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There's a part of me that yearns to explore the darkness and tragedy of our lives without resorting to jokes that lighten or distract from the fundamental horror of the human condition. Fear, brutality, greed, rage, stupidity, lust, pride, grief, insanity, betrayal. These are but a few of the words we use to describe the ugliness that hides in all of our hearts. But how have I, as a comedy writer, used them? Certainly not to peel away the thin veil of civility that masks the rotting soul sickness that eats at us from within. No. Whenever I attempt to illuminate the pain of our existence, something like this comes out: "Filled with grief and rage over her husband's betrayal, Lenore set his balls on fire then pled insanity." You see my dilemma? Even when I use the appropriate words, my instinct is always to undercut the dramatic. In the above case, with the ludicrous image of fiery testicles. How then shall I write about the harsh reality that is our daily life? The madness and cruelty which assaults us from cradle to grave? I've come to believe that my only hope is to embrace the comedic undercut and then go a step further. In other words, no matter how frightening, I must dive into the nightmare. I must not flinch from the horror. "Filled with grief and rage over her husband's betrayal, Lenore set his balls on fire and then proudly watched as the flames, fueled by a peach-flavored lubricant, leapt to his condom-clad member. She would later plead insanity, but at the moment she was amused to see that "ribbed-for-her-pleasure" latex burns like a son of a bitch." Nope, still not right.

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