serious story about a woman with Tourette’s, biscuit biscuit, and put a direct quote like that in there?  Who in their right, biscuit biscuit, mind would do that?

Naturally when I finished laughing at the poor woman, I felt like shit for finding humor in her predicament.  So if you read this, Miss Thom, I apologize; blame the writer who interviewed you.

We all have our tics, even those without Tourette’s.  Trust me…I’ve got a mild case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and sometimes it boggles my mind the crazy shit I force myself to do.  When I get dressed in my uniform…the badge has to be on the right side of the pen, the pen has to face to the left, I have to button my shirt top-down – not bottom-up! – and some days I retie my shoes a few times because I didn’t get them just perfectly in-synch when I tied them the first time.  I do things in pairs and I have actually cause physical harm to myself because I was really having an OCD-laden day and I accidentally stabbed myself with a pencil in my left hand; so I stabbed myself in the right hand.  But since I was anticipating it, I stabbed my right hand too hard…and had to stab my left hand harder to make up for it, but then they were uneven, so I had to stab my right hand lightly.

What the hell is wrong with me?!

And that’s just a relatively mild case with some weird flare-ups.  So I can clearly empathize with the girl, I have legitimate sympathy for her.  But I can’t read the article without giggling and I feel horrible for it.  Oh well, I’ve never said I had a very kind sense of humor anyway.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shane
    Oct 04, 2012 @ 08:35:10

    i thoroughly enjoyed biscuit biscuit reading this blog


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