It might be the taproot of humor: finding an implausible connection between one thing and another in an ironic way. For example, regarding gun control, The Daily Show’s John Oliver connects show bomber Richard Reid to the debate: “One failed attempt at a shoe bombing, and we all have to take off our shoes at the airport. Thirty-one school shootings since Columbine, and there’s been no change in the regulation of guns.”

Nice one, John, but if you weren’t a foreigner, you’d know that under the to the Constitution, the people have the right to bear arms, but the government retains the right to make us bare feet. For my money, the point was more sharply made by my former colleague at Spy, Elissa Schappell, now a critically acclaimed writer of fiction (Blueprints for Building Better Girls), who wrote (with some exasperation) on Facebook:

“Having trouble wrapping my head around this. The brothers responsible for the crock pot bombs that killed 3 and injured 170 were Americans. The manhunt for the 19-year-old resulted in cancelled trains and planes and forced those in the Boston region into their homes, [and] before being apprehended the suspect exchanged gunfire with the police. So, lets get this straight: there is no travel in or out of Boston, the Boston area is forced into lockdown, because an armed and dangerous man is on the loose, but background checks for guns are unnecessary and an infringement on our personal liberties.” Yeah!

Jamie Malanowski

Jamie Malanowski is a writer and editor. He has been an editor at Time, Esquire and most recently Playboy, where he was Managing Editor.