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Author Topic: Laughingstock  (Read 4819 times)

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« on: 08:33:07 PM 01/02/13 »
Giggling. Tittering. Snickering. Guffaws, chuckles, snorts. Ha-ha, tee-hee, ho-ho, haw-haw, hee-haw.

A cacophony of laughter.

All I wanted was for the laughing to stop.

It started off simple enough. I had been sitting in a restaurant, having just made a big sale for a garden seed company of all things, when the waitress caught my eye. Tall, red hair, amazing body.

She came over to my table and asked what I wanted, and I made some half-assed joke in an attempt to spark conversation.

She laughed. Politely at first, as if she'd heard this (or something similar) a thousand times before. Then, the laughter built as if she was really "getting" the quip. It wasn't long before she was laughing uncontrollably, her curvacious body jiggling until she fell to the floor in a giggling heap.

At this point, I thought she was making fun of me.

The other patrons and waitstaff looked over. All eyes were on me and on the girl. Then, the man behind the counter started to chuckle. The children at the corner booth erupted in hoots and giggles. It wasn't long... minutes, really... before everyone in the entire place was deafening me with this strange round of laughter and applause.

I smiled, though my face was red and I felt like flipping the table. I nodded, waived, and said a variety of self-deprecating apologies, like; "Thank you, I'm here all week," and "Hey, can't blame a guy for trying, right?"

I'm sure they couldn't hear me over their own din.

This went on for ten... fifteen minutes... and the restaurant only fell quiet again once I had fled for my already damaged ego.

On the streets, the bedraggled, drunken masses of "night life" wandered aimlessly from bar to bar. As I passed, they'd turn to look at me.

They'd point.

They'd laugh.

There's nothing unusual about a drunk laughing at something that isn't particularly funny... but this was different. Everyone was doing it. When I walked past the large windows of the taverns and bistros... no matter how ritzy or hardcore the clientele, it was like walking past a television set. From the other side.

Large glass screens through which the entertained viewers witnessed the most amusing act they'd ever seen.

It didn't stop when I heaved a garbage can through one of these "screens".

Patrons with rotten trash on their dinner plates, or freshly broken glass on their clothes and in their faces... they just continued to react with glee. It was like my violent outburst was just the climax of some elaborate comedy routine.

In the days that followed, it occurred to me that I could do anything.


People wouldn't serve me. Cashiers fell behind their counters, doubled over. Waiters and bartenders dropped trays and glasses. Salesmen banged their fists on their desks, then their heads.

All of them laughing, laughing, laughing.

One man, a heavy-set businessman with a cane... I think he actually asphyxiated and died right in front of me.

I robbed a bank.

It was the first thing that came to mind when I realized I could do whatever I wanted, and I don't know what that says about me.

I walked into the place, and shouting over the echoes of happy, demented noises, I demanded two sackfuls of cash. The only problem with this plan, the only hinderance to this bold, epic crime, was the fact that they were more interested in throwing handfuls of bills into the air over my head than actually filling the sacks.

I didn't need the money, though. As I came to realize, being stinking rich is pointless when you can just push past a quivering employee and help yourself to everything on the shelves.

Later, I boldly strolled into the police station just to see what would happen. The reaction was predictable. As I freely moved about the most secure areas of the most secure place I could walk to, I suddenly noticed laughter coming from behind a closed door.

When I poked my head inside, there I was... on a myriad of computer monitors, where an endless loop of footage was playing. The bank heist. At first, the two cops inside were fixated on the screens, barely able to catch their breath. When their red, tear-streaked faces turned toward me, the real me, all they did was point as if to say "there's the guy!" while their belly-laughs grew louder.

One thing I thought about... but something I'd NEVER follow through on... was the fact I could pretty much do any sick, depraved thing I wanted TO anyone I wanted... Celebrities. Pop stars. Just random women I passed on the street. Anyone.

As I say, that's not something I'd do. That's not me. But it did pop into my mind like any errant thought that makes you ashamed of yourself. Just as quickly, I realized that even if I WAS that sort of person - who could possibly do that while being laughed at?!

