I saw you perform on February 24, 2016. I remember the date not because of how funny you were – although I did get a few good guffaws in – but because it’s also the day I found out I had a much maligned tumour pushing up against my guts. The doctors told me I wasn’t allowed to leave the hospital to see the show, but I told them I was going to anyway, and then I did. This marked my first playing of the cancer card, a quite useful voucher that only expires once the user gets healthy or dies.
Since that night, I’ve used the move a number of times, realizing that a cancer card laid is a cancer card played. Usually it’s done for minor life improvements, like letting people ahead of me skip them in line at coffee shops. “I understand we all want a coffee, yes, but I may be dead long before you, so how about you let me get my non-fat cappa-frappa-brappuccino a couple of minutes before you,” is what I’d say before they’d begrudging or happily relinquish their spot to me. For the most part, the card is used to get me out of unwanted social gatherings, as I can claim my cancer is acting up and everyone understands that’s why I’m unable to go bowling for their dumb kid’s birthday.
I’ve noticed that even without my prompting, I am given some leeway in my actions in what I’ve dubbed the cancer concession. Others let me think I’m right, even when I’m clearly not, in a form of pity I’m not completely against. Like when you don’t correct your racist nan because she’ll be gone long before you. It’s a lot like that episode of Fresh Prince where Will let Marcus score on the final drive after finding out in the barbershop that he had a kid which made him realize that a college scholarship would be more beneficial for him.
Sometimes I forget I’m sick, then I’ll see the word ‘cancer’ in an article or something and go, “Oh yeah, I have that!” I was hanging out with this useless guy the other day and he was telling me how his mom used to have cancer, looking for a compassion carousal, even though she’s fine now. I was like, “Buddy, sure that’s nudding, I took hers and now I got a bit o’ dat myself.” That shut him up long enough for me to punch him right in the head.
[Editor’s note: The ending didn’t happen at stated, and the only reason he put it in is because he wanted to say “Ron Punches!” at the end, but I had to remind him that your name is Ron, not his, so he agreed to leave it out.]