I was told that the formula for a comedy is
TRAGEDY + TIME
I was driving home; tired that one August afternoon. The sun was glaring on my eyes and warming my face which is making me more tired and now sleepy. "Tired of what?" ~ I was bored at work and lack of sleep the previous night. I had a hard time staying asleep last night, I am not sure if it’s because of some bad reoccurring dream or just plain dread. Awake, counting sheep did not work. Of course! I even tried counting dinosaurs and lentil beans. As my car swerve through this pothole ridden road, it reminds me of that Atari game ‘Asteroids’ I used to play when I was a kid. Thoughts of shooting the asteroids kept me in a semi-awake state the remainder of my drive. After forty-five minutes of "auto-pilot" I finally arrived home. Like a zombie, I went straight downstairs, turned on the boob tube and was in trance with Spongebob Square Pants and friends swimming under the sea. It would be awesome if I was stoned.
I’m not sure how long my eyes have been closed but I was awoken by a shrill noise. I sat right up, confused. Dizzy from the sudden rush of consciousness, I do not know where the hell that noise is coming from. Nor where the hell I am? After a few seconds, shaking the fog in my head, I realized that I am in the room downstairs and I am on-call again for work. And that wailing cry is coming from my damn pager. I scrambled aimlessly in the dark looking for the stupid pager which is now screeching like a goat being castrated.
I finally found the angry pager under the couch and silenced it. Damn! That hurt my head. As I was trying to find the button to turn the backlight on for the pager to read the message, I realized that the television stopped working. Like a multi-tasker as I am, I was trying to read the message on the pager and pushing the power button on the television; when I notice at the corner of my eye, a greenish haze that suddenly rolled out onto the floor. "What the fuck!" Where is this fog coming from? Realization has dawned on me that the now silenced room is darker than usual and now with the eerie greenish haze rising from the floor. I cannot see anything! Still holding the pager and gave up on the television, I walked towards to what I thought was the north wall where the light switch is located. After a few feet of careful steps in the dark, my cellphone started ringing. The light from the cellphone made it easier for me to find the contraption; it is on the coffee table by the couch. Instead of turning the light on, I went back to retrieve the ringing device. As soon as I flipped the phone on, I can hear a couple of people having an idle conversation. I listened in; it’s a male and a female voices. Confused, I said "Hello?" But they did not respond; they continued on talking. I looked at my phone and checked if it was in mute. It was not. I said hello again but no response from either one of them. I stayed on the line to try and see if I would recognize who they are and what they are talking about.
The male voice sounds so familiar. I have heard that cigarette voice before. I think its Tom. Then the female voice said in an overly sweet voice, "Oh, Tom . . ." It is Tom. Who is he talking with?, I wonder. "Tom . . . Tom . . . Can you hear me? . . . Hello?" With a louder voice I tried to get his attention, again to no avail. Giving up, with the phone still on my ear, I turned around. Alas, a few feet in front of me, hiding in the haze, is Tom on his cellphone. Right in front of him is a female who I do not recognize. I just noticed that she too is holding her cellphone to her ear.
They are talking to one another on the cellphone even though they are right in front of each other. "Tom, what are you doing here?" I inquired. "Who are you talking?" But he did not stir from where he is standing. They just continued on with their conversation oblivious of my presence. The girl started laughing and flipping her blonde hair; she touched his shoulders and started giggling like a flirty teenage girl. I stepped towards them and reached out for Tom. My hand went through Tom’s shoulder; but as soon as my hand went through Tom, he turned my way and looked at me. As soon as our gaze met, both Tom and the girl disappeared from my sight, into the now thick greenish fog.
I stepped back in astonishment. Again, I tried to head to the north wall to the freaking light switch, when I reached it I turned the light switch on. It did not work. I turned the switch up and down a few times but no lights emitted. The lights are not working. I tried it again hoping against odds. Go figure and I still have to respond to my page. Now with my back against the wall, I hear the faint little thuds. Sounds like some kind of marching. The floor started to rumble as the stomping got louder. I tried to go back towards to where the couch was but out of nowhere comes out are oompa-lumpa-looking people. Orange little people and each of them is carrying a brick. They are marching in two lines. There are hundreds of them. Looking at their faces, I had to do a second look, they all look like little Toms; all of them. Visually that is a funny sight. I was just waiting for Charlie to come out to tell me I did not win the factory and I have to be escorted out by the little people. But they continued on marching passing me by. Instead of being afraid of what is going on, I had the urge to laugh. They are marching in pair, couple of lines of these little people carrying bricks; going where I wonder. In awe, I started following them to where ever they are heading. At the end of the line, they are arranging the bricks on top of one another. They look like they are building a wall; a brick wall. I tried to tell them that they cannot bring all these bricks in my house; "You cannot build a wall in my house! What are you doing?! Go away! . . . Go away! . . . I am going to call the cops!" All of them stopped marching at the same time; synchronically they all looked at me and smirked. Then they turned towards the wall and continued to do what they are doing anyway.
