I know it’s not funny. This is serious business. Yet I can’t keep a gentle chortle from escaping from under my breath. My shoulders are not shaking from fear but from the effort of keeping the laughter inside and unnoticed. Otherwise someone might say,”What’s so funny?” And I’d have to show them the newspaper story.
“Wipe that grin off your face,” says my Superego to my Ego, “Learn to behave appropriately.”
If I were a filmmaker I could take one of two directions filming this story. I could film it as a Francis Ford Coppola in the style of The Godfather,” or as a Woody Allen, in the style of “Take the Money and Run.” Is this a frightening, threatening story, or is it hilariously funny? I cannot choose between Coppola or Woody Allen: my initial inclination is to think it is hilarious.
The subject of this story is a headline in the Wednesday, September 19, 1012 issue of the New York Times. Right on page 7 is “131 Prisoners Escape in One of Mexico’s Largest Jailbreaks.” These guys dug a tunnel ten feet below ground, 23 feet long. How ambitious of them, proving once again that give a guy incentive and he’ll work hard. Ten feet deep is deeper than a grave, and the length of that tunnel can outfit dozens of graves. Almost.
What my mind sees is a group of heavily built, stocky, scary muscular men gently tip, tip,tip toeing ever so silently through the tunnel. Woody might show an image of these men outfitted in little pink tutus as they gracefully float to freedom. Coppola would portray them with scowling, hateful expressions, pounding and pushing through the tunnel: weapons drawn. The latter is probably more accurate, and the one anybody living in the vicinity of that prison would have.
But there’s enough of those kind of stories in the news every day. Isn’t it refreshing to see a serious story and turn it into a comedy show?