What makes you laugh?

Featured

Laughter. The simple pleasure of a belly laugh! What a physical experience it can be.

What brings on that kind of laughter for you, dear reader? Does it happen often?

It takes a lot for me to laugh out loud. I’m more of a quiet smiler. Sometimes the smile is so quiet, you could think I was unaffected. I often ‘feel’ the smile in my head and know that it isn’t showing on the outside.

Watching movies often brings out a noisy laugh. Usually over slapstick comedy. I consider slapstick as physical comedy; somebody has fallen, for example. I laugh and laugh like a sicko! There is nothing very subtle about my sense of humour 😀 I’ll find myself laughing so hard that I can’t catch my breath. Sometimes, it is scary because it seems I’ll never get it back. I think this is because I struggle to let myself be loud and my natural inclination is to stuff it back in.

Graham Norton makes me laugh. I love his show. I chuckle my way through it, up to and including the red chair! Graham is very clever at bringing his guests right along, sharing with us their unusual stories and cracking us up.

I laugh with my husband, unexpectedly. Not because I don’t expect to laugh with him, but perhaps because a moment ago life was staid. Nothing particularly outstanding was happening. And then, something is said – we’re on the same wavelength and something clicks – then we’re both bent over in raptures of laughter. Take a peek at each other and again we’re falling around. If you’re lucky enough to have that kind of bond with somebody, then you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

Naturally, I’m a very serious person. I laugh with people I can relax with. That includes my children and my sisters. There are only a few friends that I’ll find myself laughing with.

I didn’t grow up with a wider network of family. It was always Mum and Dad and my siblings. All aunties and cousins lived in another country. And so, I didn’t develop strong bonds there.

My husband and I just spent a day with a cousin and his wife. We’ve been developing friendship over the last few years, mainly via Facebook; and we visited with them in 2013. But we laughed and laughed this weekend. It was very natural and friendly; non-judgmental laughing at each other and ourselves. A lightening of spirit experience.

The endorphins released from laughing are real. You can feel the release and relaxation after a good bout of laughter. It must be why there are laughter therapy classes, why comedians are so popular and why everyone loves the Simpsons! 😀

If you’ve read this, hopefully you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about and you enjoy loud and proud laughter regularly. If you don’t get enough laughs – search it out! What makes you laugh?

I’m including a link here to something that still makes me laugh. I hope you’ll get a good chuckle out of it too.

Simply 6 Minutes – If this were Heaven

#simply6minutes #stinewriting #flashfiction

trippy optical illusions

If this were heaven

would I be content

with trippy illusions

and lack of substance.

Perhaps it’s not heaven

but an in-between haven.

Asylum, a refuge

to relax, celebration.

If this were heaven

joy and colour would calm

while I waited for loved ones,

to fall into their arms.

If this were heaven

I’d be excited to meet

authors and actors

who’d passed before me.

What a trip. What a blast.

Shallow, my ass.

Legends never encountered

by this average-Joe lass.

In sub-heaven I could meet

awesome writers who’d inspired

deep thought and introspection

when on Earth’s lonely sphere.

Fulfilled at this way-station

I could then resign

to loving forever

in candyfloss climes.

***

Simply 6 Minutes Challenge Note

Set up a timer or sit near a clock so you can keep track of the six minutes you will be writing.

  • You can either use one of the prompts (photo or written) or you can free-write.
  • Get ready and write for 6 minutes, that is it! Can you write a complete story? Can you think of a new Sonnet? Can you write 400 words? 400? 500? There are no restrictions on what kind of writing you do, but you should try to be actively writing for six minutes.
  • After you are done writing, include your word count and then post back to this page #Simply6Minutes or include your link in the comments section. Pingbacks are enabled.

MLMM Photo Challenge #390 – The Call

#MLMM; #photochallenge; #flashfiction

Photo Credit Dang Ngo

My fellow monks are fearless

As they meditate the power

Of these freezing clifftop waters.

While I wither by the hour.

You can bring Buddha to the boy, but you can’t take away the bogan.

Not without a fight.

Daily and with joy, I pray, chant, and work

Desiring no wealth, accepting what I’m worth

And I glow as I practice giving

Fellowship and love.

When I hear rock and roll, let loose on the street

Watch the mantle slip.

The power of prayer persuaded me to climb to the top of the cliff

To stand in the freaking cold waterfall.

But I’m tired of robes that let wind up my thighs.

