To Laugh And Laugh Not, Part 2.

August 24, 2016

Steve looked at Tony. “What do you mean?”

“Well, Ian was having thoughts of your head getting pounded by the hydraulic hammer press, so why not think of him in an equally unpleasant predicament?”

“Like what?”

“Just let your mind wander,” Tony suggested. “You’ll come up with something.”

After a moment of silence and concentrating, Steve’s face suddenly lit up with a smile as he let out a chuckle. “I think I got it.”

“What did you come up with?”

“I’m imagining Ian with an air hose in his mouth that’s inflating his head like a balloon.”

Tony smiled and chuckled softly. “That’s a good one. I’m sure Ian would love to hear all about it.”

“Thanks, Tony,” Steve said, getting up to go back inside. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

As Steve reentered the bar, he saw Ian seated at their table, his back slouched in shame as he continued staring at his iced tea. “Okay Ian,” Steve announced, “I’m ready to continue the game.”

“You feeling better?” Ian asked softly.

“Yes, thanks to Tony,” Steve replied. “While you were moping at the table, Tony actually came out to talk to me and offer me words of comfort, something you should’ve done, but gee, let me guess, I’m thinking you were more focused on that hydraulic hammer press pounding my head.”

Ian slowly rose and returned to the pool table without saying a word. He picked up his cue stick and asked, “So whose turn is it?”

“It’s still my turn, “Steve said. “Remember? I was trying to concentrate on my shot when you started laughing, and now I know why.”

Steve aimed his cue stick at the next ball he planned to sink and prepared his next shot.

Pound, pound, pound…

Ian began laughing softly to himself while looking away from the pool table so Steve couldn’t see his face. Steve proceeded with his shot while knowing full well that Ian was back to laughing at his funny thoughts, but this time, though, Steve was ready.

“Missed,” Steve sighed as he watched the 2-ball miss the pocket. Now it was Ian’s turn.

Ian walked up to the pool table and scanned it for any shots he could make. Once he spotted a ball to sink, he prepared his shot and was ready to shoot. Steve began imagine Ian with the air hose inflating his head and began to laugh.

“Steve!” Ian yelled. “I’m trying to concentrate here!”

Ian’s head was getting bigger and bigger….

Steve couldn’t stop laughing, and this only infuriated Ian further.

“STOP LAUGHING!” Ian roared.

Immediately Steve stopped laughing but the thoughts couldn’t leave his mind. He stifled himself as he watched Ian line up the cue ball with the ball he was planning to sink. Just as Ian was ready to shoot the cue ball…

Ian’s head was now so big that his eyeballs became as big as beach balls.

Steve suddenly roared with laughter as Ian threw down his cue stick in frustration. Ian then stormed up to Steve to confront him face to face.

“Why are you laughing when I’m trying to concentrate?” Ian hissed.

“Sorry,” Steve giggled. “I’m just having funny thoughts.”

“What about?”

“You.”

“ME?” Ian yelled. “Just thinking of me makes you laugh?”

“Well no,” Steve explained, trying hard not to laugh. “But when there’s an air hose in your mouth inflating your head like a balloon, MAN, IT’S TOO MUCH!”

“YOU REALLY THINK THAT’S FUNNY?”

“Oh yeah!” Steve yelled back. “It’s just as funny as my head getting pounded by a hydraulic hammer press!”

“You know what?” Ian yelled. “I’m going to just stand here and keep imagining your head getting pounded by the press!”

“And I’m going to stand here and imagine your head getting bigger and bigger!”

“Fine!”

“FINE!”

And so Ian and Steve stood there with angry faces, quietly staring at each other as their thoughts raged inside their heads.

Pound, pound, pound…

Ian’s head getting bigger and bigger…

Pound, pound, pound…

Bigger and bigger…

Pound, pound, pound…

Bigger and bigger…

Suddenly the hydraulic hammer press smashed itself to bits and collapsed in a pile of metal on the floor of Ian’s mind.

Ian’s head was now so big that it popped with a loud bang, leaving behind nothing but empty space in Steve’s thoughts.

“What happened?” Steve asked as his thoughts faded.

“I just imagined the hydraulic hammer press smashing itself to pieces. I can’t imagine it anymore.” Ian said.

“And I just imagined your head popping. Hard to imagine anything else after that.” Steve added.

“So we’re done with our funny thoughts?” Ian asked.