What was so hilarious? I must've spent hours in front of the mirror, trying to see what might look silly or strange. I wore all different clothes, I combed my hair differently, I tried everything but apparently I was still ridiculous.

I stood on a rooftop once, planning to shout out at everyone below just to see how large this pandemic could spread. Everyone within sight seemed to go about their normal lives until I called to them. Then, they all turned at once. Just as quickly, I was assaulted by a volley of the noise I'd become accustomed to, riccocheting off the buildings around me.

I was truly the town laughingstock.

It seemed to get worse, as well. At first, I had to gain someone's attention for them to react to me. Eventually, however, all I had to do was crack the door or peer through my curtains and anyone passing by would immediately snap their head to look at me.

People started gathering on my lawn. Random assortments of housewives, bikers, children, Grandmothers... anyone and everyone. They'd stand there in clusters, just waiting for any sign of me. Sometimes one or two would wander off, either out of boredom or some unknowable influence... but they'd always be replaced by the same or a greater number.

I lined them up on slopes and rolled them down into tangled brush, hoping they'd stay there. I put them on ledges and shoved them off... watched them spiral, carefree, to gruesome bone-shattering thuds.

More. More of them. Always more. I couldn't take it anymore. Months had passed, and... I wanted to DIE more than I wanted to hear their obnoxious, gutteral expressions of joy.

I started shooting them.


One minute, laughing... the next, brains on the wall.

They didn't duck or move away, they just stood there and looked down the barrel of my gun... my guns, since I could have whatever I wanted... and they'd just smile in anticipation of the final punchline.

It didn't matter who they were, how they looked, their age... nothing. I didn't care, because as far as I was concerned, these lobotomized chuckle-zombies were already as good as dead to me. The most I could hope for now was some PEACE AND QUIET.

It never ended, though. For every one that went away, there was another... and another... and another... I caught onto something after the bodies started piling up.

I started checking wallets.


I checked one guy's ID and he was from the next state over! What the fuck?

That night... the night I realized this would never end... I put a gun to my own head and pulled the trigger. I didn't have to think about it. I didn't leave a long, drawn-out suicide note - becuase I'm sure it would've just become a best-selling humor novel at this point.


Yeah. Out of bullets. Otherwise how would I be writing this?

I had convinced myself nothing would change, and that I didn't want to live in such a predictable, yet disorienting and disturbing world anymore.

And THAT, of COURSE, is the point where everything DID change.

Since I tried to kill myself, nobody thinks I'm funny.

They stare. Leer, gawk, peer, focus in. They watch, they study, they squint. Stalking, following, observing... THEY GLARE.

They glare at me. They hate me now, and I don't know why. They block me from wandering behind their counters... block me from entering buildings... they line up in the open and link arms and try to close off whole streets.

What did I do that's worse than gunning them down in the streets? Worse than stealing from and abusing them? WHY ARE THEY LOOKING AT ME WITH SUCH HATRED IN THEIR EYES?!

Is it because I tried to end the joke?

God help me, I want the laughter back.
If I should live until I wake, I pray the web my death to fake.


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Re: Laughingstock
« Reply #1 on: 10:25:25 PM 02/02/13 »
This would make for a good episode of The Twilight Zone.


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Re: Laughingstock
« Reply #2 on: 10:32:59 PM 02/02/13 »
... Only my favorite show EVER. :D
If I should live until I wake, I pray the web my death to fake.

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Re: Laughingstock
« Reply #3 on: 08:25:11 PM 10/16/13 »
Its not his fault, he just has such a Funnymouth!



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Re: Laughingstock
« Reply #4 on: 06:01:18 PM 06/19/15 »
This would make for a good episode of The Twilight Zone.
- Exactly what I was thinking! Rod woulda loved it.


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Re: Laughingstock
« Reply #5 on: 07:53:14 AM 08/20/16 »
You never know what you have until it's gone.....