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Contest l Fiction l Finding Funny in the Forlorn (August 2007)

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Old 08-01-2007, 11:51 AM
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Default Contest l Fiction l Finding Funny in the Forlorn (August 2007)

I recently read a t-shirt that said "It's only funny until someone gets hurt. And then it's hilarious." Do you have a dark sense of humor? Able to chuckle at life's ups AND downs? This month, we are going to provide you with a somber sentence that you must use as the opening line of your story. From there, though, you must tap into your funny bone to create a story that will make us laugh out loud.

Here is your first sentence: "They stood on the edge, ready to meet their fate hundreds of feet below."

Limit it to 1000 words, and one entry per person. Submit your stories as a post in this thread by midnight (US EST) August 26th. Good luck.

Entry edit (post edit) surpassing the deadline mentioned will result in disqualification.

"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle."

Last edited by Cordatus; 08-10-2007 at 10:09 PM..
Old 08-09-2007, 03:38 PM
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I can't believer you just discovered that shirt! I've known it for about four years now.

BTW, I'm entering this contest, or plan to.

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Old 08-14-2007, 07:44 AM
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They stood on the edge, ready to meet their fate hundreds of feet below. Each struggling to see down passed his expanded waist line.

“Geordie was a paratrooper in the RAF.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s a song. ‘Geordie was a paratrooper in the RAF’, repeat that bit three times, followed by, ‘and he ain’t coming home no more.’”

“Why’s that?”

“’He pulled on the rip cord and it snapped off in his hand.’ Three times again, followed by, ‘he ain’t coming home no more.’ Get it?”

“Aye, what’s the next bit?”

“Hmm… He splattered on the tarmac like a lump of strawberry jam.”

“That’s sick and not very appropriate right now.”

“Why? It’s not like we’ve got parachutes.”

“No, but we could splatter on the tarmac like lumps of strawberry jam.”


“Can you see a way out of this?”


“Maybe’s not good enough. When I got up this morning I didn’t expect to end up clinging to a steeple, standing on an eight inch ledge.”



“Dollop. Like a dollop of strawberry jam. It sounds much better.”

“You need treatment. How much thought did you put into this fiasco?”

“More than you did when you agreed to it.”

“Very funny. How much do you think the cross on the top of this steeple is worth? Now we’re closer it looks like it’s painted wood, not cast iron. Who would buy a stolen wooden cross?”

“I didn’t get that far in my plan. We’re broke right. I woke up this morning, and thought ‘I bet that cast iron cross on St. Stephen’s would be worth a fortune down at the scrap yard’.”

“You really thought we could take it to the scrap yard? Not even Dodgy Kev would take a cross stolen from his own village church.”

“Well when did I become the clever one in the family? You’re usually the one with the bright ideas. Here, turn your head to the side so you can see passed your belly. Is that Father Paul down there?”

“No. Please don’t let it be.”


“Shut up for fuck sake.”

“Don’t swear, we’re in church.”

“We’re not in church. We’re on a church, with the intension of stealing the cross off the top of the steeple, and you’re shouting for the priest. Get a grip.”

“This is Karma isn’t it?”

“The Catholic God doesn’t do Karma. He does striking down. In his gang you get a black mark on your soul just for having a bad thought. We’re fucked mate!

“Father Paul’s well bald now eh?”

“Aye, bald and balmy. He’s nearly seventy though. He should have been put out to pasture, but who would want to come to this godforsaken parish?”

“Shuffle round a bit, the wind’s howling in my ear.”

“Listen mate, when that rope snapped and we slid down to this ledge, ear-ache ceased to matter.”

“No, come on. The last time I got ear-ache it turned into an infection.”

“OK. Just a couple of steps, the next stone isn’t that secure.”

“Did you not feel that sticking in your back?”


“This handle thing. Shhh… Did you hear that from inside the steeple?”




“It’s Father Paul, I recognise his voice from going to confession when I was a kid. Shut up, I’ll do the talking. Hello Father, we’re stuck on the roof. Can you help us?”


“It’s a long story Father Paul. We thought we saw a cat and came to rescue it.”


“Yes father, can you help us. Our rope snapped and we’ve no way of getting down.”


“The door?”


They stood on the edge, ready to meet their fate hundreds of feet below.
Old 08-14-2007, 08:22 AM
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They stood on the edge, ready to meet their fate hundreds of feet below.

