I have the sense of humour of a 14 year-old boy sometimes.
These figures are from a presentation about breast cancer. Is it really really bad that the one on the right made me snicker?
Luckily, I didn’t LOL.
Bad karma day today.

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
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29 Responses to I am NSFW

  1. Stephen Curry says:

    To answer your question: yes, yes it is.
    Now get on your bike and do some training…

  2. Cath Ennis says:

    I have to go to the dentist first though 🙁

  3. Maxine Clarke says:

    As is so often the case, I don’t understand the joke. Anyway, I don’t think anything about breast cancer is funny so no, I would not have sniggered even if I did get the joke.

  4. Richard P. Grant says:

    I disagree with Stephen.

  5. Stephen Curry says:

    Oh no you don’t!

  6. Richard P. Grant says:

    Behind you!

  7. Richard Wintle says:

    …and the one on the left…
    never mind.
    Should have taken the high road and agreed with Maxine I guess.

  8. Richard P. Grant says:

    Naw, it’s more fun this way.

  9. Cath Ennis says:

    Well, you know how it is: when all you think about all day, every day is cancer, it’s impossible to stay on the high road all the time. You should hear some of the jokes / stories my doctor and vet friends tell!

  10. Richard P. Grant says:

    Hell yeah. Joking about serious things is what keeps us sane, I swear.

  11. Richard P. Grant says:

    Actually, the one on the left looks like it’s in a mammography machine, so this is all totally appropriate. \o/

  12. Cath Ennis says:

    “Joking about serious things is what keeps us sane”
    If I didn’t think cancer was a serious business, I wouldn’t have taken a pay cut to move from industry back to the cancer agency where I actually feel like I’m doing something important, giving up the chance of annual bonuses and bigger annual salary increases in the process. I wouldn’t work extra (unpaid) hours every week, I wouldn’t be working on grants at 11pm on Sundays and in the intermissions of gold medal Olympic hockey games, and I wouldn’t spend my weekends training for a 260km bike ride that will raise money for cancer research.
    But if I see breast cancer cells producing data plots that look like boobies, hell yeah I’m gonna find it funny!

  13. Bob O'Hara says:

    Thank you for this penetrating analysis.

  14. Cath Ennis says:

    “You’re welcome, Bob!”

  15. Richard P. Grant says:
  16. Cath Ennis says:

    Wow, that’s a big ‘un

  17. Alejandro Correa says:


  18. Richard P. Grant says:

    Nice of you to say so, Cath.

  19. Maxine Clarke says:

    Why is it being on a high road to think that nothing about breast cancer is funny? It’s just the truth, in my case, nothing “high road” about it. It’s interesting what people do find to laugh about, as you say, but I am sure there is no direct relationship with how much time a day one spends with and around cancer.
    (I still don’t understand why the picture is funny. Is it because it is a graph about breast cancer, shaped like a breast? And if so, why is that funny? )

  20. Åsa Karlström says:

    Cath: What’s the name of that bird with the blue feet?!!? So cute! I want one.
    (as for the other thing, I didn’t get the analogy/see the same thing as you did but the one my head told me was lewd and not appropriate 😉
    In general, I think it is one of those things… you work too close with some things that are awful and hurts a lot and then you need to deal with it. It’s just too much sometimes. You just need to remember that it is sometimes hard to translate it to other people who aren’t in the same spot.
    I remember the first time a parent to a child with cancer who I met in the cafeteria of work joked with me about something that wasn’t really PC/easy to misunderstand. I had saucer eyes and didn’t know where to turn. awkward much! She was kind enough to explain what she meant and why… and why she thought it was ok for her… it was either that or cry all the time. It had to be ok to joke but it’s important to remember in which crowd/context.)

  21. Richard P. Grant says:

    Maxine—boobs, willies and farts are the basis of all serious humour. I read it on the internets so it must be true.

