by Jeff Goode
copyright © 2007
LIGHTS UP ON: Two people sitting, both reading the paper.
One of them quietly laughs at something shes reading.
The other does not ask her "Whats 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?
LAUGHER: I just read something obviously very funny here, and youre not gonna ask me what’s so funny?
SILENT: Oh. Im 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 couldnt 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.