“I believe we are,” Steve replied. “Maybe that was the only way to get rid of them.”

“I hear you,” Ian said, returning to the pool table to resume his turn. “Now let’s see if we can finish this game.”

As Tony stood behind the counter watching Ian and Steve finish their game without any further interruptions, his own mind began to wander.

There they were, Ian and Steve, inside the ring, ready to fight it out for the world boxing championship. Steve threw a punch at Ian’s head, causing Ian’s neck to stretch several feet before snapping back to its normal size. Ian responded with a punch that briefly stretched Steve’s neck the same way, and so the fight continued with punches and stretching necks…

Tony let out a loud laugh that distracted both Ian and Steve from their game.

“What’s so funny, Tony?” Steve asked.

“Sorry,” Tony replied. “Funny thoughts.”

“SHUT UP!” Ian and Steve both yelled.

FIN

To Laugh And Laugh Not, Part 1.

August 23, 2016

Ian and his best friend Steve were playing billiards at The Watering Hole, their favorite place to spend their Thursdays together. As Steve maintained control of the table with shots that sank ball after ball that brought him closer to the 8-ball, Ian’s mind began to wander as he stood there with pool cue in hand.

Hello, and welcome to Ian’s Hydraulic Hammer Press Channel, the show in which I crush anything and everything with my 500-ton hydraulic hammer press! I’ve got a special treat for you today, in which I will crush the head of my best friend Steve! Are you ready, Steve?”

I don’t think this is a good idea,” Steve replied as he lay strapped to the table.

Steve,” Ian snapped, “The camera is rolling and we’re wasting time. Let’s get on with it!”

NO!”

Ian dove out of the way and activated the switch that sent the hydraulic hammer press down to pound Steve’s head again and again until it was flat as a pancake.

Ian snickered as his daydream drew to a close.

“What’s so funny?” Steve asked.

“Oh, I’m just having funny thoughts,” Ian replied.

“Oh,” Steve sighed as he concentrated on sinking the next ball.

Pound, pound, pound went the hydraulic hammer press on Steve’s head.

Ian let out a louder laugh that again distracted Steve.

“Funny thoughts again, Ian?” Steve asked, annoyed.

“Yeah,” Ian replied sheepishly, “Sorry.”

Steve let out a louder sigh as he again attempted to concentrate on his next shot.

Pound, pound, pound…

Ian let out a hysterical fit of laughter that nearly sent him to the floor.

“Dammit Ian!” Steve shouted. “Will you please tell me what the hell is so funny?”

“Um, er, I was thinking of a funny joke I heard on the radio this morning,” Ian stammered.

“Liar,” Steve shot back. “You were stammering. Just tell me what’s so funny.”

Ian nervously cleared his throat. “Well, I was just having funny thoughts about you.”

“Oh,” Steve said. “So, thinking of me makes you laugh? Thanks a lot.”

“No, it’s not that,” Ian countered.

“Then what is it? Tell me. You know how much I like to laugh.”

Ian felt trapped in his uncomfortable situation.. He normally enjoyed sharing his funny thoughts with Steve, but in this case Steve might not even enjoy hearing what was on Ian’s mind.

“Yes, Ian,” Tony the bartender chimed in. “I’ve heard you guys exchange funny thoughts before and you seem to enjoy it. Just tell him already.”

“Thanks for siding with me, Tony,” Steve said, turning to Ian. “You heard the man. Just tell me already.”

“All right, out with it,” Ian sighed, taking a deep breath. “I was thinking of Steve getting his head pounded by a hydraulic hammer press.”

Steve’s mouth dropped open as he dropped his cue stick. “And that actually makes you laugh? Thanks a lot!” With that, Steve stormed out of the bar in an angry huff. Ian felt so ashamed that he sat down at the table to stare at his glass of iced tea. Why was he even thinking thoughts like that? He was so focused on his thinking that he didn’t see Tony go outside.

Steve was sitting silently on the bench outside the bar’s front door when Tony came out to sit next to him.

“You okay, Steve?” Tony asked.

“No, I’m just too upset right now,” Steve replied. “I can’t believe Ian had thoughts like that.”

“Well, you know what they say. Don’t get mad, get even.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

Guilt gas.

August 20, 2016

During the middle of the night, a small plane flew over the city. As it approached its target coordinates, it began spraying a strange green gas that descended down to the sleeping city below.

At first, the gas served its purpose. It was inhaled by fugitives wanted for crimes serious enough to send the city’s crime rate to staggering levels. The gas then triggered such intense feelings of guilt that there was no choice but to confess and surrender. The police were surprised to see long lines of fugitives outside the station ready to confess their crimes. Case after case got solved along with a few cold ones that baffled detectives for decades. At long last, the crime rate fell to near zero.

Then the guilt gas drifted to the suburbs and over houses inhabited by the city’s residents. When inhaled, a majority of residents suddenly sat up in bed and confessed their marital infidelity to their spouses. As a result the divorce rate skyrocketed as residents rearranged their lives to be with more trustworthy companions.

Then the guilt gas drifted to Washington. Politicians inhaled it and suddenly began disclosing government secrets and military intelligence for all to hear, including the terrorists who had long plotted to invade the country. Armed with this knowledge, the terrorists began a swift invasion of Washington where remnants of the guilt gas were still present. When they inhaled it, they felt so guilty that they abandoned their terrorist ambitions and retreated back to their homelands to resume their humble lives.

And life was good.

The planet over there.

August 12, 2016

Overpopulation
Planet’s getting warmer
But it doesn’t matter
There’s another planet

Go pack up your suitcase
Then we’ll ride the shuttle
Leave this dirty planet
For the planet over there

There’s no need to worry
Let’s treat this Earth like garbage
So we can ride the shuttle
To the planet over there

No need to fix our planet
For future generations
We’ll just ride the shuttle
To the planet over there

Writing your own story.

August 8, 2016

Ian continued running along the underground tunnel, desperate to find a way out. The tunnel had been his home for the last few days and he was tired of it. He wanted to be outside in the warm sun and not where it was constantly dark, cold and wet. Suddenly the tunnel ahead opened into a huge underground cave and Ian began falling into the darkness below. Down and down he went when he soon felt an odd sensation that he wasn’t falling anymore but instead remaining suspended in mid-air. Then he heard voices.

​Wow, that’s pretty good.

Yep, so what happens now?

Okay, so Ian’s falling, so let’s have him land in an underground lake.

Why an underground lake? We’ve done that already. We’re trying to advance the story here, not repeat what’s been told so far.

“Um, hello, who is this?”

Great, he heard us. I knew we should’ve taken this conversation to the next room.

“I hear you talking, who’s there?”

All right, out with it. Hello Ian, we’re Authors.

“Authors?”

Yes, we’re in charge of writing the story of your life.

“Wait a minute. You’re writing the story of MY life?”

Correct.

“Um, I don’t buy that. I believe I’m the one who should be writing my own story.”

See that? I told you this guy’s smart.

Yes, Ian, you should be writing your own story, so why aren’t you?

“But I am!”

No, you haven’t. Take a look at what’s been going on with your life so far. You’ve been stuck in this endless rut that’s been dragging on for years. You sleep all day, then you get up, feel bad you can’t do anything, so you go back to playing video games and listening to tapes all night, then you sleep all day, the pattern repeats and goes on and on and on. How are you telling your story when it sounds like a broken record?

Exactly. It is every single human’s duty to write their own story so it gets published and added to the Great Library. Those who can’t or choose not to have us Authors assigned to them for writing their stories for them. And that’s when we get carried away and exaggerate details of your life like what we’ve written for you so far. All those crazy dreams you’ve had were created by us just to liven up the pages of the book that summarizes your life.

“But I don’t want my dreams to summarize my life! I want this to be a genuine story of my life, not a dream log!”

Then write your own story already. Here’s the pen. Start writing.

“Um, I can’t move.”

That’s because you’re suspended in mid-air. You’re falling down, but where do you land?

“Falling DOWN? How about, I fall UP?”

You can’t fall up! That’s impossible!

“Excuse me, I’m writing the story here. Yes, I fall up back to the underground tunnels and then fly my way back to the surface where I emerge from the canal near where those guys were trying to kill me for trespassing. Only they can’t even see me because I’m flying above the clouds!”

Okay, then what happens?

“Then I fly back home to my Mom and Dad.”

You don’t have a home, remember? Your parents kicked you out, sold the house and then retired to New Jersey.

“They would NEVER kick me out!”

But they already did.

“Let me guess, this is another of your fictitious plots to liven up my story?”

That would be correct.

