April Fools' Ruminations: A Funny Thing or Two About Bipolar

John McManamy Health Guide
  • Here is my April Fools' story. This morning, April 1, I checked my Facebook feed. Someone mentioned it was World Bipolar Day. This didn’t sound right. Then I noticed the post was from two days ago.


    Then it occurred to me: April Fools' would be a great day for a World Bipolar Day. I’m no big fan of special days or weeks or months, but I could really get behind one that fell on the first of April. 


    Bipolar is a joke wrapped in a riddle surrounded by an irony. The joke is on us. Someone up there has to be laughing, right? 


    Imagine the conversations you can have:


    YOU: Hey, did you know that today is World Bipolar Day?

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    OTHER PERSON: You’re joking, right?


    This is your cue to deliver any punch line you want. Or maybe you might want to extend the conversation, you know:


    YOU: Did you realize that the person who discovered fire was bipolar?


    OTHER PERSON: Really?


    YOU: Well, this was pre-history, so no one exactly wrote it down, but who else was going to bring a flaming smoking piece of wood into your nice cozy cave? Certainly not anyone you would classify as normal.


    OTHER PERSON: I never thought of it that way before.


    YOU: Well, while you’re in a thinking mode, think about this: You would still be shivering in your cave if it weren’t for the likes of me.


    OTHER PERSON: You’re crazy.


    YOU: You bet I am. And it’s a good thing the person who discovered fire lived long enough to pass on his or her crazy genes. Otherwise, not only would you still be shivering in your cave, you would be shivering in your cave in Europe or Asia or Africa.


    OTHER PERSON; Say what?


    YOU: Right, like continents get discovered all by themselves. Like normal people decide to sail off the edge of the world. Or, for that matter, wade across the Bering Straight.    


    OTHER PERSON: Okay, I give you Columbus. Everyone said he was crazy.


    YOU: And so were those people in funny hats who landed at Plymouth Rock and so were some of the Founding Fathers, not to mention your tired and poor who risked everything coming here to seek a better life. The settler cultures lead the world in crazy. Something to think about next time you celebrate the Fourth of July.


    OTHER PERSON: Well, I usually think about more practical things.


    YOU: Which is why you never come up with anything inventive and original. So, why don’t you think about the guy who painted the Sistine Chapel and the other one who did Starry Night? And while we’re at it, how about the guy who came up with gravity and the one who invented alternating current? And if that’s not enough, where do you think your rock ‘n roll and classical music comes from?


    OTHER PERSON: You’re joking, right?


    YOU: Well, it is April Fools' Day.


    OTHER PERSON: There, I knew it had to be a joke.


    YOU: Well, here is the real joke: We delivered you from darkness, we brought you civilization, we gave you technology and culture and a life worth living. So how do you show your appreciation? That’s right, you marginalize us. That’s the real joke. Happy April Fool’s Day.


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    Now that’s a World Bipolar Day I could sink my teeth into.

Published On: April 01, 2014