"Let me get this straight. You brought with us: String, one ball, two hundred cetimetres, in case of mazes; Beans, twelve cans, in case we got lost and had to eat each other; can-opener; emergency kits, two, including blanket, rations and toothbrush; firestarting kits, three, in case the first two got soggy; tinder, numerous, in case we couldn't find any wood in the forest; books, two, in case we got bored during the search for ancient treasure on the mountain known to the natives as 'lonely death'; water bottles, also twelve; waterproof clothing; spare waterproof clothing, in case of rips; guns, two, in case of attack by non-existant wild animals or, and I quote, "mountain pirates"; bullets, numerous; and a new invention of yours designed to make all this easier to carry."

"Yes, Matt. And the treasure map."

"And the treasure map. Of course. And, remind me, what is it that you did not bring?"

"Err, the kitchen sink?"

"Rock-climbing equipment, for one. Parachutes for another."

"The packs were full, Matt."

"In which case, I imagine we could have lived without the books. It would have been difficult, but we would have persevered.

"As things stand, however, we are not going to persevere. We are going to die. Our muscles will seize up in protest at our stillness, made necassary by our close proximity to the very large drop; or the wind, so powerful at these altitudes, will turn behind us and push us over; or, if we last long enough, I will become so irritated by your presence and, indeed, your existance, that I will push you over and then, being consumed with guilt, I will follow. Or perhaps this ledge will give way, as did the one which sealed our fate."

Matt and his companion stared down into the rocky abyss, Matt pensively, the other rather sullenly.

"Screw waiting," announced the other, shocking Matt so badly that he nearly lost his balance. "If I'm going to die anyway, what's the point of standing around being insulted and bored for who knows how long? Besides, I always wanted to fly. Now I can. See you on the other side." With that, he jumped.

Matt stared, mind boggling, for three full minutes at the place where his companion had stood. He only looked up when he heard the thrumming of a rescue helicopter heading his way...
Hello, my name is Heather and I am a semi-colonaholic; I have refrained from using semi-colons for... five seconds. Dammit. Let me try that again.

Last edited by BlackWolf; 08-16-2007 at 11:18 AM..
Old 08-14-2007, 09:03 AM
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:21 AM
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Thank you, Cordatus.
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:20 PM
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They stood on the edge, ready to meet their fate hundreds of feet below.

“Ok Timmy and Jesse,” called the mother from below. “Now I want you to jump on three.”

The two boys looked at each other then at their mother, who was a tiny dot far down below.

“We can’t mommy,” said Timmy, in his trademark cute-and-whiny voice. “It’s too far.”

“Mommy will catch you,” said the mother, rolling her eyes. “I promise.”

“Okay,” said Timmy. He looked uncertainly towards Jesse. Then Jesse looked up at the heavens.

“Dear God,” he prayed. “Please let Mommy catch us on our way down from this tall, tall building.”

Timmy and Jesse held hands as the mother counted, “Three. . .Two. . .One. Jump!”

Timmy and Jesse hopped right off that building towards mother. Mother took a few steps back and watched them.


“Woo hoo! Insurance money, here I come!”
Old 08-15-2007, 09:39 AM
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And Cordatus called me evil.
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Old 08-15-2007, 11:55 PM
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:58 AM
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Cliff Notes

They stood on the edge, ready to meet their fate hundreds of feet below. A strong salty wind hit them with occasional gusts. They wobbled like bowling pins that refuse to fall.


“Yes, Margaret?”


“What is it, dear?”


Shouting, Harry said, “Oh for God’s sake, Margaret. What is it?”

With a furrowed brow, Margaret replied, “Well you don’t have to use that tone of voice with me, Harry Mitzler. I wanted to tell you I lost one of my hearing aids in the wind.”

“You lost your hearing aid?”

In a useless action, Margaret cupped her hand around the ear closest to Harry, “What?”

Shouting again, “Margaret, for crying out loud. Come around to the other side so you can hear me with your good ear.”

“Can’t move.”

“Oh, don’t be scared, honey. We’re going to jump anyway. If you fall, I’ll be right behind you.”

Grimacing, Margaret said, “No, sweetie. I can’t move because my prosthetic pelvis locked up again. Would you look for my hearing aid? I’m pretty sure it’s close behind me.”

“You need it now?”

“Need a cow, Harry? Of course I don’t need a cow. I need my hearing aid.”

“”I didn’t say anything about a cow, Margaret.”

