An Asian Christian woman living in London blogging about the everyday issues of religion

Monday, 10 December 2012

A 'Wicked' Sense of Humour

I am referring to the prank played by the two Australian radio DJs who called the hospital where Kate Middleton (Duchess of Cambridge) was staying and whose 'sense of humour' set in motion an unfortunate train of events that led to the death of the nurse who answered the call.

Did you laugh when you heard about the call on Tuesday as it was relayed on the news channels? I didn't. That's not because I don't have a sense of humour. It is because my immediate thought was for the nurses who had taken the call. The ordinary folk who strive very hard to do a good job but who don't possess fully the power to control their working environment. I was also worried that one of the nurses could have been foreign and may not have fully understood the British humour of corgis and 'Mummy'. No one could have foreseen death but my thoughts went along the path of jobs lost and depression. Sadly, the first nurse committed suicide (yet to be confirmed officially).

When a prank is played on an unsuspecting person there is no level playing field. The 'victim' is clueless and, therefore, powerless. If you add into this mix cultural differences then the story gets murky. Asian humour is quite literal. Nuances are often lost. Corgis barking in the background may be an obvious to many but it isn't to just as many people. Also, the radio DJs have said today that they put on 'awful' accents and didn't expect  their call to get through. Why do Australians have such an obsession with accents? Many of their adverts on British TV feature a particular pronouncement of their accent. Anyway, many Asians and possibly other foreigners may struggle to distinguish one 'fake' British accent from the 'true' one. This prank assumed that everyone in the chain was fully versed with the humour supposedly involved. They weren't, tragically.

Prayers please for Jacintha Saldanha and her family who are suffering.

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