|Shecky of Antioch|
Patron Saint of Yo Mamma Jokes
I'm not saying all martyrs, but a pretty fair percentage of them were definitely looking for trouble and deserved whatever they got. Very few people were ever just walking down the street and got themselves martyred.
Now some people are martyred in the act of doing something genuinely worthwhile, and that's different. Like say you're this really great plumber. I mean like a genius plumber. You are to plumbing what Michaelangelo was to ceilings. And one day, a buddy says, "Hey, word to the wise. Certain Powers That Be want that pipe to drip." And you're like, "No way I'm not fixing this pipe. A plumber's got to do what a plumber's got to do. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, a plumber's gotta plumb." And you fix the pipe, and you die for it because fixing that particular pipe happened to step on some very powerful toes. That kind of martyrdom's okay because you're serving humanity. But other martyrs, let's face it, want to be martyrs first and foremost, and humanity can go take a flying flip for all they care.
You can tell the people who want to be martyrs because they're happy about it. For anyone else, it's an inconvenience. "Do you really have to martyr me now? I have this toilet I need to plunge."
If you want to be a martyr, there's a few basic steps. First of all, antagonize people who're bigger than you, more numerous than you, and better armed than you. Back in Bible days, calling people vipers usually did the trick. Call them vipers or anything in a den - "dens of vipers" "dens of thieves" etcetera. The only thing worse than being a plain viper is being a viper in a den. A plain viper maybe can't help it; a viper in a den is up to something.
Then you talk about their parents: how their parents were dens of vipers. And their parents. And their parents.
Now when your audience starts gnashing their teeth, you know you've really got them where you want them. In normal social situations, if you see any tooth-gnashing, it's a sign you better lighten up; but in a martyr-type set-up, the more gnashing the better. You see them gnashing their teeth and maybe looking around for rocks to throw, then you're pretty much set. (Oh, I forgot to mention: it helps to do this where there's a lot of loose rocks lying around. If you do it on the beach, it may not work so well.)
Now, once the rocks start flying, here's the hat trick: forgive them. You got to do this just right for the full effect. Forgiveness can't imply an apology - it can't be something like, "Hey, I forgive you for stoning me to death. Fact is, I was being kind of a pest. I should've taken the hint when you started all that tooth-gnashing." No, the way you forgive them, is just straight-out forgiveness, like they started stoning you out of the blue only you're too nice a guy to hold it against them. That'll really piss them off, but by then you'll already be dead and they can't do anything about it.
And that's how to be a martyr.