Using Humor to Cope Humor, sometimes used as a coping mechanism, to avoid the truth, or simply make light of a difficult situation. The use of humour by some can result in emotions being suppressed, never being allowed to reach the surface. Within the book “In a World Created by a Drunk God” by Hayden Taylor, Jason Pierce; a half-native Canadian man meets his American half-brother Harry Deiter.
Jason uses his sense of humour to cope with the emotions that Harry brings to the surface, the loss and appearance of his biological father; Lawrence Deiter, his recent single status accompanied by a possible link to his father, and with the appearance of Harry; a new half-brother. Humour creates a distraction, from tackling the problems that are at hand. “Individuals high in aggressive humor tease and ridicule others to demonstrate their superiority without concern for the impact such humorous belittlement might have on others”, (Ford, Affective Style, Humor Styles and Happiness).
Jason is reluctant to the concept of giving a kidney to a father that he never knew, he teases Harry about his father who he has known for his entire life. Jason uses his sense of humour to disguise the pain that Harry has brought up by asking for a kidney for the father that disserted him and his mother. A sickness; chronic renal failure, that has a potential to kill a father that was never present nor has never been a part of a life the is led. Jason uses his sense of humour and sarcasm to make light of Harry asking for a kidney to give to his father. “From me? He needs a kidney … from me. Oh my god … this … his is a bad movie. I don’t believe this.
Where’s your bucket or are you going to carry my kidney in your pocket? ” (Taylor 26). Jason uses a large amount of sarcasm when asked for a kidney, comparing it to an unbelievable, bad movie. He attempts to avoid the reality of his potential father being sick and in need of a kidney that only he can give. “And now he wants a kidney. Now that would be a hell of Father’s Day present, huh? ” (Taylor 29). As Harry continues to talk about their father, Jason tries to use humour in an attempt to prove that he is not bitter about the father that abandoned him and his mother.
As Harry continues to explain why he has come looking for a kidney for the farther that only he knows, Jason uses his sense of bitter humour to cope with the rising anxiety and frustration. According to coping theories, when stress arises, individuals put forth cognitive, emotional, and behavioral efforts to manage the situation, (Yoon, Humor Effects in Shame-Inducing Health Issue Advertising: The Moderating Effects of Fear of Negative Evaluation). Humor is used by Jason as a mechanism to deal with his past life arising once again, bringing forward the feels of abandonment, loss, fear, and a sense of sadness.
Though still internally conflicted; to give his kidney to a father that left or keep his kidney and let a mistaken man die. The reading, “In a World Created by a Drunk God”, Lawrence Deiter, is a man who cheated on his wife a child, with a native women named Harriet Pierce. He impregnated Harriet with Jason, Lawrence then fled and returned to his wife and their child Harry. Jason proposed a question to Harry when talking about his Harrys’ ex-wife Arlene and Bonnie, Jason’s exgirlfriend. “Like father, not like son? “, (Taylor 53). Harry replied that he did not cheat on his wife, but then proposed the same question to Jason.
Jason reluctantly admitted that he had cheated on Bonnie but it was not the same as Lawrence because he was not married to her. “That’s just different icing on the same cake”, (Taylor 55). Harry saying this brought up the realization that Lawrence is lason’s father and he is his son. Immediately Jason uses humor to avoid the reality of Harry’s words. “… send their son to clean up their messes? Tell you what, if he wants my kidney so badly, let him come and get it himself … I’ll keep it warm till then. Think he’ll be interested? “, (Taylor 55).
Though Harry compared Jason to Lawrence because both of them cheated on a woman they were with, cheating could have been blamed on a lack of a father figure. “Lessons learned from observing parents’ marital interactions might be informative to adolescents as they seek to build more intimate and reciprocal romantic relationships”, (Simon, Valerie A. , and Wyndol Furman, Interparental Conflict And Adolescents’ Romantic Relationship Conflict). Without being able to see the ‘normal relationship between a mother and father, it could have impacted the way that Jason viewed relationships.
He uses his humor to avoid facing the reality, that he could be like his father. Though it could have been the absence of his father that made him who he is. Harry, a brother that Jason never knew existed. Who had the appearance of an amazing life with both a mother and father figure, at one point a wife and children. Jason uses humor when describing the life that Harry has made himself, in comparison to his own. “Or was your family more the Married with Children/ The Soprano type deal? “, (Taylor 56). Jason could be described as jealous; of the life that Harry has and the life Jason never would.
Jason uses well-known TV shows to depict what his idea of a ‘normal family should be. Jason attempts to make Harry understand that he does not have the same relationship with Lawrence that Harry has. “Hmm, do you think maybe if I had a father I’d understand the bond between a father and a son? “, (Taylor 96). Harry describes the relationship between his father and him, the concept that they would do anything for each other. Similarly, to other situations Jason uses humor to disguise his true feelings, of possible jealously.
The difficulties are often dependent on family structure such as whether the family is headed by a father or mother and whether single-parent status is a result of never marrying, divorce, death, or military service, which can lead to a connotation of poor family functioning”, (Hornberger, Laurel B. , Ramon B. Zabriskie, and Patti Freeman. Contributions Of Family Leisure To Family Functioning Among Single-Parent Families). Harry and Jason’s family structure is completely different, also, with the new addition of a halfbrother, Jason’s family dynamic has been altered.
Jason uses humor to protect himself from excepting that the man that abandoned him and his mother has another family. Jason uses his sense of humor to avoid answering the true question of giving Lawrence a kidney. His humor is portrayed constantly through out the reading of “In a World Created By a Drunk God”. A father figure that is living another life, in another country, with a wife and another son. A father who Jason would have never heard of without the medical need for a kidney. Harry, a half-brother who appeared at Jason’s front door, completely out of the blue.
Harry has had Lawrence present throughout his entire life, a proper father figure. Jason uses humor and sarcasm to deal with the new developments in his life. While talking to Harry, Jason was able to get some first hand knowledge about his biological father. He discovers that he has a connection with the father he never knew, cheating. Jason’s life has been turned upside down, a new half-brother, a father that is is need of a kidney, that has a common characteristic. Humor is used by some as a coping mechanism to avoid and make light of stressful situations.