  22. Stephen Curry says:

    Åsa – Cath’s picture is a Booby (no kidding) and Richard is a tit.
    Sorry, that should read “Richard’s”

  23. Åsa Karlström says:

    Thanks Stephen! I get the other jokes then (but it is sad that you had to spell it out I guess) 🙂

  24. Austin Elliott says:

    Which of course raises the interesting point that some kinds of humour are (particular) language-independent… but most verbal humour is language-specific.

  25. Richard P. Grant says:

    you missed out the ‘great’, Stephen.

  26. steffi suhr says:

    Oh Cath, I can so relate to that. And just to spell it out: it seems perfectly clear that you were not finding breast cancer (or anything about it) funny, but rather the association your brain made in the situation – which to me is perfectly obvious when you think the word ‘breast’ and see that graph.
    Then again, I still remember having a (absolutely non-suppressible) hysterical giggling fit as a thirteen-year old during the ‘Holy Communion’ at a catholic service1 – it was the little bells, together with the priest’s outfit, that got to me. Needless to say: that went over like a fart in church.
    1 growing up protestant, we were made to go for ‘educational reasons’… or something.

  27. Cath Ennis says:

    Wow, this went off in all kinds of unexpected directions! This is why I enjoy blogging so much.
    Åsa has it exactly right when she says “It has to be ok to joke but it’s important to remember in which crowd/context”.
    I thought this was a “safe” crowd, given the response to other posts I’ve written here that were both silly and cancer-related. (Everything I do is cancer-related, so any silly work-related post I write falls into the same category, really). Maybe I misjudged that, but I think Steffi’s comment in particular shows that most of us in this line of work “get it”.
    Obviously we’re all different, with different senses of humour and ways of coping. When my favourite Auntie was undergoing breast cancer treatment, she made all kinds of jokes about her bald head and lopsided boobies. It was just her way of coping. The next patient her doctor saw each day might have been the opposite – that’s why my oncologist and nurse colleagues all take their cue from each individual patient. But it’s a bit much to go from “we all have a different sense of humour” to “no-one who works in a ‘serious’ industry is allowed to find any part of their working day funny”. If that was true, I’d have gone loopy years ago, and so would pretty much every colleague I’ve ever had in my >9 years in this business.
    Steffi, I’ve also had a giggling fit in a Catholic church service. I was quite a bit older than you were though – 20 years old, and attending a family friend’s christening. My Dad and all his family are Catholic, although he’s not religious any more, and my Mum’s protestant and mildly religious. So when it came time to take communion, only 3 people didn’t go up to the front – me, my Dad, and my (Catholic) godmother. We all got the giggles at that point, but everyone else was up front with their backs turned to us and they didn’t notice.
    I had another giggling fit in response to Stephen’s last comment 🙂

  28. Austin Elliott says:

    Cath, Steffi
    My version of a similar experience in a religious service was my maternal grandad’s (Catholic) funeral.
    My grandparents were regular though not desperately devout churchgoing Catholics, but my parents are wholly irreligious. When we went to my grandad’s funeral we were placed, as principal mourners, right in the front row. Of course we had zero idea how a Catholic funeral mass went, so we could only tell when we were supposed to kneel, and stand, by the noises from behind us, or by my younger brother and I (aged something like 12 and 14 at the time) taking turns to look round and check. I remember it as distinctly embarrassing and a bit surreally comic, all in all.

  29. Cath Ennis says:

    Loving these stories!
    My Dad and his friend went travelling around Europe when they were in their early 20s, and met some very pretty young Austrian girls one day. When the girls left the cafe to go to mass, my Dad and his friend identified themselves as fellow Catholics, and offered to accompany them. Unfortunately, my Dad’s friend was rather inebriated and fell asleep during the mass. This wasn’t a problem until he leaned a little too far forward, towards a candle, and his shirt went up in flames.
    100% true story – according to my Dad, anyway, and his friend, who verified the tale at my Dad’s 50th birthday party.

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