The Last Laugh

Meet Tim O’Brien. Tim has been doing his comedy routine for over 50 years. Although never actually achieving fame, Tim knows how to get a crowd going. Trouble is, he never manages to get anywhere. Three failed marriages, kids who hate their father, audiences who hate him even worst, his worthless life was too much for Tim to bear. That all could change tonight. You see, a few days ago, when Tim got so depressed he wanted to kill himself, a craggy old man appeared in his path. The old man, with his wrinkly face closely resembled death itself. “What is wrong young man” he asked.

Tim replied that he has been doing the comedy routine so long now that he has grown fed up. He was fed up with the long nights of standing in front of losers and having them heckle him. He was fed up with fame still standing yet so far away from him. He was fed up with life, particularly his life.

The old man offered Tim a deal. “I can make you famous, more famous than you ever dreamed. No more hecklers, no more seedy motels and most of all, no more lonely nights.” “All this for one little thing.”

“What sort of thing?” Tim asked, getting fed up with the insanity of the moment.

“Not much, just your immortal soul” he replied.

Tim looked in the old man in dismay. “You crazy? Get out of here, you miserable old drunk”

On his way out, the old man asked if Tim was still interested in his deal.

“Whatever, just go to hell!” Tim hollered.

The old man disappeared as fast as he had arrived. Tim got his stuff ready and made his entrance. “One more show, then I will end it” He thought.

The crowd watched patiently as the next act walked out on the stage. The night wasn’t going well for any of the performers, and by the time Tim O’Brien began his act, the crowd were fed up with the stale humor and childish attempts of the first few acts.

Tim arrived on the stage with a guitar strapped to his shoulder. At first the crowd thought that rather than just another comedy act, this guy would amaze them with some sort of hidden musical talent; you know, the kind you see on shows like America’s Got Talent, where a guy who lived his life as a chicken farmer comes out and wows the crowd. Think Again!

In his deep, almost frightening voice, Tim introduces himself.

“Hi, I am Tim” he says, and simply stands there, staring at the crowd.

“So when does the show start?” he asks. The crowd look at each other like he is crazy. They may be right.

“I guess you are wondering why I have this guitar with me” he says.

“I tell my kid that guys who play guitars get all the ladies”

“Let me play you a little something I wrote, a little something I like to call “I wish I had learned guitar when I was a kid so I could get girls” he says. A few members of the audience grin to themselves.

He starts out by hitting a few chords, three in total, and just when you are waiting for the music to get better, it doesn’t. He starts banging on the guitar strings like a madman, absolutely no music, just noise. He takes the guitar off and throws it in the corner.

“Damn thing! Never could play guitar…I guess that’s why I never had many girls” he says. The crowd give him a few laughs, and a few people, who obviously didn’t enjoy that joke fire cola cans at him.

Tim grabs a bag and proceeds to pick up the cans.

“I recycle” he says. A few more laughs.

He then pulls an inflatable guitar from his pocked and inflates the thing.

“Air Guitar” he says, and begins making all sorts of almost obscene noises.

“Can’t play Air Guitar either!” he says. The crowd actually laugh this time.

He goes back and straps the old guitar on his shoulder again. Tipping the guitar towards the floor, Jim shows the audience that there are two holes cut out of the side of the thing.

“Cup holder and an ashtray, comes in handy when you are drinking” he says. A few more laughs.

“My mother in law is so cheap that she blinded herself just to get a free dog.” he said

As the jokes went on, the crowd grew anxious. They didn’t want Tim to stop. A few of the female audience members even threw him notes with their phone numbers.

He is amazed. They are laughing, he thought. He tells a few more jokes and the laughter grows by the minute. By the end of his routine, people are holding their bellies with laughter.

As he finishes his routine, whispers fill the room as the audience have made their decision. Tim O’Brien would get most of the votes here tonight.

Tim would get something else he wasn’t expecting tonight. Just as he settled down in the seedy motel room that stood next to the bar where he performed, a knock came at the door. It was the cute redhead who sat in front of him at the club. She wasn’t wearing much, and it didn’t take long for Tim to invite her in.

“So, Young Man, will you accept?  Will you sign the papers?” she asked?

Tim was elated. Imagine how his luck changed. One minute he contemplated suicide, the next, he is standing in front of a crowd of people, enjoying the show. Then he actually wins the comedy contest, one that promises to take him to comedy venues from Vegas to Hollywood. And to top it off, they send this beautiful creature to give him his contract. Could his life get any better?

Tim grabs the contract, not bothering to read it first, and scribbles his signature on the dotted line. So where do I pick up my prize? When do I start the tour?” he asks.

“Tour? What tour? This isn’t what you think it is.” The girl says.

The once beautiful lines in her face suddenly begin to fall, and instantly she changes from a beautiful young woman into the craggy old man who offered Tim the deal…the one he inadvertently agreed to, the one he just signed on to.

There would be no tours, no laughing crowd. Tim’s dream of becoming famous was just that, a dream. From here on the only shows he would be putting on will be for the suffering souls in

HELL!

 

 

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