standup comedy tagged posts

SEIZURES ARE A JOKE

Category: Uncategorized Comments: 10 comments

Once a week I Google “Seizure” and “News” and see what I get. Most of the time, the results are pretty predictable. Someone is touting a new product for epilepsy. Someone is trying to get support for a new medical marijuana bill. Someone makes the local news because some annoying story about how they were mistreated or fired over epilepsy. However, once in a while I find something completely unexpected.

Maggie O’Conner was walking her dog in Cochester, England, when she had a seizure. It happens. As an epileptic I am sympathetic. But the two people who pulled out their iphones to watch her and make fun of her were apparently not so sympathetic (1).

Ms. O’Conner woke up to see the two men filming her...

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EVEN THE SUPREME COURT WAS AGAINST US

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I have written several articles about people being fired or arrested while having seizures. As a result, I have received several emails from readers and close friends asking: “How can it be legal in the United States of America to fire someone for epilepsy?”

It isn’t. But up until very recently it was. Here’s how it came to happen.

In 1924 sterilizing epileptics was all the rage. Three thousand people were involuntarily sterilized in the United States — 2,500 in California alone (1) based on a system designed by one Harry Laughlin. In a continued effort to get rid of “defective persons,” Virginia sought to follow California’s lead and a seventeen-year-old girl named Carrie Buck was chosen to be the first citizen of that state to be sterilized under the program.

Witness...

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ARRESTED FOR HAVING EPILEPSY

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In January of this year, in Connecticut, Robert Marzullo was driving in his car with his sister when he had a seizure and ran into a curb. When the police arrived, he was “slumped over the steering wheel.” The police “gave him to the count of three” to exit the car and then fired a taser into Marzullo’s arm. His sister screamed that Marzullo is epileptic and the officer said, “I know.” The officers claimed that Marzullo still resisted arrest (1).

In Indianapolis, 2013, Randy Lynn had just finished helping his sister clear snow from a sidewalk and he was walking home when he had a seizure. Police saw him and mistook the seizure for being intoxicated. They wrestled to put him into handcuffs, shocked him with a taser and hit him on the head three times (2).

These, sadly, a...

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I NEED A JOB

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People look at me and most of the time I look normal. I act normal. To be honest, except for those moments when I am flopping around the floor, I think of myself as a pretty normal guy. Yet I cannot discount those moments as easily as people who observe me on the street do. In reality, society does not discount those moments, either. The minute a seizure occurs, our lives are changed forever. As seizure patients, everyone around us views us differently.

I understand this is a difficult statement to accept. Those who view themselves as the most “easy-going” and “accepting” of people will immediately respond by saying “I don’t do that.” Of course you don’t. You aren’t sexist, racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic or anything else either. You are a wonderful person...

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FOLLOW UP: Why Marijuana Testing Isn’t Happening

Category: blogging about bloggingcharlotte's webcongressman on marijuanaDon AbramsEarl BlumenguerFalling Down Funny BookGovernor John HickenlooperGovernor on MarijuanaJohn HickenlooperJohn McCain on marijuanaKevin Sabetmarijuana researchMark Hawkinsno THCPatrick KennedyPatrick Kennedy on marijuanaSeizuressenator on marijuanaUncategorized Comments: No comments

I wrote a blog recently about a strain of marijuana called cannabidiol, or “Charlotte’s Web,” a strain of marijuana with virtually no THC, the substance which “gets you high.” It is a true “medicine” that is being touted by epileptic believers as a new miracle source of relief. (You can read that blog here: http://www.fallingdownfunny.com/2014/01/28/give-us-our-medicine/.) I received many emails from people who told me that they would support legalization of medical marijuana but they want to see more research done. What these people clearly fail to appreciate is that current laws in the United States prohibit exactly that. As long as marijuana is a “schedule one” drug, research is next to impossible. And politicians know this fact...

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DON’T HAVE A SEIZURE IN MICHIGAN

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On March 23, 2004 in Michigan (1), Ms. R was driving home from visiting her daughter. She did not feel well. She had had two seizures that morning and another while visiting. While she probably should not have gotten behind the wheel of her car, it was only two miles to her house and she decided to drive home anyway.

At about 6:30 pm, Officer W saw her car swerve and he pulled around to pursue her. He signaled but she did not stop. He followed her for several blocks until she pulled over. As he approached her car, Ms. R suddenly drove away. Officer W got back into his car and followed her, this time joined by another police car. The two police cars boxed Ms. R in and her car was forced to stop.

The two officers from the second car approached the vehicle with guns drawn...

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SCREW “BREAST CANCER MONTH”

Category: Falling Down Funny BookMark HawkinsSeizures Comments: 8 comments

Let me start by saying that breast cancer is a horrible disease and I feel badly for anyone who has it or gets it. I wrote that headline to get your attention. But I do have a reason for starting to turn on “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and I know I am not alone.

I have epilepsy. I have been trying to promote epilepsy awareness for some time and it often feels like an uphill battle. Not only do people not really seem to care about epilepsy, but quite the opposite: many seem to have something against it.

I am not going to go into the recent story of Coach Jerry Kill, the University of Minnesota football coach who had a seizure during a game and was rewarded with calls for his removal...

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HEARD THE ONE ABOUT THE EPILEPTIC?

Category: Amazon.comblogging about bloggingFalling Down Funny BookMark HawkinsSeizures Comments: 2 comments

I am a stand-up comedian. It has been my full-time occupation since 1991. True, I am not rich or famous but I have paid my bills and eaten Taco Bell. I have made a reasonable living. And I know my way around a joke.

The point I am so slowly getting to here is that I have had a hard time writing jokes about epilepsy. The subject has eluded me. I’ve written jokes that I knew were pretty funny but when I tried them out onstage I could not figure out why they did not get any laughs. I reworked them. Nothing. It took me years to figure out why those jokes were not happening and when I finally figured out what the problem was I was not happy with the answer.

I have come up with two basic reasons why the subject is not a good choice for me onstage...

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