I have that coal miner picture on a wall in my office. No joke. I look at it every now and then, when I think I'm having a bad day at work.
"No matter how shitty you think your life is, pal," the coal miner tells me, "At least you don't have to work down in the deepest, darkest shit hole of this sad excuse for a planet. I spend all day breathing and swallowing this black shit. And when I finally get home after fourteen hours of sweating this black shit, I sit on the toilet and I shit this black shit. And when my miserable sun-less life finally ends, it'll probably be when a tunnel collapses, and my ass gets buried alive in this black, black shit."
But then the gruff coal miner gets angry at himself for what he perceives to be an unforgivable moment of self-pity. So as a reminder of sorts, he tapes a photo of a homeless kid on his bathroom wall. This way, he can turn and look at it when he feels the coal dust in his feces burn his sphincter.
"You think you have it bad, mister," says the homeless kid to the coal miner. "At least you make enough money to eat every day and put a roof over your fat, fucking head. Never mind the roof, at least you have a mattress, man! Wait, never mind the bed - I just want some fucking shoes. My feet are freezing so bad; just the other night this giant rat came by and chewed half my toenail off, and I didn't even feel it, man. You shoulda seen it yo, big as a fucking monkey."
Of course, a monkey interrupts to tell his story. That's the thing about monkeys - always jumping into the middle of a conversation.
"Did somebody say 'monkey?'" he asks the homeless kid with half a toenail. "Listen, you whiny little bitch, who cares about having no shoes? These Chinese assholes are about to eat my brain as an appetizer while I'm still alive. I thought only zombies did this shit. Oh Lord, I hope I at least get to SARS-ify all these brain-eating pricks."
Just then a pair of chopsticks scoops out the part of the brain where complaints come from, and now the monkey is feeling less bitter and more contemplative.
"Sure this is a pretty pathetic way to go," he says, "But at least I can say that up to this point I lived life the way it was truly meant to be lived. I may no longer have a brain, but I at least have something even more important: a soul - unlike this poor bastard."