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!”
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…