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No Joke

Standing on his building’s rooftop he was assessing whether a jump off a 7 story building would definitely kill him. He thought in anger and fury as he made a plan that was not to be executed that night.

“They all think I’m a joke. Somehow every time I mess up it’s hilarious. People never let things go. My wife wants to leave me because she doesn’t think I’m going anywhere with my life. What about her life? She’s not going anywhere either! What a hypocrite! Even my friends and family wait for me to fail in some hilarious way when I’m with them. It’s like seeing me slip-up is their only source of laughter. For years I’ve been ridiculed by the people I loved.

“My boss doesn’t trust me with any work anymore. One or two silly mistakes that could have happened to anyone and suddenly I’m useless at the office. I’m someone he can’t rely on. My coworkers keep asking in a sarcastic manner if I need any help when I’m assigned the simplest and smallest of tasks; tasks that I can’t fuck up.”

The thoughts ran through his mind and then he paused and took in a deep breath of fresh air. He looked again and was certain this time that a fall would kill him. He thought about ending his life that night but no he thought of something better.

“Why end it now? I can’t end it with everyone thinking I’m a joke, a failure. I’ll spend the next few months showing them I’m a perfectionist. I will succeed at everything I do. My conversations will be stimulating and intellectual. I will make them laugh at my jokes rather than my mistakes. Then everyone will rely and count on me. I will be essential to my boss. My friends won’t stand to meet without me and will make time to see me. Yes! I will be the most important person in the life of everyone I know!

“Right at that moment, only then will I jump off this building. I won’t die a joke. They will miss and mourn me. The office will collapse in my absence. Family gatherings will never be the same. Something will always be missing. I will always be missing. They’ll know then how important I was and they’ll remember me not as a joke, but as a leader, as the most reliable person they have ever met.

“Maybe I should stay alive after changing their mind about me, but no..no. They mocked my mistakes and they don’t deserve me at my best. I’m going to teach them all a lesson those ungrateful filthy beings. Each of them pretends to have never made a mistake. I’ll divorce my wife anyway before I dazzle everyone else. She’ll only hear about how great I will become and she’ll beg to come back to me but I’ll end all her hope when I jump only adding to her misery. Yes, I’ll teach them. I’ll show them!”

He felt pretty good about himself and completely satisfied with his grand plan. He took one final deep breath and look at the city below and beyond him. He looked at the stars and added learning about them to the list of things he wanted to do before the jump.

Finally he got off the roof and took the elevator back to his floor. As he put his hands in his pockets he collapsed on the floor in laughter. He laughed at the irony that he had forgotten his keys and locked himself out of his own apartment. He laughed so hard the neighbors opened the door and told him to shut up.

What a joke.

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Entertainment Tonight

“Entertain me,” she said to her husband on a lazy Wednesday night. He looked up from his phone with a smile and said “well how about we go out?”

“It’s late and all the shops and restaurants oughtta be closed by now. I demand to be entertained!”

“We don’t need the shops and restaurants. You asked me to do something now let me do it.”

“Okay then I’ll go get dressed,” she said as she got out of bed. “Wear something comfortable, honey,” he said in a playful manner. She asked what they were going to do and he simply replied, “I don’t have a clue,” but he said it with such honesty that she mistook it for sarcasm.

It was the middle of September and the weather was lovely. As they got out of their house it was a few minutes past 9. They held each other’s hands and walked down the sidewalk and that was when they spotted a bus heading to their neighbor city which just so happened to have a beach. Realizing this was his chance to turn an ordinary night into something special he jumped into the bus as soon it stopped and yanked her off the street and into the bus. “Are you insane? We’re not dressed for the beach. Come on let’s go do something back at home.” She said to him in disbelief not fully realizing what’s happening. In the manner of someone who owns the bus and the plans to the rest of the evening he replied “It’s already done. We’re here and we’re going to the beach. You asked for entertainment and I’ll give it to you. The night is only starting.”

A few miles into the desert between both cities the bus broke down. Passengers were welcome to stay inside while the driver sent, and waited, for another bus to come pick them up. Seeing as there was no form of entertainment in waiting in a bus the husband suggested to his wife that they start walking down the road. Seeing as how the night was going she decided to join the general atmosphere and agreed to his proposal. They told the driver that if he spotted them down the road while in the new bus he’d stop and pick them up and off they went.

As they went down the road he jokingly asked her if she liked his methods of entertainment and with a smile she answered “Well I’m certainly not bored.” A little while later they grew tired and decided to lay down for a bit. With their backs against the floor and their ears on the lookout for a bus engine they saw the stars. “We can never see them at home I almost forgot they existed,” he remarked. “Well I’m glad you remembered. Maybe this whole night wasn’t a total waste,” she said sarcastically. Their laughter was interrupted by the sound of a motorcycle passing by.

As they got up they noticed a black motorcycle slowing down and heading for them. The guy on the motorcycle didn’t look very friendly. He had a tattoo of two guns crossed in an X on his left arm. He stared at them for a few seconds and as he took a knife out of his pocket BAM in half a second the wife’s foot made contact with his face knocking him down. She was thankful for her karate lessons, her choice of shoes that night, and whatever it was that gave her the guts to do that. As the man made contact with the floor her husband kicked the knife away as she started the motorcycle and screamed “LET’S GO!” As they drove away they both kept screaming that they were sorry to the man helping himself off the floor in utter astonishment.

To their neighboring city they headed. On the way they played music at full volume and accompanied it by alternating periods of nervous laughter and singing along. As they got into the city a police officer spotted them and told them that the police was looking for the same kind of motorcycle with these exact license plates and took them to the police department. After about an hour of making sure that these people aren’t wanted by the law, the police let them go.

They didn’t really give a damn that they lost the motorcycle. It’s not like they were relying on it to get back home and they had already gotten to where they wanted. Hand in hand they walked to the beach. There they found an open diner and got something to eat then they headed for the beach. They stayed until they saw the sunrise and then took the earliest bus back home. It was the most entertaining night of their lives.

The next morning, technically it was 5pm, she woke her husband up by nearly pushing him off the bed and screaming “WAKE UP! READ THE NEWSPAPER!” As he got up and put on his glasses he read the following headline off the front page: WANTED MAN STOPS BUS ON ITS WAY TO NEIGHBORING CITY AND MURDERS EVERYONE ON IT. The attached picture of the man being arrested didn’t show much but it showed a tattoo of two guns crossed in an X on his left arm.

She never asked her husband for an entertaining night again.

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