He who laughs last …

“You use humor to mask your pain.”
Someone once actually said this to me.
“If you want to talk about pain, jackass, you will be using a mask to hide the bloody pulp that used to be your face if you don’t step away from me right now,” I wanted to say.
But I didn’t.
Instead, I came home and drowned my pain in five fifths of vodka, a mouthful of pills, an armful of heroin, and four pints of Tofutti.
Last time I checked, no one ever died from laughing. And Max Beerbohm backs me up: “Nobody ever died of laughter.” Even though people say they almost did, I don’t think anyone has.
There is, however, an infectious disease called “Kuru” (all but wiped out now) that has as one of its symptoms uncontrolled laughter. Here’s what happens upon the death of a Kuru victim in certain tribes in Papua, New Guinea, where the disease once flourished:

… the maternal kin were in charge of the dismemberment of the corpse. The women would remove the arms and feet, strip the limbs of muscle, remove the brains, and cut open the chest in order to remove internal organs. Kuru victims were highly regarded as sources of food, because the layer of fat on victims who died quickly resembled pork. Women also were known to feed morsels such as human brains and various parts of organs to their children and the elderly.

The next time someone says something as asinine to me as, “You use humor to mask your pain,” he’s going to wish he’d died from Kuru, because the tribal women’s treatment would’ve been more merciful than the one I will mete out. Except I won’t even wait until he’s dead, gasping his last breath by the tip of my uncaring boot.
We’ll see who has the last laugh.
Oh, and by the way … “Laughter is the best medicine,” schmuck. Haven’t you ever read Reader’s Digest? If not, there are plenty of copies in hell for you to enjoy during your stay. So go there.