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Comedy Stories

Tetherball

Much like deciding to work as a summer camp counselor, playing tetherball with nine-year-old boys is exhausting, pointless, and stupid. After my easy serve, one of the bucktoothed brats miraculously hits the ball back. The ball is actually an old volleyball, hung like a church thief on a dirty rope affixed to the top of…

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Stories Tragedy

Fin

Maybe the lights won’t come back on. Maybe you can sit in silence in the back of the community center next to your ex-wife for a little while. She’s been remarried for years. You try to remember where what’s-his-name works. You hold her hand. She squeezes your hand back. 🜋 🜋 🜋 You know the…

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Comedy Stories

To One Not Sociable

The tail lights of a Mercedes E-class blink off as it accelerates through the stone gate pillars. An exhaust pipe of a BMW 5-series coughs up a plume of fetid smoke. On occasion there is a slight wave from a Lexus RX 350’s window—a white hand, manicured nails, rings with rocks worth more than my…

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Comedy Stories

Tatterdemalion

“Tatterdemalion. Ragamuffin. Slubberdegullion.” David’s great-aunt knew a dozen ways to call him slovenly and unkempt, but he paid her little mind. Since the Catholic Mass she dragged him to each day was tedious, he found crawling under the pews much more fun than listening to Latin. As usual, his great-aunt pulled him up by the…

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Comedy Stories

Growing Sideways

“Grow up.” “Get out of my room.” I cross my arms. We stare at each other. “$275,” I say. “It’s going to cost $275 to replace your retainer.” “So?” “So? So—do you have $275 to replace your retainer?” I ask my son, exasperated at his indifference. “No,” he replies, dismissing me. He begins to shove…

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Comedy Stories

Pink Martini

“I don’t think I’m ready.” “You’re ready. Besides, you don’t have a choice.” “I don’t have a chance . . .” “C’mon. She’s sweet.” “She’s scary.” “She’s sweet and scary and—six years old. Look, I think you have a distinct advantage, being a grown up and all.” “Ugh . . . tell me what she…

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Comedy Stories

Death By Sharpie

Lori Greene was needlessly cruel and we were afraid of her. “Please don’t slice and dice other students with your sharp tongue, Lori,” scolded Ms. Attaway, our 7th grade drama teacher. “Everyone deserves your respect.” When Ryan Wiggins laughed at her rebuke, Lori Greene decided to cancel him on the spot. “You’re a pervert, Ryan,”…

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Comedy Stories

The 2nd Floor of the Circuit Court Building

“Stay off the 2nd floor of the Circuit Court building,” my older brother advises, lighting a cigarette directly under a No Smoking sign. “Why?” “Ain’t nothing good up here,” he replies, his cigarette ash falling on the paperwork declaring him my guardian. The clerk frowns at him while he signs, but he flashes her a…

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Comedy Stories

Mac

It is Alex LaCroix’s fault. Even as a 1st grader, I know he is pure Virginia white trash—all the LaCroix’s are, my mother says. Still, blonde haired, blue-eyed Alex Lacroix is the most handsome boy in class, if not the entire grade. Even if he is shorter than I am. It will be two decades…

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Comedy Stories

Lawn Darts

🏅 Billy Putnam shot my dad in the butt with a BB gun. It was quite a feat, as nailing a middle aged man on a ladder cleaning out his rain gutters couldn’t have been easy all the way from the house next door—a house whose gutters were always full of old leaves and debris.…

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Stories Tragedy

For the Last Time

“Ow! You little bugger—you’ve nipped me for the last time.” Five months in, breastfeeding had lost its luster, especially as the baby began to teethe, searching more for pain relief than for nourishment. Perhaps they were both just thoroughly exhausted, as both mother’s and child’s sleep schedules—blissful for a month or so after a chaotic…

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Comedy Stories

Bad High School Teacher

They prepare no lessons, carry no papers, and instruct no one. They spit unrelated facts, regurgitate irrelevant dates, and monotonously spew textbook drivel. They strangle curiosity, stifle a love of learning, and murder both classroom discussion and critical thinking. Most egregiously, bad high school teachers spend far too much time at the photocopier, endlessly printing…

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Comedy Stories

Madness Among the Flowers

“So what do you do when your personal values clash with those of your family, your friends, your loved ones, your society?” The classroom went silent. Expected. I gave the prerequisite wait time—counting the slow seconds needed for my high school seniors to digest my salient query. Their pensive expressions belied the fact that they…

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Stories Tragedy

U.S. Army Issue Brown T-Shirt

“You can’t keep me here.” “Please, Mr. Van de Kamp. Take your seat,” ordered the imperturbable headmaster, black eyes narrowing over his hawkish nose. The boy stood in his office. Out of uniform. Insolent. “You can’t keep me here—” the boy repeated. “I assure you, we can,” the headmaster flatly stated. “Your father—” “My father…