“You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” – Robin Williams
… and then there are days I’m a fucking flamethrower.
Oh, yeah… one of those days…
“So many tangles in life are ultimately hopeless that we have no appropriate sword other than laughter.”
– Gordon W. Allport
There being so many definitions of the term “roll over”, allow me to clarify: I’m referring to the term used to describe the situation in which a thing has gone so far in one direction, it ends up at the opposite end. Probably the best example is a car odometer that has reached 99999.9 (good luck finding a car that will last that long). The odometer doesn’t simply stop turning, although it probably should (I once made the acquaintance of a used car salesman who was prepared to show me how to use an electric drill to crank my odometer past 999,etc. and on to a more “sales friendly” number), instead, when it maxes out, the odometer just keeps cranking and rolls over to 00000.0. Bam! Just like that, brand new car! From the looks of your new car, must have been a really rough day at the factory the day that POS rolled off the assembly line.
That sort of thing happens to people too. Especially those with high stress lives.
Before I continue, let me explain something: a term I started using quite some time ago, and it is sarcastic to the point of cynicism. You may have already heard of it: it’s called the “Fun Meter”. Were it an actual, physical device, it would more accurately be said to indicate the level of stress and general pissed-offness of the person it’s reading. Now, metaphorical “meters” of this type first came about before digital displays, and had needles – like a typical speedometer. At the high end of such meters there is a little peg sticking out of the indicator face which keeps the needle from traveling past the max point – it is not allowed to wrap-around, or roll over back to zero; it just maxes out against that little peg, so it’s called a “pegged meter”.
Hang around people who put out fires, respond to car wrecks, or whose every decision effects the lives of hundreds, or even thousands, of people and you’ll hear about the fun meter a lot… and it’s usually pegged at the time.
The thing is, a person’s emotional state does not typically have a peg; it’s more like an odometer and, like a fun meter, it tends to register the relative level of stress, disappointment, anger, or general overload of an individual.
“Everything in excess is opposed to nature.” – Hippocrates
Sometimes, when someone’s fun meter has been pegged too long, their emotional state sort of breaks, and that’s a bad thing because then we all have to read through a butt-load of blogs, tweets, and statuses about why guns are alternately, gifts from God himself, or the Lincoln Logs of the Devil (if you don’t remember them, that’s why God/Satan gave you Google)
Fortunately, most people are “built of sterner stuff”, and when their fun meter has been pegged over much, their emotional state simply rolls over, and they’re back to “happy”. Now, at this point the relative intensity of their “happiness” comes into play. If you get stuck in “creepy laugh” happy, you’re going to end up taking some very special “vitamins” with your morning orange juice… ’cause you’re probably not getting any coffee at that point.
What usually happens, though, is that those people with extremely gruesome jobs/high stress lives develop a taste for what’s euphemistically called “dark humor”. Now, it’s not that they literally think a body in rigor mortis sitting up and scaring the piss out of a newbie is actually funny… My bad – that shit really is funny as hell!
Given you’re not the newbie…
“Well begun is half done.” – Aristotle
When I began this blog post, my fun meter was pegged, and I was on the verge of roll over, and decided to write a rambling, insanely funny post (I’d say I got the rambling part down), but then I had to explain what a fun meter is, and that required my analytical mind.