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Things Couldn’t Possibly Get Worse

couldn't get worse

There has never been a phrase so inviting of its own contradiction than the phrase “things couldn’t possibly get worse.”

The mere utterance of the phrase is a virtual guarantee that things are about to go horribly wrong.


You’re hiking through the woods with a friend. You’re beginning to think you’ve lost your bearings and are uncertain about where you are. You have increasing suspicions that your friend’s cartography skills were exaggerated.

You transition from being uncertain of where you are to complete certainty you are lost. Nighttime is approaching, a thunderhead is gathering overhead, you’re friend has just stepped in a giant pile of bear crap (which, as much as it amuses you, is a tad alarming), and you’ve come to the conclusion that your friend’s cartography skills were wildly exaggerated.

As the first streak of lightning burns across the sky, your friend turns to you and says, “well, things couldn’t possibly get worse.”

Without saying a word, you retrieve a stick from the forest floor. You study the stick for a moment, then pull out a jackknife and whittle the stick into a fine point.

You turn to your friend and pause for a moment as he anticipates what you’re going to do, then you jab your friend in the eye with the stick.

“Things are worse now, aren’t they,” you say triumphantly.

Your friend is angry, but you were trying to prove a point…plus, it really irritated you when “Mr. Map Expert” referred to the contour lines on his topographical map as squigglies.

You crash through the forest in the darkness and pouring rain for an interminable amount of time, hopelessly lost and almost sure you’re being stalked by either a bear or bigfoot.

Luck finally smiles upon you as you come across a country road, and there’s a vehicle approaching. Your friend jumps into the road, waving his hands to gain the driver’s attention.

Your friend mistimes his leap into the road and is struck by the car. As it turns out, being poked in one eye with a sharp stick seriously reduces your depth perception.

“I guess things couldn’t get worse,” you finally concede to your friend as he lies on the road in a whimpering mass.

The words barely leave your lips when a bear lurches from the trees and mauls your friend. Bigfoot just watches.

After a lengthy recovery period and extensive physical and mental therapy, your friend is fine.

On the plus side, with all the scars on his face and the eyepatch, he looks like a real badass.

You would tell him that if you were still on speaking terms.


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14 thoughts on “Things Couldn’t Possibly Get Worse

  1. I think the best antidote to inane remarks like “it can’t get any worse” is an even more inane response like “look on the bright side.”

    When your friend says it can’t get any worse and you stab him in the eye, you can say “Look on the bright side, you get to wear a cool eye patch.”

    When he gets struck by a car, you can say “Look on the bright side, you get to use all that insurance money you’ve been paying for years.”

    When he gets mauled by a bear, you can say “Look on the bright side, you’ll be on the news at eleven.”

    Always look on the bright side.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. People who say things like “things couldn’t possibly get worse” simply lack imagination.
    Things can always get worse with one more jab by a sharp stick. And one more. And one more. Of course, there a chance that things will get better from a jab by a sharp stick – that’s the basis of the acupuncture, but an average jabber will miss everyone one of those magic acupunctural points.


  3. LOL! Yep. Life is sometimes just like a crap sandwich. Pass the mustard….


  4. So that’s where you’ve been – out in the woods mutilating friends?


  5. Some people are just so unappreciative of all the things we do for them.

    But, as they say, it beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.


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