“And if you made up the plot, it must have never happened, and if it never happened, then this must be all a dream.”

You are so right. This is a dream.

“So how about ending it already?”

Ah, but how do we end it?

“With a scary face, of course. Just show me a scary face and I’ll wake up.”

And what else?

“What do you mean?”

Do you promise to take over writing your story from now on?

“Yes, I promise.”

Okay, here you go.

“What?”

There’s your scary face.

“But I can’t see it.”

Oh, silly us. It’s too dark to see, isn’t it. Excuse us while we turn on the light.

A light shone on a horrific face with pale white skin along with sharp teeth, huge eyes and slits for a nose. The face screamed and Ian suddenly sat up with a start, back in his bed, back in his room and back home with his parents. After a few minutes to allow his awareness to expand, Ian said to himself, “I hereby conclude this chapter that just described yet another of my strange dreams. Starting with the next chapter, there will be details of my life and what I plan to do with it. The rest of the words in the story of my life will be my own, told from my point of view. I will write the rest of the story myself.”

Ian smiled as he got out of bed to get dressed.

“So that’s what they meant by A New Chapter. A new chapter of my story that’s still being told even right now. Time to make this the most exciting chapter yet!”

At the talent show.

August 8, 2016

George patiently sat in the waiting area backstage while waiting his turn to perform at the talent show in progress at the neighborhood bar. At first he was worried about his chances but began to relax more and more after each performer was booed into elimination from the tournament. Maybe he did have a chance after all.

Onstage was Jimmy the Insidious Juggler who was juggling three firecrackers with their fuses lit. Despite his skillful timing to have each firecracker explode while in midair, Jimmy was still eliminated with the onslaught of booing from the audience.

Next up was Danny and his Farting Dummy. During his act, Danny desperately tried to mask his poor ventriloquism by letting loose with some very loud flatulence that failed to impress the audience. Another easy elimination.

Finally, it was George’s turn, the last contestant on the talent show. He casually strolled on the stage with his guitar, coughing slightly from the leftover smelly air from the previous performance. Determined to seize the moment, he sat on the bar stool behind the microphone, gently strumming some phony chords as he began to sing.

I’m 48 years old
I’m nothing but a goofoff
I graduated high school
In 1985

I do not have a job
Nor do I have a car
I’m nothing but a burden
On my Mom and Dad

I’m perfectly content
With my simple life
My parents disagree
They tell me what I need

A kick to the head
A kick to the head
I’ll put your life in focus
With a swift kick to the head

As the last notes of the phony chords faded away, George was greeted with uncertain silence from the confused audience. Suddenly there was an explosion of rapturous cheering with whistling so high it sounded like razzing. In fact, it was razzing as George too was booed off the stage.

Nobody won the talent show that night. But it didn’t matter, for the talent show existed soley as a means for patrons to take out their frustrations from the daily stress plaguing their existence. And what better way to relieve this stress than to boo some talentless soul off the stage?

Learning the guitar.

August 6, 2016

It’s not too easy to play the guitar
Just a little practice amd you will go far
Just stick with it and you’ll do just fine
Mastering the guitar just takes a little time

Consultation with a Guardian Angel.

August 1, 2016

As I fell asleep, I decided to launch another out of body experience, but not to the world that wants to forget about me. Instead, I opted for the last resort; the Kingdom of Heaven.

Ian descended to his feet on the clouds and surveyed the enormous office building in front of him. Entering the towering lobby, he walked to the front desk that was built entirely from glass.

“Can I help you?” the receptionist asked.

“Yes, I’d like to see the Lord God,” Ian replied.

“Is He expecting you?”

“Um, no,” Ian stammered.

“What is the nature of your visit?” she asked.

“I just want to find out why I was put on Earth in the first place. Surely the reason is not for me to make people upset and then make them happy when I’m not around.”

“Hmmm, that sounds like something your Guardian Angel can help you with. Do you know your Angel’s name?”

“Um, I’m not sure I even have a Guardian Angel.”

“What’s your name?” the receptionist asked, turning to her computer.

“Ian White.”

The receptionist tapped away on the keyboard to look up Ian’s name.

“Do you have a middle name?”

“Yes, it’s Matthew.”

“Ah, yes,” the receptionist glanced at her screen. “Your Guardian Angel’s name is Matthew too. Just take the elevator to the 500th floor. Matthew’s office will be the 2,000th door on your right.”

