Catherine the Great with a Chainsaw

No, that’s not the title of one of those alternate-universe classics people are all about these days. (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, etc. Barf.) Nor am I writing such a book. What I *am* doing is reading the biography Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie. Then I came across one of those stupid Facebook image macros that said to take the name of the book you’re currently reading and add “with a chainsaw” to the end of the title. While I hate those things on FB, my result amused me. Picturing an Empress of Russia in her burdensome dress attempting to wield a chainsaw as she kicks Peter III out of the palace is a great visual. Not that death, murder or all usurpers are great, but that it’s ridiculous. I love ridiculousness (And I KNOW that’s not technically a word but Idon’tcareleavemealone). I love the word ridiculous. I call my cats ridiculous. In fact, I’d say that the ridiculous has saved me.

Now, Merriam-Webster defines Ridiculous as: arousing or deserving ridicule :  extremely silly or unreasonable :  absurd, preposterous. When I use the word, I’m more on the absurd, preposterous side of things. I’m not out to ridicule people for fun. I’ve always loved absurd humor. Many people may find it too easy, or too stupid or low-brow. But to me–depending on the delivery–the more out there a thing is, the more it makes me laugh.

I feel I’m lucky in this. Because if it’s easier to laugh, it’s easier to fight the blues. I had some rough spots over Thanksgiving weekend: the fact that it’s a holiday, realizing something is wrong with my cat but not knowing what it is, and general insecurities about my job and life in general. I wallowed in it for a day or so, and thankfully have pulled myself out somewhat since then. But absurdity and ridiculousness, as always, played a big part in helping me. No matter how bad things are, a silly joke in a movie, witnessing the cat nearly fall into the toilet (again), not noticing that I cut my toe open and following my own trail of blood around thinking it was the cat, fart jokes, etc. All these things, if they can make me smile for even a second, collectively make me feel better. Maybe they even make it all worth it. Because if you really think about it, most of life is utterly ridiculous.

So when you’re down, just picture good ‘ole Cat II riding her horse around St. Petersburg, revving up her chainsaw.*

antr1

*I tried for over an hour to cut out a chainsaw to Photoshop on Catherine the Great. I got frustrated and rage quit. Sorry! Maybe next time.

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