Why Things Happen

They say everything happens for a reason. It turns out they are right. Mark Peters explains.


Thanks to new information acquired when my tinfoil hat slipped off for a minute, I can tell you the reasons behind many otherwise perplexing or vexing events. If you think you’re living in a random, meaningless universe, prepare to be comforted and enlightened.

Thing: You lost your job.

Suspected reasons: Poor economy. Your boss is a tool. You’re terrible at your job.

Actual reason: Odin lost your job to Xenu at poker.

Thing: Wealthy people control everything.

Suspected reasons: Greed. Conspiracy. Corruption.

Actual reason: The secret lizard people who control everything are terrible with money, so they give power to the wealthy in exchange for a healthy allowance.

Thing: A dude at the coffee shop keeps yelling into his phone about his dog’s diarrhea.

Suspected reason: He’s a jackass.

Actual reason: God is a dog, and He was concerned about His own digestive health but also hard of hearing. Therefore, making that guy yell was His best option.

Thing: Many people believe the Rapture is coming.

Suspected reasons: People are crazy and gullible. The Rapture is coming.

Actual reason: Thor tried to assemble some shelves from IKEA with his hammer and hit his thumb really hard. This always results in Rapture-mania, which should go down with the swelling of Thor’s thumb.

Thing: Earthquakes.

Suspected reason: Shifting tectonic plates.

Actual reason: Ghosts. You see, ghosts cause natural disasters when they’re bored.

Thing: Leggings commonly worn as pants.

Suspected reasons: Women are crazy. The fashion world is desperate.

Actual reason: Athena has been wearing leggings since time immemorial, and she demands company.

Thing: A bird pooped on your head.

Suspected reasons: Bad luck. Good luck. Birds are evil.

Actual reason: That was no bird. It was an angel. Angels are the Jerky Boys of the cosmos.

Thing: You fell in love.

Suspected reasons: True love. Destiny. Hormones. Soulmates.

Actual reason: Cupid got wasted and drunk-arrowed you.

Thing: Overprescription of drugs to children and adults.

Suspected reason: The pharmaceutical business is in cahoots with doctors.

Actual reason: The pharmaceutical business is in cahoots with the Virgin Mary. Long story.

Thing: The McRib will not stay away, nor will it disappear forever.

Suspected reason: McDonald’s is a tease.

Actual reason: Like werewolves, McRib outbreaks are caused by the moon.

Thing: Your teenage daughter is pregnant.

Suspected reasons: You failed as a parent. She’s naturally expressing her sexuality. Abstinence education. Teenage boys are slimeballs.

Actual reason: Zeus, in the form of a horse, made love to your daughter. What a blessing!

Thing: House destroyed in fire.

Suspected reason: Fire.

Actual reason: Liberals.

Thing: Your dog rolled in a giant pile of poo at the park.

Suspected reasons: You dog is gross. Instinct.

Actual reason: Nostradamus foretold this one all the way.

Things: Starvation, disease, war, terrorism, genocide.

Suspected reasons: Global inequity. God doesn’t exist. Everyone is the worst.

Actual reason: Everyone is the worst.

Illustration by Hallie Bateman

Mark Peters is a humorist and language columnist who has written for Esquire, The Funny Times, Psychology Today, Salon, and Slate. He analyzes jokes for McSweeney's, collects euphemisms for Visual Thesaurus, and offers helpful advice on Twitter such as “I stay productive by breaking every task into three parts: the dread, the middle, and the regret.”