“Big place!” Ian barked.

After arriving on the 500th floor and enduring an extremely long walk down the hallway, Ian finally arrived at Matthew’s office. Opening the door, he spotted a curly haired man dressed in a white robe sitting behind a white desk inside the office’s white interior.

“Ah, come in, come in!” the man greeted. “I’ve been expecting you.”

“You have?” Ian was wondrous.

“Yes, have a seat! Make yourself at home! I know exactly why you’re here. I know what your question is and I have the answer. Would you like to hear it?”

“Sure,” Ian said.

“Pay attention, for the answer is this.”

Suddenly the man blew some loud raspberries, one blast after the other. Ian had to shield his eyes from the flying saliva.

“JOB!” a voice bellowed from behind Ian. “What on Heaven are you doing?”

“Sorry,” Job said, getting up.

“I believe you have some work to do, and it does NOT involve sitting behind a desk!”

Ian was confused. “But I thought my Guardian Angel’s name was Matthew!”

I’m Matthew,” continued the voice. “Job’s the cleanup guy.”

Job sheepishly left the office and Matthew sat behind his desk.

“Sorry about that,” Matthew said. “Job’s so mischievous. No wonder he got demoted to janitor. What can I do for you?”

Ian replied, “I’m just wondering what my purpose of being on Earth is. Why am I here? What’s the point in my existence?”

“A most intriguing question,” Matthew said, “but one I cannot answer.”

“What?” Ian yelled. “But I thought you Guardian Angels knew all the answers!”

“The Lord God has all the answers, but He’s very subtle about revealing them to you. You have to seek the answers yourself, with the help of the signs He sends you.”

“Signs?”

“Yes, signs. Pay attention to what goes on around you. Every little thing that happens is a sign from the Lord God, and it’s up to you what they mean. If you interpret the signs correctly, only then will you know the answers. Just pay attention to the signs.”

“Pay attention to the signs?” Ian asked.

“Pay attention to the signs,” Matthew repeated as the office faded to black.

The curse of the Woowy Lion.

August 1, 2016

The Woowy Lions are a music group known for performing live shows at birthday parties where they perform well-known children’s songs. It wasn’t until recently when the members decided to come up with original songs to perform, and it was here they came up with their first song that would be the beginning of the band’s undoing.

The song, entitled Do The Woowy Lion, goes like this:

It’s just a step to the left
And a step to the right
Turn around
And let out a roar!
(ROAR!)
That’s how you do it
You do the Woowy Lion
You do the Woowy Lion all day long

When the band debuted their new song at their next birthday party show, the children reportedly enjoyed the song so much that they asked to hear it again and again. Soon, Do The Woowy Lion became the band’s only song as they sang it over and over nonstop for nearly the entire duration of the party.

It is here that the band’s problems began to worsen. The lead singer was driven to such intense levels of insanity from singing the same song nonstop that he literally disintegrated on the stage. Next to explode was the guitarist and then the drummer, followed by the keyboard player. Only the bassist survived because no one was paying attention to him.

Nowadays the Woowy Lions still perform their trademark song but have devised a plan to keep the show going. They now charter a bus full of backup singers and musicians who sit in the bus nervously until called to replace a freshly disintegrated band member. Aboard the bus are 10 backup guitarists, 10 backup singers, 10 keyboardists, and 10 sound engineers. No backup bassists were needed as no one pays attention to them.

Home Depot To Add Bakery To All Its Stores.

July 30, 2016

Home improvement retailer Home Depot will expand on its growing customer service repertoire by adding a bakery to all its stores, it was announced today. Soon customers will be able to shop for freshly baked bread, bagels and pastries in addition to tools and construction products.

“By adding a bakery to our stores, we can expand on the already wide range of services we offer to our customers,” Home Depot CEO Greg Linear announced at a press conference held earlier today at the company’s corporate headquarters in Cobb County, Georgia. “At this time we’ve set up bakeries at a few of our stores and will watch how well they do. Already our store in Chicago is getting more shoppers but they’re mostly people who just stand there, shaking their heads and not believing that Home Depot now has its own bakery.”

But Linear was quick to dismiss rumors that the bakery is just a way of using leftover sawdust from the lumber department. “No truth to that whatsoever,” he stated. “Besides, sawdust wouldn’t taste very good.”


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