Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice


About a week ago, someone on another forum (not writing related) posted a series of funny pictures, peeled from a website. Here’s one of them:

It’s a sticker that you put on your luggage, the sort of thing that will cause, presumably, many a head to turn when you’re wheeling through the airport. Looks like the sort of thing you’d see on Locked Up Abroad, doesn’t it? There’s a company that makes these things, and it’s all in good fun. Here’s another:

That will certainly get you some space in the airport, right? At least it isn’t spiders. But wait, there’s more. The company that makes these has one that has stacks of cash lined up neatly, presumably for delivering either of the above suitcases. Then they have this one:

A couple of people questioned the tastefulness of that last sticker; at least one person defended it as ‘funny.’ As for me? Well, I know I can see the humor, and I’m pretty sure there was a time in my life where I would indeed have found it pretty funny–probably when I was in high school. Now? Not so much. It should be noted the company that makes these does not have a matching sticker with a man stuffed in the suitcase. As for the people who do find it funny, I wonder if they would feel the same if it were an 8-year-old.

When I think about how I’ve changed over the course of my life, I often find it hard to pin down. In many, many ways, I don’t feel any different than I did 30 years ago, when I probably would have found this suitcase sticker quite funny. Interestingly, that’s where I find change can be most easily charted. This sticker? Not funny. In fact, it’s quite troubling, given what’s going on in the world these days.

That’s it, have a good weekend, everyone.

9 Responses

  1. Can't put stickers easily on my luggage. They are cloth and have these pockets and zippers… Anyway, I'm guessing maturity has a lot do with what a person finds funny and when they find it funny. Yeah, I was a goofy teenager. But I'd look ridiculous doing what I did then now. Heck, I probably looked ridiculous THEN, but hey, I didn't CARE. It wasn't like I had responsibilities then.

    However, I'm not sure I would have found that woman sticker funny even THEN. But if it were a man, and a nerdy one at that? Yeah, probably. Guess that's the difference in the sexes, huh?

  2. Exactly – "given what's going on in the world these days" – is why you no longer find it funny. You understand the world, you've experienced its ugly realities. Teens are simply clueless. Perhaps their parents shelter them too much, or perhaps they've simply never experienced the pain of losing someone they loved. But I doubt teens run the sticker business, so they have no excuse for being so oblivious and inconsiderate.

  3. Yeah, Cherie. That would definitely free up some room. *shivers*

    Jeff, I wonder if our times also have an impact on how funny things seem. Odd, isn't it, that with so much more sexual "freedom" there seems to be more issues with date rape and human trafficking?

  4. -Stacy: Being a teenager means lack of tact/filter for many, I suppose. I suppose what makes the 'nerdy guy' idea funny is that it would be unexpected. A woman trussed up in a suitcase? Not exactly 'expected', yet expected at the same time, if you know what I mean.


    Lexa–I think the 'clueless' is exactly what a lot of it is. I said a lot of horrible stuff when I was young that was hilariously funny in the context of the time, but I know it made (or would have, if it were heard) a lot of my elders cringe or yell. I think it's also part of the teenage feeling of immortality (at least for those of us who lived relatively privileged lives).

    Cherie–I had a t-shirt with a bunch of snakes on it, I thought it was beautiful. It made a lot of people very uncomfortable! Thanks for stopping by!

    Donna–I wonder if there are more issues, or if we just hear about those things more now? I do agree, time has a lot to do with it. I'm sure there will come a time when my grandchildren will be shocked at the kind of stuff we thought was funny–or will wonder why some TV show was so 'edgy' compared to what they will be watching.

  5. I think I still have the inappropriate sense of humour that realises things that are troubling or politically incorrect when I see them, but allows me to laugh at them anyway as long as it's in a joking context. I don't think I would have considered the problem of the company not having a male-equivalent of that last sticker, but I probably would have found it more entertaining than the one you've shared above, especially if the suitcase owner was female, just because of the completely different connotations it would come with. I completely understand why people would find that last one troubling and now that I've thought about it too much, I feel kind of bad for chuckling when I saw it…

  6. Bonnee–I think we all will find ourselves laughing at or being entertained by wildly inappropriate things in our lives, and that's OK; we can't control many of our 'trigger points' where humor is concerned. However, I think it's a good idea to examine what makes us laugh once in a while, as well as to examine what is being presented to us for our enjoyment/entertainment.

    By the way, an apology to anyone else reading this, I'm finding this post is very poorly edited. It should have been given another editing pass before I hit that 'publish' button. Sloppy work on my part, and something I may go back to fix.

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