Rarasaur has devised Prompts For The Promptless. Every week, we’re given a new topic to discuss. I have been very lax in my participation since this is the first time I’ve actually, um, participated. Apparently, I mostly suck. This week’s theme is schadenfreude.

Oh, how I love the Germans. Leave it to them to come up with an untranslatable phrase for deriving pleasure from the misfortune of others. I’m a big fan of both the word and its meaning.

That’s not to say that I purposely torture people to gain pleasure from it. Quite the opposite. I usually try to help people avoid potential misfortune when I see it coming, but sometimes, there’s just nothing you can do but let gravity take its course. Really, the only kind of schadenfreude I find funny is FAIL.

There are all different kinds of FAIL, too. The only kind I do not enjoy is the kind where people actually get injured. That is not so funny. However, if it’s clear that the person involved will be alright, it’s hilarious. Most of those fall under the category “what were you even thinking?” like so:

People doing stupid things and failing spectacularly on camera is almost always funny.

Then there’s spelling and grammar FAIL. has eked out a niche for itself in this category:


But, I find that the funniest are not bad translations, but just dumb mistakes:


Especially when they are incredibly ironic:


And then there’s just the adorable kind of FAIL, usually involving animals or children:

It’s nice to know that Homo sapiens are not the only species capable of FAIL. We are not alone in our bad judgment.

But, far and away, my favorite kind of FAIL is when someone is trying to do something mean to someone else and ends up failing themselves. I call this comeuppance FAIL.

Sometimes, revenge is sweet and immediate.

I don’t just laugh at other people’s FAIL; I find my own hilarious. For example, just now, I walked into the kitchen and saw my roommate. I thought he was asleep and was not expecting him to be in the kitchen. He startled me so much that I stepped backwards into the vacuum cleaner and nearly fell on my ass. I thought it was hilarious and I’m still laughing.

A few years back at work, someone left a hand truck in front of my desk. I tripped over it and fell on my ass in front of my boss. My hand and leg were still entangled in it when I fell. I sat there for a good minute with my legs akimbo. I couldn’t get up, not because I was hurt, but because I was laughing so hard. If we can’t laugh at our own human failures, what exactly is the point?

So, no matter what kind of FAIL you are guilty of, and it is guaranteed that you are guilty of one sort of FAIL or another, laugh at it because FAIL is funny. Humans are not infallible. High five!


Or awkward handshake fist bump. Your choice.