The Fake Bait Heiress and Her Guide to Inappropriate Humor.

Laughter is a huge part of what makes us resilient.  It gets us through the toughest, darkest days.

My laughter tends to fall in the darkest category of dark humor, and I seem to surround myself with those who also fall in that category ;). 

I make inappropriate jokes all the time about being a widow, my massive inheritance of Mustad hooks, Winchester ammunition, Berkely Gulp, and deer mounts.

My aunt and uncle commonly refer to me as “The Fake Bait Heiress”, and I occasionally like to use the hashtag #northwoodswidow.  This is usually when talking about having hidden firearms fall on my head while packing boxes (true story – and it has happened more than once.  Seriously).

Inappropriate humor is all part of the process.  I swear the main reason I have been able to get through some days is because of my extremely dark sense of humor.  Yesterday on Facebook I posted this:

My widow jokes either make people spit out their coffee or run away. I prefer to stay friends with the ones who spit out their coffee 😉 . Mwhahahaaaaaaaaaaa

Dark humor is the best humor.  It helps us get through the day, and those of us who have gone through traumatic change or loss, or who work in extremely emotionally stressful jobs, need that outlet.  We need it to shock us out of our doldrums and make us feel human.

Some people join us in snickering, some people are appalled and run away.

Those who are appalled usually haven’t gone through what we have (not that we want them to…), and we can’t get upset that they don’t get it.  We are only responsible for ourselves, and we can’t mute our sense of humor because we fear others’ reactions.  That only makes it worse!

Let it out, embrace your “black as night” sense of humor.  We just need to keep joking, and keep the friends who are ok with how we grieve and adjust.  Write it in an email or a letter if you must.  But believe me, don’t squash or sensor it.  You’ll be miserable and overly serious.  And that’s when the darkness consumes you.

What is your way of coping?  Darker than dark?  Or a little grey- ish, headed towards a darker grey?

dark inappropriate humor




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts and our weekly newsletter. 


19 Comments on The Fake Bait Heiress and Her Guide to Inappropriate Humor.

  1. Cheryl "Outdoorgirl"
    May 1, 2014 at 6:42 pm (8 years ago)

    I LOVE your sense of humor. And…”The Fake Bait Heiress” is AWESOME! 🙂 I’m starting to get it more and more myself, to just be myself and not care what others think. Oh, the happiness that comes with that. Some comments get to me sometimes, but mostly, I shrug it off.

    • Hannah
      May 1, 2014 at 6:59 pm (8 years ago)

      I’m thinking it needs to be a regular column ;). “Ask the Fake Bait Heiress” mwhahahahaaaaa

  2. Kathy G
    May 1, 2014 at 7:05 pm (8 years ago)

    Hannah, you will never know how much I depend on your humor to get me thru some of my difficult hours (who am I kidding… days, weeks – LOL!) To see everything you have been thru and how you have always held up your head (no short jokes here, I promise, says the 6′ girl) gives me the confidence to take a deep breath and say “Here we go Again!” Keep it up!

    • Hannah
      May 1, 2014 at 7:16 pm (8 years ago)

      Humor is definitely our friend ;). I have my days that suck. This week has been especially hard, so I join you in the battle to say “here we go again!”. Let’s do this 🙂

  3. Patricia LeBlanc
    May 1, 2014 at 9:57 pm (8 years ago)

    I go to my dark side once in a while. I joke when i am mad or sad. I try to stay upbeat as much as I can. I to have had great loss, to the point i did not want to get out of bed, but I can’t do that and let other that I love to let down, So I keep on trucking.

    • Hannah
      May 1, 2014 at 10:16 pm (8 years ago)

      Love to you, Patricia!