“Well, I should hope not. Standing here in this wind with only one hearing aid and my legs locked in place is not the time to be talking about cows.”

Shaking his head knowing it was useless to argue with her, Harry turned to look behind them for her wayward hearing aid. When he turned, a strong gust of wind knocked his glasses off. “Oh jeez, my glasses are blown off. “

“Well, yes, we are freezing our asses off but you don’t have to be vulgar, Harry.”

Harry threw his hands up in the air and stomped in a circle, as he did at times of extreme frustration. He stopped, began jumping on one foot and cried out, “Ow, oh ouch, I cut my foot on a piece of broken glass.”

Since Harry jumped his way to the other side of Margaret, she heard him through her remaining hearing aid. “Cut your foot? How on earth did you do that, Harry?”

Looking down and seeing that he was barefoot, she exclaimed, “Harry, just what are you doing without your shoes and socks on?”

Still hopping, but slower now, Harry said, “I took them off. Those are my best shoes.”

Margaret put her hands on her hips and with the stern look of a mother who has brought tears to her children with her eyes alone said, “Oh, for heaven’s sake, Harry, what are you doing running around on a cliff barefoot? What were you thinking?”

Sheepishly, and unable to look into Margaret’s steel blue eyes, “I was thinking that I paid a lot of money for those shoes and there’s no need to ruin them.”

Reaching down to hold her cotton dress down from a strong updraft, Margaret said, “Oh, forget about the shoes and forget about the hearing aid. Let’s just do this, Harry and be done with it. You left the note for the kids, right?”

“Oh of course I left the note, Margaret. I might be 86 but I haven’t lost my mind yet.”

Harry then did several deep-knee thrusts which he did when trying to make the point that he was still physically fit – in spite of his age and the loud clicking sound his knees made each time he stood erect again. On the fourth thrust, Harry lost his balance and fell over onto his back. A piece of paper slipped out of the shirt pocket of his plaid flannel shirt.

“What was that, Harry?”

“Oh, I just fell over, Margaret. It doesn’t mean I’m feeble yet.”

“No, Harry, I know how fit you are. You tell me every day how you’re fit as a fiddle. Fit as a fiddle. Fit as a fiddle. Sounds like a parrot, sometimes.”

“Now, don’t be calling me a parrot again, Margaret. In a few minutes, you won’t have to hear me say it again and I don’t have to hear that snoring of yours. You sound like you swallowed a chainsaw and a couple of hyenas are fighting over it.”

“Well, Harry Mitzler, at least I would have remembered to leave the note.”

“I told you, woman, that I left the note. Left it laying on the kitchen table just like you pestered me to.”

Margaret pursed her lips, and wagged her finger at Harry, which he couldn’t see without his glasses, “I saw you write that note and put it in your shirt pocket, Harry. I told you three times to make sure you left it on the table and now I just saw it blow away in the wind. That’s it. I’m not going to do this with you today. Let’s just go home.”

“You mean we’re not going to jump? I took my shoes off and everything.”

“No, not today, Harry. Now pick up your glasses, they’re by your left foot.”

Harry felt around on the ground and found his glasses. As soon as he put them on he said, “Well, by jove, there’s your hearing aid right beside your foot.”

He picked up the hearing aid and handed it to her when he stood up. He put his shoes on and put his shoulder against her stomach and picked her up. The motion knocked her artificial pelvis loose and her legs flopped forward, but they locked in place again when he stood up. Margaret had her arms wrapped around his neck and it looked like she was kneeling on his butt.

“I can’t get you in the passenger seat like that, honey. I’ll prop you up in the truck bed. I have bungee cords, I’ll strap you in good.”

“All right, dear. You want pork chops for supper?”

“Pork chops sounds great, sweetie.”

Last edited by gary_wagner; 08-21-2007 at 02:00 AM.. Reason: Punctuation fix
Old 08-16-2007, 04:51 PM
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They stood on the edge, ready to meet their fate hundreds of feet below. The two-liter bottle kept spinning, rolling down the slope to where they stood against the guard rail and the diamond-shaped sign with words that said ‘Dead End’ as if it taunted them in their predicament.

“I don’t think things could be any worse,” Sam cried.

Halfway up the road, blocking their only escape from the approaching bottle, was the black SUV, parked on an angle, with the grinning face of Bruce the Butcher looking down at them through his driver’s-side window. The big drooling face of his every-present rottweiler, Scar, sat in the passenger’s seat, barking at them.

