June 2024

The Perfect Joke

Altenir Silva

Carl Vecchio, the comedian, was walking back and forth in his small apartment on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx while on the phone, talking with his roommate, Peter Hostfield, another comedian. Peter told Carl that he would only return tomorrow morning and reminded his friend to feed Constanza, his little hamster.

Even though they sometimes work together in comedy clubs around NYC and the country, they have many conflicts. Whenever one presents a new joke to the other, the latter doesn't laugh and tries to find a lot of flaws in it. Then, one accuses the other of being jealous. Anyway, when one comes up with a great joke to wow the audience, the other gets green with envy.

After hanging up, Carl started to prepare his cereal while watching a rerun of Seinfeld on TV. At that moment, enjoying Tony's Kellogg's and milk, he had a great idea for a joke. He got so excited that he jumped up on the sofa—like Tom Cruise on Oprah—and spilled all the cereal on the floor. He was really thrilled about his great joke.

Carl ran to the computer and started to write, but soon decided to stop. If this joke were to be stolen by some hacker? No, no, no. He grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down his joke. Then, he read and read and read the joke, and each time he read it, he laughed and laughed and laughed, celebrating his achievement. His happiness was so great that he started to feel his chest hurting. It hurt and hurt and hurt, and soon he understood that he was having a heart attack.

Minutes later, Carl was crawling on the ground, trying to save his life by calling 911, but his phone was in the other room and he wouldn't get it. He felt that he was getting worse and probably would die. Then, a horrible thought crossed Carl's mind: "If I die now, tomorrow morning, Peter will be in the house, and he will find my joke written on paper, and he will conquer the world. It cannot happen, no, no, no. If I die, Peter doesn't deserve to have my perfect joke."

Carl's heart pain worsened as he pondered what to do with the paper. If he tore it, Peter could find and use it. Maybe he could burn it, but he'd never make it to the kitchen. With no way out, Carl resolved to eat the paper joke and said in a staccato voice, "Nobody will laugh at my perfect joke!" And then he expired with a smile on his face.




Share This Page


Altenir Silva is a Brazilian playwright and screenwriter working in mass media and communications, including Cinema, Theater, Television and the Web. His texts and scripts - both fiction and reality-based - have been presented , produced and performed in the US, the UK, and Brazil.
For more of his writings in Scene4, check the Archives.

©2024 Altenir Silva
©2024 Publication Scene4 Magazine




June 2024

  Sections Cover · This Issue · inFocus · inView · inSight · Perspectives · Special Issues
  Columns Adler · Alenier · Alpaugh · Bettencourt · Jones · Luce · Marcott · Walsh 
  Information Masthead · Your Support · Prior Issues · Submissions · Archives · Books
  Connections Contact Us · Comments · Subscribe · Advertising · Privacy · Terms · Letters

|  Search Issue | Search Archives | Share Page |

Scene4 (ISSN 1932-3603), published monthly by Scene4 Magazine
of Arts and Culture. Copyright © 2000-2024 Aviar-Dka Ltd – Aviar Media Llc.

Thai Airways at Scene4 Magazine