Q. What did the grape say when it was stepped on?
Nothing, it just let out a little wine.
Did that make you laugh? Sure, you may have chuckled when you realized what the joke did, a play on words, a joke that your dad would’ve told you had he not left fifteen years ago, but really, did it make you laugh out loud?
Okay, how about this one?
Q. What kind of organization is Atheism?
A non prophet organization.
Get it? You do?
That’s great. These are all jokes that I heard from the famous crying joker, Ponmalio.
I didn’t expect anything from the show, but apparently, people traveled from all over the world to see him. That’s what Julius said, anyway.
The first time I heard of him, I heard about it from my business partner, Julius Chad. With a name like that, you’re probably getting a lot of assumptions about him, but hold on to them for a while. I met Julius when I was in college. I had started a website, a profitable one, and was looking for investors. Julius was the trust fund boy and once he heard about my website, he invested a good amount of money that would keep the servers on for a long time.
Q. What do you say to the guy who invented zero?
Thanks for nothing!
Q. Why did the scarecrow win an award?
Because he was outstanding in his field!
Keep in mind though, that Julius invested in my internet company back when people believed the internet was a fad. That was a huge deal in and of itself, and he owned a fat 50% share of my firm. That’s how investing works. You put in the money and the money works for you. The opposite of that statement is also true.
Julius first told me about the crying joker, Ponmalio, and he said how finding tickets to it was an elusive affair. And they were very costly. We didn’t have to worry about money, though. I was an expert in negotiation by that time, and years of running an online business had made me as good as Warren Buffett, if Warren Buffett was 83.8 billion dollars poorer.
“Why is he called the Crying Joker?” I asked him on the bright Sunday morning.
“His jokes are so bad, he cries at the end of his shows!” he had said. I didn’t believe it. Someone couldn’t be that bad, right?
Well, it turns out he is. In the show, which could be hardly called a show, I saw the crying joker, Ponmalio, for the first time. It was held in an abandoned basement in a warehouse that seemed to have been used for nothing other than weird comedy shows and failed orgies. There were rusty iron chairs, each lined two in a row and each group of two separated from each other.
I would’ve told you where this was being held, but I legally can’t. When we brought the tickets through an online middleman, we had to sign a legal disclaimer to not disclose the location and we had to pay a significant amount of money for the show.
Q. What’s more amazing than a talking dog?
A spelling bee.
Q. What does the cell say to his sister when she steps on his toe?
“Oh my toe sis!”
When Ponmalio came on stage, no one applauded. I had started to put my hands together, but seeing no one clap, I didn’t clap either. Julius was sitting beside me and he gave me a look that screamed, “See, told you this is weird!”
I was still happy Julius had brought me to something. We had a little falling out over the years when I slept with his wife. Our friendship wasn’t the same, but doing stuff like this showed that he had forgiven me.
Q. What happens when you read a book on Anti-Gravity?
You can’t put it down.
Q. Why can’t you play poker on the African Savanna?
There are too many cheetahs.
Ponmalio looked like the joker you’d see in any kids’ parties with one difference. The black makeup around his eyes came down in lines along his cheeks. The lines rolled down his cheeks, adding weight to the statement that he was indeed “The crying joker.” He wore a polka-dotted shirt and violet pants. His face was white, dabbed on with as much makeup he had, and red lipstick adorned his lips. The only other weird thing, other than his crying eye makeup, was his hair. His hair was orange and glowing. Yes, glowing. I assumed he had put on a “glow in the dark” orange dye, but then again, I assumed a lot of things wrong.
Q. Why is it always hot in the corner of a room?
Because a corner is 90 degrees.
Q. What did the bartender say to the burger that walked into a bar?
Sorry, we don’t serve food here.
After each joke, Ponmalio looked at us from the stage and smiled. Sometimes he even laughed. But no one in the crowd laughed. I’ll admit, I do not have the best taste in humor, but to even some of the jokes, I laughed out loud. The only other person accompanying me to my laughter was a woman from the front of the stands who came with her husband.