What scared the two young men more, though, was the gun that the Butcher had pointing at them.

Sam grabbed David by the arm and pulled him close. “Is that real?”

David didn’t know. He didn’t care to know the truth. Everyone in the neighborhood knew Bruce as a bully, ever since they were kids. Of the fourteen characteristics of a serial killer, the Butcher could put a check next to each one, and he’d actually be proud of it.

Now he had thrown a two liter bottle of something down the slope towards them. They couldn’t see through the frosted surface, but they could hear something inside crackling as the bottle came closer and closer.

From the safety of his father’s big SUV, Bruce yelled, “A dry-ice bomb! Gonna blow your little legs off!”

Scar barked its own taunt at them.

“All this because he didn’t like our bikes…” Sam cried. “Wish I was old enough to drive daddy’s car, too.”

David looked over his shoulder down the sudden drop into the river valley below. “How the hell did he manage to trap us on the only cliff in town?”

Sam yelled up at the SUV, “This isn’t funny!”

The Butcher laughed. “Sure it is! Your sense of humor just sucks.”

The bottle caught a rut in the road, bounced, and suddenly it was going even faster.

It was either face getting your legs blown off by pop bottle turned weapon, or jump over the edge and risk falling to your death. David thought it over, and realized that he really didn’t want to try for the cliff. One look over at his friend told him that Sam was too scared to choose either.

Instead, when the bottle came to a stop three feet from the two teens, David didn’t think twice. He took one stride forward and kicked the bottle as hard as he could. It stung his foot, and felt as if he was kicking a solid rock, but the bottle still spun its way back up the hill.

Scar suddenly leapt out of the passenger seat, over Bruce, and through the open window. It fell clumsily, rolling over, and then, with its tail wagging and its tounge hanging out, it ran for the bottle.


The dog pushed the bottle with its snout for a moment before finally catching the spout within its jaw. The prize in possession, Scar spun itself and turned towards the SUV.

With the dog running back at his master, its little tail wagging, Bruce screamed at the dog. A long, incoherent scream that only seemed to make the dog run faster. Bruce tried waving it away. He tried honking his horn. When everything he had at his disposal failed, then Bruce tried shooting it.

The gun fired three shots. Pop, pop, pop. Not loud enough to be a real gun. Too weak to be firing real bullets. More of a crack than a bang.


After one more shot, the Butcher screamed again, and then threw the gun at the rushing dog.

Now, after all his master had done, Scar’s tail stopped wagging. Terrified, the dog ran right for the SUV, shuffled its fat frame beneath the raised floor, and then huddled itself behind the perfect chrome-rimmed wheel.

”No, no, no, no! Scar!”

Bruce the Butcher opened his door and stepped one foot into the road.

And then…


A tremendous explosion shook the entire SUV, and white plumes of gas and smoke spread out from beneath. The hood blew open with a spray of sparks. A large crack snaked its way along the windshield. Both front tires shook, punctured, and then let out their air. A polished chrome rim rolled out and down the slope where it rolled over the edge. The engine whirred for a few seconds, and then died. Even the loud radio inside faded away.

Bruce screamed and fell next to the car, clutching his one leg with his arm, still yelling at his dog.

David and Sam looked at each other for only a moment, and then both took off past the crying bully. They didn’t look back, but ran up the hill and through the only way out of the dead end.

“Well,” Sam said while sprinting, “now it’s sort of funny.”

The next time they saw Bruce the Butcher, he was riding a bike that was too small for him to school. He was wearing a thick plaster cast around on one of his legs with only one signature on it: his mother’s. He didn’t threaten the two teens, yell at them, or chase them down. All he did was ignore them. He went to school and then went home. That would be all he did until ‘forever’ came and his parents thought he had been grounded long enough. The dog, Scar, was at home nursing one broken leg and one missing leg.
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Old 08-17-2007, 01:50 AM
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It was a damn good story, but it didn't make me laugh. That poor dog.
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Old 08-19-2007, 04:34 PM
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Dramatic Effect

They stood on the edge, ready to meet their fate hundreds of feet below.

Rob made a face at the line, staring back in stark relief from his laptop’s screen. Here he was, stuck home alone on Friday night, when he and Lisa should’ve been, should’ve been…well, she was a cold-hearted little slut. Six whole months and she’d been using him for a good time. Well, why shouldn’t art mirror real life?

They stood on the edge, ready to meet their fate hundreds of feet below. The forces of Drizzin’s treacherous love had found them at last. There could be no mercy. No quarter.

