OK, everybody’s been slipping on ice. Let’s see what these ladies do.
After this charming, fatherly intro, a girl proceeds to do a full frontal body plant on the ice. The loving dad chuckles and says:
Oh, there goes one! Oh, that’s funny!
We’ve all seen the slips and trips and pratfalls so popular on YouTube in the style of America’s Funniest Home Videos. And we collectively laugh at the misfortune of the unknown victim. But today a friend of a friend of a friend posted a video on Facebook that took me aback.
In general, these “funny” videos are captured by chance. They aren’t funny because someone is hurt. (In general they aren’t even published if that is the case.) Instead, they are funny because they look painful or spectacular, but resulted in no serious injury or because of the surprising nature of the event being captured on video.
- A couple is getting married, the best man trips up the stairs on the way to deliver the ring, accidentally bumps the bride, who is pushed into the pond. We gasp in horror at the awfulness of it all and hope they can laugh later. Years later.
- Something is being videotaped and an accident is coincidentally filmed in the background.
- Someone is engaging in a sport or activity, is being recorded, and has a spectacular fail.
- A news segment is being videotaped and someone accidentally falls due to accident or impact. If someone is actually hurt, it’s painful and we are concerned (see the first woman). If they recover without missing a beat (see the guy at the end who does a complete 360° arial and just picks up his mic and moves on), we laugh and cheer.
But there was something troubling about this Facebook video. It was taken by a father waiting to pick up his kids from school and there was a patch ice on the sidewalk nearby that no one could escape.
What did he do? Did he hop out of the car and warn the approaching kids that it was slippery? Did he stand guard to make sure no one was hurt?
No, he took out his phone and sat in the car giggling for nearly six minutes as he watched his kid’s classmates fall. He wasn’t just laughing at the banana-peel-slipping silliness, he was snickering, chuckling, and snorting in anticipation of the possibility of the next fall. And then his charming daughter joined in the fun. At one point she said:
We’re kind of bad people.
You know, because maybe getting your jollies at the expense of others isn’t the very, very best thing you can do with your time.
Fortunately, no one (at least no one that shows up on the edited video he uploaded) was badly hurt. But what kind of adult — and parent — shows so little concern for others, even children, that he values his amusement more than safety?