  4. Wendy Schmoll
    May 1, 2014 at 10:14 pm (8 years ago)

    Darker than dark, I am. French Roast. Yeah, that’s a pretty dark one. Starbucks, no less. 🙂 I too have made what may seem – to some, anyways – some inappropriate comments in an attempt for others to understand my humor. For example: “Oh my, are you raising your son alone? Where is your husband? Are you divorced?” My response to that would be: “Nah, he took the easy way out. He died.” Well, it’s easier than paying child support, wouldn’t you say?
    I personally find it sad that there are some who must live life by the strictest of rules. I prefer living life outside the box with my autistic son. Life in the box, for those who follow the “majority rules” mentality, are actually the ones who are dark. Those of us that can find a light, a shining thread of hope, a giggle, a smile, a gut-splitting laugh through the darkest of times; we are the colors of the spectrum. Every day I have what others may call grief, stress, emotional pain, etc. But it isn’t from what others would call abnormal or strange – it is from those who walk in a constant gray zone. I have to transport from the spectrum of autism back into a gray box every day – in order to try to dim the light to fit into a “normal” society. Find a cure for Normal. Those of us that can hang on to sanity by finding laughter in all aspects of life already are. French Roast ROCKS!!!! 🙂

    P.S.: Don’t worry about what the “grays” think, Hannah. You shine in your own spectrum just hunky-dory fine in my book.

    • Hannah
      May 1, 2014 at 10:15 pm (8 years ago)

      I like your responses! My kinda lady :). I also adore French Roast!

  5. Alison
    May 1, 2014 at 11:10 pm (8 years ago)

    Hannah, I wish I had been born with more of a humor gene, as humor is definitely helpful in life. Sadly, I don’t always understand jokes, but do appreciate laughter. We all handle grief, depression, abuse, loss in different ways. I cry a lot; friends accept it, and I just say “my 3 bio-rhythms are out of whack.” Unless one has experienced that reason for grief or depression, no one else really understands it fully. I ‘m a workaholic and a random acts of kindness person to get me out of my low periods. Also look to positive inspirational quotes to boost me on my daily way. I rebuilt a life, but there is loss that will never heal completely.

  6. beth
    May 2, 2014 at 3:29 pm (8 years ago)

    I’m a light roast girl (literally) for the increased caffeine. But when it comes to humor, anything goes as long as it is honest. I love that you handle life’s surprises on your own terms. I wish everyone felt as safe and was as candid and cool as you. I think it’d make life a lot easier on all of us. Keep writing lady! Your doses of reality with a super shot of darkness brighten my day. (That really does sound horrible but I say that with lots of love…)

    • Hannah
      May 2, 2014 at 4:43 pm (8 years ago)

      Thank you!! That means so much coming from you :). Can’t wait to have coffee with you again.

  7. Brian
    May 2, 2014 at 4:38 pm (8 years ago)

    Having recently lost my best friend and wife of 37 yrs I can relate to what you are saying. Irreverence and dark humor have been a mainstay with me for years. It helps to get through some of the low periods. Given the price of guns and ammo these days, that could be valuable. Me, I am dealing with endless containers of yarn. Not much of a market there!

    • Hannah
      May 2, 2014 at 4:42 pm (8 years ago)

      Bahhaaaa! Maybe we should trade 😉

      • Diane Manville
        May 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm (8 years ago)

        Brian – I am so sorry for your loss but at least the yarn won’t fall on your head and crack it open like the guns do!! There are many things in life to be grateful for. A beloved companion for 37 years and soft yarn***** Big hugs!

  8. jenine marnocha
    May 3, 2014 at 8:24 am (8 years ago)

    Once someone came up from behind me (in Ireland) and tried to steal my bag. I literally fought the guy. Me and my 115 lb girlfriend, won. But, from then on I walked in fear and heart rushes every-time I FELT someone close behind me…. until… I went to this party… and they grabbed my music-percussion-egg, with a chicken painted on it… and said “I stole it from the wanna-be-theif bc it was his chicken-egg, not mine” I stole the chicken egg… they said…so the guy I stole it from, who was trying to steal my bag, was just a big chicken! From that moment on my fear vanished… gone… I laughed so hard… (so love Irish twist and humor) you seem to have that gene, BIG TIME. My loss doesn’t come close, but that lesson was in-valuable… Humor can heal so much… THANK YOU for yours.