Smirking, Rob knew he was on to something here. Why not? This was the worst day of his life…why shouldn’t it be the worst day of his characters’ lives too? That’s what they were good for, after all.

But, the betrayed dark elf and his barbarian partner facing down overwhelming odds-with no possible escape-wasn’t nearly bad enough. They were heroes. Heroes could do this kind of stuff everyday with their eyes closed. It was time he gave them a real challenge.

How about some more environmental factors? Cliffs were a good start, but he didn’t have to stop there…

Lightning forked overhead as torrents of rain drenched the earth below. Soaked and chilled to the bone, they stood on the edge, ready to meet their fate hundreds of feet below. The forces of Drizzin’s treacherous love had found them at last. There could be no mercy. No quarter.

Tapping his fingers across the keyboard, Rob closed his eyes and tried to see the scene. Got soldiers, got heroes, bad weather, perilous situation…but somehow, things just didn’t see quite dramatic enough. What else could he do to these poor, sorry sods….?

The power trip was a nice rush. It was good to feel he was in control of something for a change.

Lightning forked overhead as torrents of rain drenched the earth below. Soaked and chilled to the bone, they stood on the edge, ready to meet their fate hundreds of feet below. The forces of Drizzin’s treacherous love had found them at last. There could be no mercy. No quarter.

The dark elf closed his eyes for a moment as he held up his partner Zaktar. They were both bleeding from deep wounds. Drizzin’s childhood gods suddenly seemed close by…

Snickering, Rob leaned back to admire his handiwork. That was better. Stuck here by himself, there was nothing like a couple of beers and imaginary characters to completely screw up. Ruining his characters’ lives sure made him feel better about his own sorry excuse for a life. Maybe he’d let them live…or maybe not. Getting to call all the shots was the best. Too bad no real girl would ever let him do that.

He decided to spin out his heroes’ fate just a little further before calling it a night. Injured, hunted, soaked, and standing on the edge of a cliff…there was one more thing that could happen to his heroes….

Suddenly, a giant sea snake-fifty feet long!-flew out of the sea to face Drizzin where he stood perched on the edge of the cliff. The Flogth avatar hissed and opened its fanged mouth wide to welcome the dark elf “home”…

Yeah, that’ll do quite nicely. Rob sat the laptop down on the floor, not bothering to close the screen or anything. One last swig of his homebrew finished it off and he threw his legs up on the couch.

After four beers, he closed his eyes and dozed off within minutes.

“Hey, Drizzin?” Zaktar asked as he crashed on the recliner next to the couch. The barbarian’s bandages were stained a deep red. “Are you as sick of this guy as I am?”

The dark elf gave a bitter laugh. “And if it’s not him, it’s some other twenty-something sod with an endless obsession with dark elves. Dark elves’ love affairs, dark elves fighting half-dead with injuries, dark elves saving the world over and over and over again…It’s what I get in every single story. I am so sick of it!”

Drizzin picked up the laptop and eased himself onto the loveseat. He cracked his knuckles and poised them over the keyboard. “What say we give him a taste of his own medicine?”

“It’s about time!” Zaktar raised a beer bottle from the coffee table in salute.

He stood on the edge, ready to meet his fate hundreds of feet below.

The two heroes snickered as they imagined the Author poised at the edge of destruction, screaming his immature little head off.
Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost....
—Alphonse Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist

Last edited by ennubi; 08-21-2007 at 03:07 PM..
Old 08-24-2007, 09:32 PM
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Default Waiting for Beckett

They stood on the edge, ready to meet their fate hundreds of feet below.

The Professor observed his subjects carefully. Even at his most optimistic moments, he never actually expected anyone to agree to the terms of the experiment. Determined not to give his excitement away, he kept his hands deep in his tattered lab coat and offered his best Stanley Milgram impression. Meanwhile, his graduate students moved in flurries of tweed, attempting to ensure that the subjects remained in their two perfect lines of three.

“Group 1, please look down.” They followed his sonorous voice without a hint of hesitation. Still, the first three students’ faces displayed faint signs of disappointment. Each of them had been expecting an array of fire trucks and media vans to be waiting below them. The importance of the experiment somewhat dimmed in their minds as they realized they would not make the six o’clock news.

“Jump,” the Professor demanded. The first three students leapt. The Professor did not move. He told them to jump, so they jumped. It was simple, just the way he liked his experiments. “Group 2, please step onto the ledge.”