I started running towards the front door or to what I thought was the front door. Where the hell is my cellphone? I should have called ‘911’ before they started building that wall. I fell over one of the "Tom-oompa-lumpa-look-alike" trying to find my phone and one of them started to run after me. Then a lot of them followed. Franctically I ran towards the brick wall they are building.
The brick wall is now a couple feet high. On the other side of the wall is Tom. With him is that girl from earlier, they are still fucking talking to one another on their cellphone when they are right in front of each other. These little boogers is working really fast, the wall is almost as tall as me. I yelled on top of my lungs to Tom but he did not stir.
Trying to stop the little people arranging the bricks is not an easy feat. I tried to take the bricks away from them but they just kept on coming. One of them dropped a brick on my foot and a couple of them started scratching me. "Ouch!" I cried. I yelled for Tom, "Help me Tom!, Tom!"; asking for help. I think he heard me because I saw him turn his head towards me. But he did nothing. Frantically I struggled and successfully escape their grasps. I started running again, this time towards Tom. The faster I run toward him, the further away he appeared. Reaching out to him, he turned away. Tears are now flowing and stinging my eyes. I tried not to blink because I’m afraid that if I do, he will not be there. The little people suddenly started working faster to finish what they are building. It’s like watching a movie in fast forward. In my hysterical state I screamed a muted "Nooooooooo!" I ran to the kitchen in hopes to find a mallet or hammer or anything to break the brick wall; I found a knife. Holding the knife I turned around to go back but the wall is right there in front of me.
I am standing in front of that solid brick wall, I felt helpless. It feels as if a hand is squeezing my heart. I cannot stop sobbing. I reached out and touched the cold wall.
Sitting; my back against the brick wall, my face is now completely soaked and my head throbbing. My chest feels like it’s going to explode. Why am I crying anyway? The oompa-lumpa-like people are back but now they do not look like Tom, they look like the girl who was with Tom. There are hundreds of them. They all started to laugh this squeaky laughter. They sounded like happy rats. They started closing onto me. They grabbed my legs and arms. I tried to fight them off but the little buggers are stronger than they look. One of them straddled me on my chest. On her hand is the knife I found from the kitchen. She is smiling while looking into my eyes. She was holding the sharp side of the knife on the side of my neck. I struggled for a few minutes but I cannot free myself from their grips. After what seems eternity, I gave up. At this point, the others didn’t have to hold me down because I was too tired and is paralyzed in fear.
With one swift motion the knife slit the side of my neck. In that instant all of them disappeared in the green haze. Lying motionless, I can feel blood squirting down my neck. I tried to compress the cut with my left hand as tears run down my face. The last thing I remembered before I succumb to unconsciousness is looking at my bloody left hand.
I woke up on the couch and the television is playing some funky infomercial about a cure for penile erectile dysfunction. "What a night mare!" I told myself. I sat up and touched my neck. As I was still holding my neck, I stood up and ran to the bathroom as fast as my feet could carry me. I looked at myself on the mirror and check out my neck. There is nothing there; not a scratch. I sighed with relief. My pager started screeching again. Damn pager! As soon as I silenced it, my cellphone started playing Beethoven’s Fifth indicating that I have a new message. I fumbled with my cellphone, the message was from somebody UNKNOWN. I opened the message and it is a picture of a bloody left hand.
COPYRIGHTED 2009 All rights reserved
Wait for it . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . is it funny now?
Author's note: I was working with my Jedi Master when he said, "My young Padawan, you will write a short story using my formula about comedy!" Well, like a lemming I did. I loved how the story turned out! I wrote it last year and I'm still waiting for it to be funny =)
You tell me!