But other times, the stuff we see is just plain funny. While humor makes awful things bearable, it also is inherently needed for the silly, humiliating or ironic things people do that we get to witness and laugh at as part of our work.
Earlier this week when Gov. Jim Gibbons was thrown from a horse while riding at a ranch north of Pyramid Lake, the initial concern was for his welfare. However, once the fear of mortal danger cleared and it was revealed that he broke his pelvis — of all body parts! — I had to bang my head against a wall to stop the jokes from flowing. As for the jokes that survived, I will do my best to keep them as clean as possible in the next few hundred words.
My initial concern was for his girlfriend(s?), whoever they may be. With the gubernatorial groin out of commission for a while, is it the lieutenant governor’s job to fill in for him and keep these lady constituents happy? Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki is 26 years younger than Gibbons, so he should be more than up for the task. However, we know that Gibbons likes to carry on his trysts by using his state cell phone and luckily his fingers escaped harm in the incident. I guess it is good he is proficient at sexting, since that will be all he can do for a while.
As I read about the incident, I naturally shared it with the other members of the Tribune news staff so they could enjoy a chuckle with me. Reporter and fellow cynic Cortney Maddock asked what he was doing horseback riding while the state flounders in economic misery. I figure since he is not running for re-election and with his divorce now final, Gibbons has plenty of time to do whatever he wants. I mean, he has no wife to answer to, he’s a short-timer at work, he gets a fat paycheck and he lives in the governor’s mansion. If that’s not a formula to play the field, I don’t know what is.
Sadly, he is now giving new meaning to “lame-duck governor.” (My thanks to Andrew Barbano for that one, I just hope he doesn’t use it in his column today, too.)
Speaking of his divorce, this whole thing had to give his ex-wife, Dawn Gibbons, a bit of satisfaction. According to her court filings, the guv had several affairs while they were married; one with a former Playboy model and the other with the wife of a local podiatrist. It’s probably a good thing he broke his pelvis instead of his foot. He might have been sent to his girlfriend’s husband for treatment. If that had happened, Gibbons probably would have had his pelvis broken by the jilted doctor anyway.
But imagine being the former Mrs. Gibbons, having all this pent-up anger and then hearing that her ex fell off a horse and broke his pelvis. What a sense of vindication that would be! Serves him right for being a cheat!
Turns out she was disappointed because she wanted the horse to step on his other head.
Knowing I would have to write about this, I had to call Tribune artist Erik Holland and have a cartoon to commemorate this historic moment in Nevada political history. We exchanged some inappropriate comments before setting upon the idea you see above. As I think about it, though, I wonder if the doctors who repaired Gibbons’ fractured phallic zone stopped to take pictures with their patient. I mean, isn’t that what you do when you have an encounter with a celebrity? Can’t you imagine them smiling, giving a thumbs up and pointing toward the governor’s pelvis with the caption, “I fixed Jimmy”? If so, I’m sure the images will be online soon.
All jokes aside, I hope Gov. Gibbons has a speedy and full recovery. I am sure he will be back in Carson City in no time working as hard as ever.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get my mind out of the gutter.
Nathan Orme is the editor of the Sparks Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.