Being the only two people who were laughing at some of his jokes, she glanced at me quite a few times from the front. Even Julius beside me wasn’t laughing at anything. I tried elbowing him, whispered, “Come on, that was kinda funny!” but he silently shook his head.
It felt like Julius had been to a lot of Ponmalio shows before. He knew how it went and exactly what to do. Like Julius, no one in the crowd responded to any of Ponmalio’s jokes.
With no applause, Ponmalio kept going. Joke after joke, delivered to a packed audience who watched him silently and shook their heads.
Q. What’s brown and sticky?
Q. Did you hear the rumor about butter?
Well, I’m not going to spread it!
There was one woman at the front who laughed at many of his jokes. Because she did, she glanced back at me a couple of times, the only other man with a sense of humor who seemed to be laughing and enjoying himself. Her husband was beside her, and like my friend Julius and everyone else in the crowd, he didn’t laugh at any of Ponmalio’s jokes either.
I wasn’t afraid of going against the crowd, ever in my life. That’s what made me so successful. So, after a while, I started laughing at every joke that I found funny. I applauded. I wanted to show Ponmalio that I cared, that he was funny and he deserved the applause.
Q. Why did the old man fall in the well?
Because he couldn’t see that well!
Q. Why do vampires seem sick?
They’re always coffin.
After an hour of these jokes, a night which I enjoyed, Ponmalio sat down on the stage and cried. He started sobbing quietly at first, but then started crying. Then he laughed, a sad laughter that seemed to be filled with pain and sorrow. Then he cried again. For five minutes, he kept doing this. Alternating between crying and laughing and crying and laughing.
I asked Julius whether we should leave to which Julius whispered, “No. The best part of the show is almost here.”
As he finished saying this, Ponmalio stood up on the stage. The crying would’ve ruined anyone’s makeup, but his makeup hadn’t changed. Tear drops still rolled down his white cheeks that he didn’t bother wiping off. He held his hands apart, raising them.
Then he clapped.
At first I couldn’t believe what happened after he clapped. The crowd vanished. Julius was gone from beside me. Only I was left, and the woman who was laughing at his jokes from the front row. Her husband was gone too. Literally everyone in the crowd had vanished. The woman was visibly terrified, as she should have been. She got up from her seat and looked around.
“What happens to the people who laugh at Ponmalio’s jokes?” Ponmalio asked with a squeaky voice.
“They all die,” Ponmalio replied, his loud voice echoing through the empty basement. Then he flew down from the stage and, with one swipe of his hands, beheaded the woman in the front row. Blood dripping from the headless head, Ponmalio flew towards me. Time stopped right then. I remember my mind racing. I remember his sharp teeth, his lipstick laden face, the large claws on his hands as he flew at me.
“Wait,” I shouted, closing my eyes. “I can bring you more people who would laugh at these jokes!”
I opened my eyes and felt around my neck. My head was still there, but Ponmalio was still towering over me.
“How many people?” Ponmalio asked.
I thought about it. Three. Maybe, four?
I asked him whether he would kill my friend, Julius, if I brought him thousands of people who would laugh at his jokes. It didn’t seem like Julius had forgiven me for sleeping with his wife, and I wasn’t going to go back to the office knowing he tried to kill me.
Ponmalio agreed. The irony of making a deal with him was not lost on me, nor was the irony of Julius becoming the victim of his own deranged plan.
Anyway, Ponmalio’s sitting beside me as I’m typing this. He’s very excited about traveling the world and killing new people. If you’ve laughed at any of the jokes that you read so far, I have bad news for you.
Be very careful for the next few days.
Thank you for reading!
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Happy Halloween everyone!
Fill your evening with these books-
Before Apocalypse: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08245Y25N
SCARE SCARE Trilogy: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YNMF9CD
Thanks for reading!