“Aren’t you wondering why they jumped?” inquired Student Four. The Professor found names irrelevant for such an experiment.

“Not really,” the Professor lied.


“Do you think I should care?”

“About what?”

“Why they jumped.”

“I guess so.”


“Just seemed interesting to me, sir.”

“Do you think anyone else would find it interesting?”



“Why what?”

“Why do you think they’d find it interesting?”

“I don’t know, sir.”

“Well, then why haven't you jumped yet, Number Four?”

“I’m waiting.”

“For what?”


“Oh,” the Professor responded awkwardly. He felt odd about prolonging the boy’s jump for so long.

“Are you going to ask us to jump soon?”


“Why wait, sir?”

“I want to see if you’ll all jump later, if I ask politely. No demands. No orders. A simple request.”

“It’s a possibility.”

“Why doesn’t Number Five or Number Six speak?”

“I don’t know. Maybe they’re afraid.”

“Of death?”

“Death, professor?”

“Yes, death!”

“Maybe they’re afraid of landing on another student.”

“What do you mean, Number 4?”

“What if they hit another student, and don’t die?”

“I never thought of that.”

“You really should plan for these things, sir.”

“I’ll keep it mind. Going to jump?”

“Haven’t decided yet.”

“I see. You must feel somewhat obligated.”

“Why should I feel obligated, sir?”

“You’re already on the ledge.”

“True enough.”

“What are you waiting for?”



“Yes, Godot, sir. It’s a literary pun. I was an English major.”


“Maybe I’m waiting for night.”

“It’s already night.”

“So it is.”

“Then why say you’re waiting for night?”

“It’s what Beckett would say, sir.”

“But what would you say?”

“Me? Beckett is more interesting than me.”

“But I don’t have Beckett on the ledge, now do I?”

“He’s dead.”

“So what?”

“So it would be quite something if you had him on the ledge.”


“I wonder if he would jump.”


“Yes, sir.”

“The question is will you jump, Number Four?”

“The Beckett question is more important.”

“Not to me.”

“Perhaps I’ll jump.”


“Because it’s unimportant, sir.”

“Are you ready yet?”

“I don’t know. Why not just order me, sir?”

“I ordered the last group. They jumped. I’m wondering if you will.”

“I might, sir.”

“We’ve established that.”

“Then why ask?”

“I thought maybe you’d be done waiting for Beckett by now.”

“Beckett would be on the ground by now.”

“I think Five and Six are ready to jump.”


“They’re trembling.”

“Maybe they’re cold.”

“How do you know that, Number Four?”

“I don’t.”

“Are you going to ask them?”


“Jump Number Five! Jump Number Six!” The two students jumped without saying a word.

“There you have it.”

“What, sir?”

“They weren’t cold.”

“Maybe they were so cold, they jumped.”

“I hadn’t thought of that. There’s a reason why you’re jumping, isn’t there?”


“Are you going to tell me?”


“Why not?”

“Because it doesn’t matter. You just want to see if I’ll jump.”

“Well, has Godot come yet?”

“No. The pavement will come first.”


“You’re not going to tell me who Godot is?”


“Are you sure Godot won’t come?”

“I’m sure.”

“Are you still waiting for Beckett then, Number Four?”

“No, sir. He’s on the ground, sir.”

“Will you join him?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Then jump!”

“Yes, sir.”

Number Four did not move.

Last edited by Leon of Prussia; 08-26-2007 at 07:14 PM..
Old 08-25-2007, 05:02 PM
Andrew (Offline)
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998 words

Absurd Episodes at the Doctor’s Office

"They stood on the edge, ready to meet their fate hundreds of feet below." I caught sight of a painting of two children holding hands as they both looked into some sort of black abyss. The abyss was meant to symbolize life or love, I think. Within this abyss there was that quote.

This was supposed to give the patients some peace of mind. It didn’t give me any. The doctor had called me back in to the office after seeing the results of my physical. Immediately, I knew why he wanted me to come back. It was cancer, I was sure. Or maybe a cerebral hemorrhage and then, of course, it could be malaria. But, really, what was that bump on the back of my head? Probably a brain tumor…

Not long after taking my seat in the waiting room a kid ran out of the restroom with his pants at his ankles. He ran right up to me.
“Hey, little man,” said I.
“You’d better pull up your gear.”
“You look like hell!” He said this loudly and unexpectedly.
“Yeah, well, I’ve got medical issues. It comes with the territory.” I said with emotion in my voice.
“Aren’t you a worrywart, a regular sissy boy?”
“Why don’t you go peel off the toilet paper that’s stuck to your butt?”
“Your mother likes it better that way!” After saying this, the little stinker ran off laughing.