  9. karen armstrong
    May 3, 2014 at 1:06 pm (8 years ago)

    Five years ago next week…….my dear, one time fiance of 3yrs. took a 410 to his temple & left a mess. A lifeless mess that his brother found at the bottom of his basement staircase.
    He had some pretty strong meds…he could have just swallowed 2 bottles of that stuff & he would have just went to sleep…but nope he went doing what he loved. Shooting. 🙂

    I miss him as much today as I did then.
    I laughed while others cried & because of the hurry up & bury him (secrets are just that secrets in a small town) so the show went on. Very few knew how he died & those that did were so pissed & some still are. LOL
    I laugh because this man with voices in his head & a mental disease that was literally & did take his life, used a pissy 410. He was a gun collector when I met him, I mean he had baits, guns, turkey mounts, deer mounts, grouse you name ….i always felt as if I lived in a stuffed animal realm. And know one, not even I being the last to hear his voice that night knew what he was going to do.
    I have cried, laughed, read and reread any & all books on death, etc…….I CHOOSE to believe this is a stepping off place..We have come & we will go on after we leave here…I CHOOSE to believe that.
    Am not bitter person yet I still laugh ——— a 410…..good thing it wasn’t a bb gun. I said that once to a friend & she didn’t spit she quit talking to me for a week. Then chastised me for being sac-religious. HUH?
    So I just left it be.
    Then the first time I went to the gravesite (a year later or so) one of his ex-girlfriends had put a WELCOME HERE sign….
    Now that was so effin funny. I stood there & laughed & spoke to the universe & said even in death he is friendly…..LMAO.
    Look so forward to when your words are placed in a binding & I purchase a copy & make sure there are no liquids around, I know I will/would be spitting the whole time.
    You are in my thoughts daily Miss Hannah.
    Courage & kindness for this Saturday.
    karen 🙂

    The sunshine came through the clouds.

  10. Diane Manville
    May 3, 2014 at 1:51 pm (8 years ago)

    Back in the 60’s, I attended a hospital-based nursing diploma program. While all my college friends were enjoying ‘freedom’, we were locked up with 9 pm curfews etc as if we were in a nunnery. I am proud to say that the most frequent comment on my clinical reviews was “inappropriate sense of humor”! God bless me – it was how I survived that particular nightmare for three years! I remember one of my classmates poking me to be quiet because I was unconsciously humming the Stones’s line ‘what a drag it is getting old..’ while we were caring for an elderly woman who was comatose. I know, I know. The darker the better** You are a true inspiration, Hannah****

  11. Alison
    May 3, 2014 at 4:12 pm (8 years ago)

    Hannah, Just remember you are entitled to be yourself every single day, whether perky, sad, hard-working, making jokes about being a widow, or escaping into travels on behalf of dog rescue…. whatever. There are many stages of grieving that just don’t disappear overnight. I believe Jim is with you in spirit, guiding you, loving you along as you find a new path. You need to give yourself credit for your courage, your grace, your spirit, your creativity, the love and goodwill you generate. Expanding a business in this economy and as a woman is HUGE. You’re also finding happiness in a new relationship with Al. Be kind to yourself. Everyone is just glad there is a Hannah with her camera sharing life’s journey!!!

  12. Rhonda
    May 7, 2014 at 5:08 pm (8 years ago)

    Hannah, I haven’t experienced the loss that you have, but I can tell you this, you handle all that you have been through with humor and grace, and let me tell you, I could only hope to deal with anything of that magnitude they way you have. You are a rock star to me and I love your sense of humor. Each of us deals with things in our own way, but I say if humor works then let it fly! I look forward to each day to see what is going on in your part of the world and what you are going to say! Big hugs to you my inter webs friend.. Keep on trucking!