A funny thing happened on the way to LA County Hospital…
by Jaime Becker
I came to Los Angeles from a small, unremarkable suburb in Illinois. My writing career was moving along when the unthinkable happened: my friend and I were hit by a car as pedestrians. I went flying and hit a parked car with my head and then landed on the street. My friend fell on top of me. She popped up and immediately went into Criminal Minds mode and attempted to write down the license plate as the guy zoomed away; while I lay on the street positive I was going to die, desperately wanting to find my cell so I could call my family and tell them that I loved them one last time.
When the person doesn’t stop to check to see if you are dead or not, it is up to you to pay all the medical bills; and it didn’t help that I was laid off from my film and television development executive position right after the accident. Yup, I was physically and financially screwed and not in the happy, sexy way.
My life went from pitching ideas and writing scripts to visiting physical therapists and doctors.
When I was hit, I was utterly terrified, but part of me – the writer part – thought this situation is ridiculous. Here I am strapped to a gurney, shouting at the paramedics that I couldn’t believe they didn’t have a bedpan or even paper towels in the ambulance because getting hit by a car scared the “sh*t” out of me — literally… well, not really… I was holding it in. As the paramedics carried me in to LA County Hospital aka American Horror Story screaming, “She has to go to the bathroom,” I couldn’t help thinking this isn’t a drama at all.
Yup, I stared in the face of my own mortality and laughed my freaking butt off. The comedy genius Mel Brooks said it best: “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.” A true comedic writer can find the funny in any trauma/tragedy that life throws at them — it is all perspective and makes for the best material.
I am a survivor. I am a storyteller. I am grateful that I am all healed up and back to creating original material with my writing partner, Correne Kristiansen (who has also been hit by a car… but really, it’s L.A., who hasn’t been?). I swear on my second chance at life to find the humor in anything — and write. Oh, and yeah, I still giggle every time I see a bedpan, which thankfully is not that often.Tags: Comedy, Correne Kristiansen, Getting hit by a car, Hollywood, Jaime Becker, Los Angeles, Turning lemons into lemonade