Soon after this encounter a fat woman sat right beside me. She looked to be under duress. I wanted to tell her to brighten up. At least she wasn’t in my shoes. I was shivering like a little girl left out in the rain. My throat ached. It burned when I pissed. My ass itched. I had a rash all over my thighs. Maybe I had syphilis. I couldn’t be sure.

The fat woman breathed right into my face with no shame. Her breath stank. As if that weren’t enough, she was gnawing at her stumpy nails like a squirrel on an acorn.

“Baby, what’re you staring at?” she asked without looking at me.
“Nothing,” I answered quickly.
“Oh, no, you’re looking at something. You’re looking me! I see you staring, you dirty little pig.”
“No, really, I wasn’t.”
“The hell you weren’t. You had your face practically glued to my chest like a slimy pervert. I could feel your dirty little eyes all over me the minute you sat your skinny ass down.”
I was becoming angry. “Well, you’re sweating like monkey in heat. You smell like cow dung. It’s hard not to glance at you.”
“Oh, you’re a dirty pig. How dare you! I’m pregnant, for your information. I’ll have you kicked out of this office! I won’t take this treatment! And my breath does not smell!” A huge wad of spit landed in my mouth as she said this.
“Like a dog’s mussel, it does!” I responded.

At that moment a nurse called my name. When I looked back at fat woman she had the palm of her hand held to her face and she was breathing into it.

I entered the office and sat there on the paper that makes all the noise. A young man, casually dressed, a real pigtail, walked in. He took one quick look at me and the folder with my “information” and half-jokingly said, “Oh dear. I haven’t been looking forward to this appointment very much.” He said this with a corny chuckle.

“Why is that?” I asked in a tense tone.
“Well, brother, I hate to break this to you, I really do, but somebody has to.”
“What is it?”
“You’re going to die.”
“Yup. Nine days, to be exact.”
“Of what?”
“What does it matter?” he responded, rather matter-of-factly.
“It matters to me!”
He seemed to think about this for a moment as he looked at the ceiling and then, with his continued nonchalance, he said, “Lung cancer.”
“But…I don’t even smoke. Nobody in my family does. I don’t even have a cough, and I breathe fine. I jog a lot.”
“Listen, pal, I don’t know. I really don’t. It’s that whole ‘don’t kill the messenger’ thing, you know? Life’s a bowl of cherries but you got the pits. BOO HOO.”
“What? You’re a doctor. You just told me I’m going to die. I need more details. I want to know how I got lung cancer and how I can fight it. I don’t want to die!”

At this he threw his arms up in seeming exasperation. Oh, great! The sentimental type! Now we’re going to get all teary-eyed like a puppy without a friend. Let me get my guitar so I can strum the “Hokey Pokey” song to cheer you up. Look. The cancer is at its worst stage. The damage is irrevocable. Death is a certainty. You might as well go home and wrap yourself up tight in your blanky. It’s over.”

There was a long silence.

“I’m sorry man!” he guffawed “I’m not even a doctor. I’m a patient. I got bored waiting in the next room for so damn long. I saw you come in here. I thought I’d give you a laugh.” After admitting this he got a hold of himself and walked out, slamming the door and leaving me in a terrifying silence.

At that moment the doctor who had done my physical strolled in.

“Morning, pal.”
“I’m going to die. I already know.”
“Yeah, so am I. We all are, sooner or later.”
“No, I’m going to die in nine days.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Somebody just came in here, playing doctor, looked at my file, and saw that I’m going to die of lung cancer.”
“Nonsense! Let me have a look.” He proceeded to read aloud from my file:
“Irregularly sized and oddly colored nipples, an ungodly excess of pubic hair, unusually shaped testicles, a ridiculous amount of wax build-up, uncontrollable irritable bowel syndrome, explosive gas, the confidence of a turtle without a shell, a mythological volume of semen. Nope. You’re not going to die.”
“I’m not?” I asked round-eyed.
“Just yet.”
"Where I am, I don't know, I'll never know, in the silence you don't know, you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on." -SB

Andrew Beutel
Secular Humanist
Free-lance journalist


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