sad but true

Normally, I am saddened, even distressed, by the suffering of others. It really bothers me, particularly where victims are innocent or unable to prevent their predicament. But yesterday, sadly, I experienced a definite sense of Schadenfreude, completely without warning.

NPR was running a story on how there was an explosion of sorts at an Exxon facility in Baytown TX that caused an oil-laden mist to cover a nearby apartment complex with brownish sludge. I don’t have any explanation as to why, but I simply burst out laughing as the woman who was being interviewed talked about how she went to take her grandchildren to school and found that her car was covered in oil. Maybe it had just been a rough day.

4 Responses to sad but true

  1. john f. says:

    Now that I think about it, hearing her tell about finding her car like that might have triggered a subliminal memory from the movie What’s Up Doc? (1972). In that movie, during the slap-stick chase scene, which we kids in my family growing up simply loved, a guy’s parked Volkwagen Bus gets cremated, flattened into a pancake from being repeatedly struck on one side by the chasing cars. From the side facing his house, however, the car looks fine. He goes to open the door and get in at which time his pancake-flat bus simply falls over. That never failed to get us kids laughing uncontrollably. Perhaps the NPR report triggered that memory.

  2. john f. says:

    oops, that should be, obviously, “subconscious” memory and not “subliminal”.

  3. Ian Cook says:

    I think that sometimes I do the same thing, but usually only when no one gets hurt.

    Sometimes I feel bad when reading the Darwin awards stuff. Laughing at others pain is terrible really.

  4. john f. says:

    I rarely have experienced schadenfreude like that. But for some reason, it was just genuinely funny to think about coming out of your apartment to find the building and your car covered in oil.

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