Laughing Matter

by Jeff Goode

copyright © 2007

LIGHTS UP ON: Two people sitting, both reading the paper.

One of them quietly laughs at something she’s reading.

The other does not ask her "What’s so funny?"

After a beat, she laughs again, a little louder.

The other continues to ignore her.

She laughs more and more pointedly, obviously trying to get a reaction, until she is rolling on the floor laughing to the point of choking but still getting no response.

Finally, enraged, she leaps to her feet and screams:

LAUGHER: What the hell is wrong with you?

SILENT: What?

LAUGHER: I just read something obviously very funny here, and you’re not gonna ask me what’s so funny?

SILENT: Oh. I’m sorry. I thought you knew.

LAUGHER: No. What?

SILENT: When I turned 10 years old, my parents threw a birthday party for me and all my friends. And they hired a clown to entertain us. And he told a joke that was so hilarious that my best friend Chris started laughing and laughing, and just couldn’t stop. He laughed harder and harder until he started spitting up blood and coughing and then he finally passed out and choked on his own vomit and died right there at my birthday party. He died laughing.

LAUGHER: Oh my God.

SILENT: And I was kind of hoping that was what was happening to you.

BLACKOUT © 2007 Jeff Goode - THIS SCRIPT IS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AND MAY NOT BE DOWNLOADED, TRANSMITTED, PRINTED OR PERFORMED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR