I Couldn’t Resist

May 17, 2012 — 14 Comments

During our department meeting at work today, I was afforded an opportunity I couldn’t resist.

I work in health insurance and one of the presenters was talking about the different levels of urgency for authorization requests.  “Medical urgency is the highest level and is given the most attention.  These are usually life or limb situations.  For instance, if this patient doesn’t receive care immediately, his heart could stop or his arm could fall off,” she said.

I put that line in my back-pocket.

When it was my turn to present, I stood in front of the crowd and said, “Listen, I’m living proof why it’s important that doctors submit authorization requests correctly.  Mine didn’t and my arm fell right off.”

Who am I to turn down an opportunity for a joke about my arm?

I realize, though, it probably gets old.

It’s funny because I never used to make jokes about my arm; at least not as often.  As I’ve become more comfortable with it, though, the joking and self-deprecation has increased.  Sometimes successfully and sometimes not.

For instance, when I moved departments at work I went from having a huge monitor to a small one.  I noticed there was a big one next to my cube, so I took it.  My boss saw my huge monitor and asked where I got it from.  I explained what happened and she proceeded to rattle-off a number of reasons why I couldn’t keep it.  I begged.  I pleaded.  And finally, I very seriously dropped this on her, “Michelle…listen…I don’t ask for much.  But, you have to understand…I only have one hand.”

“Good Lord…keep the monitor!” she said.


I’m noticing more and more, though, that I’m pushing it a bit.  Not often, but occasionally I’ll think, “Eh…that wasn’t worth it.”  I need to pick and choose my spots more carefully now.  I need to be more intentional. I need to use my powers for good and not for evil. The last thing I want is for people to moan their disapproval because I’ve used the, “Sorry, can’t help…I only have one hand” joke too many times. It needs to catch them off-guard and that can’t happen if it’s overused.

Oh, the challenges of a one-handed man who deals with his insecurities through the use of humor.

That said, I will NEVER stop saying, “Hey, champ. What has one thumb and doesn’t give a crap?  Ryan Haack.  How ya doin’?”



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I'm a husband, a father, an author, a speaker, a friend...all kinds of things, actually.

14 responses to I Couldn’t Resist

  1. aaawwww yyyeeaahhh….

  2. No way, Ryan, you can’t overuse this stuff. It’s what makes you, you. It lets everyone around you know that you are ok with your arm and they should be too. I think it lets people breathe a little easier when we joke, but I do like the occasional person that is appalled with the humor. We like the shock value of it in our household. Those are the people that make me laugh the most. :)) Keep up your awesome posts!

  3. .. don’t resist, Ryan .. they and we all appreciate YOU for who you are .. and these quips are part of what makes you YOU ..

    Keep jesting, keep smiling and keep loving as Our Lord did and does .. bless you, brother

  4. HAAAHAAAAA!!! You know the saying about things costing an arm & a leg? With our daughter missing one of each, we’ve been so tempted at times to crack jokes when people ask how much her adoption cost…but of course we restrain ourselves because we don’t want to give other people the impression that it’s OK to make her the butt of jokes either.

  5. Elizabeth Stinson May 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I think having a shirt that said “Hey, champ. What has one thumb and doesn’t give a crap? Ryan Haack. How ya doin’?” Would be awesome. Except I would put in my name =)

  6. That actually made me laugh right out loud! Having a sense of humor makes everything better. I say keep joking about it.

  7. Fun such as that benefits from more careful and selected, but then fully aggressive application, as much as I oversee my own applied slapstick. One has to make sure to play them well hung and not with nervous tension. – – I also use a fall back method. If a situation begs for an excuse to be delivered I will stand back, smile at the person and say “WHATEVER it is, it has to be easier and better to do / perform with two hands, so why don’t you…?”. The other one that never fails is “it only looks like that”. If they stopped laughing and all jokes and blah, I will keep the smile and add “yeah what I meant was that I feel depressed and it is relatively painful all the time, so whatever peaceful appearance you see, it only looks like that”. Some other times, I will say that a dead pan serious face is half the fun when delivering one of these existentialist one armed puns.

  8. Whoa! That made me laugh out loud. Thanks for that. Hilarious!

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