I give thanks for the peace, but I’m over the quiet.

Back in black, I return to my roots in the bush

Blasting ACDC to worship with music. [140 words]

Friday Fictioneers – Eye of the Beholder

#fridayfictioneers #flashfiction #rochellewisofffields

Photo by Jennifer Pendergast

Mrs Jones, we must talk about Sarah. Her recent art project.

Oh, it was brilliant! She got a gold star! We are so proud.

The talent is obvious. Colour, logic, planning. Santa pencil dropped mid‑scene caps off the malevolence.

Sorry?

The theme of this work, Mrs Jones. She has created carnage as art. A child as roadkill. Dead, or dying. Either a dog is finishing her off, or a service vehicle is scraping up her remains. I’m not certain ….

She wants to be an Ambo. She likes to practice scenarios. I’ve never thought …

Oh. Right then. [98 words]

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for continuing to set this 100 word or less challenge. It is certainly a commitment appreciated by many. Other 100 word stories can be read here.

Simply 6 Minutes – Leapfrog

#simply6minutes #stinewriting #flashfiction

A little late in the week … but here we go!

***

Come on bro, I feel like we missed out on a childhood.

Give me a break. I’ve got stuff to do.

I want to play. The kids in the village are having a great time.

I’ve got the weight of the world on my shoulders, and you want to revert to being a kid.

Yeah, bro. Come on. They call it leapfrog.

Our legs are too short. Arms made for swinging from a tree. Legs made for hold’n on. Not leaping.

Bro, you’re so old. What about hopscotch.

Hop, what?

We mark out some squares and then jump from square to square, something like that. Looks like fun.

Buddy, I’ve gotta sort out the Bellini brothers. They’re fighting over that gal again. I don’t have time for this.

Play with me, Frank. How about soldiers. Or horseback riding. Let me get on your back.

Get off me!! It’s like I’m weighed down by a truck. I’ve enough pressure. Grow up, Buddy.

You’re no fun. You’ve turned into Dad. No, you were turned into Dad.

Someone had to step up …

It didn’t have to be you. You coulda stayed my brother, been my friend. No. You had to be the hero.

Hey, how have we gone from ‘play with me’ to ‘you left me behind’. How did that happen.

Man, you don’t get it. I wanted to be a kid. I wanted you by my side. I still do.

Well, we can get back to that. It’ll need some work, some patience from you. Some support.

But …

Let’s figure out how to play that leapfrog thing.

Bro! [6 minutes, 268 words]

https://christinebialczak.com/2020/07/14/simply-6-minutes-writing-challenge

  • Set up a timer or sit near a clock so you can keep track of the six minutes you will be writing.
  • You can either use one of the prompts (photo or written) or you can free-write.
  • Get ready and write for 6 minutes, that is it! Can you write a complete story? Can you think of a new Sonnet? Can you write 400 words? 400? 500? There are no restrictions on what kind of writing you do, but you should try to be actively writing for six minutes.
  • After you are done writing, include your word count and then post back to this page #Simply6Minutes or include your link in the comments section. Pingbacks are enabled.

Friday Fictioneers – Still Life

#rochellewisofffields #flashfiction #fridayfictioneers

Condiments by Rochelle

They call that a still life.

I believe so.

It’s condiments. Hardly life.

It’s about being part of life, but still. Inanimate.

Oh. Still, it’s not really life, is it? It don’t breathe, or swim in honey. It don’t move around.

No, but still part of life, ain’t it. In life, you need condiments.

Mate, condiments lead to death. For us and them lot. Heart disease and diabetes for them. Honeytrap for us.

Yeah, but they’re still life. Can’t eat a bowl of chips without them.

SWAT!

Bluey, mate. Oh no, Bluey. [92 words]

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for continuing to set this 100 word or less challenge. It is certainly a commitment appreciated by many. Other 100 word stories can be read here.

Take Seven – 15th October 2021

Our words were:

duty, event, exchanged, hefty, hole, missing, particular, piece, quality, quizzical, riot, roast, secret, see, segment, sixty, spend, tapped, terrific, traditional, wire.

***

Sixty years together in a traditionally conservative marriage and at the point in my life where I should be cruising, all about to hit the fan.

The first ten years were terrific. I’d found the missing piece of the puzzle and would tell all and sundry that I was happy to spend my remaining years with this one, good woman.

But she had a secret, see. While I saw everything with those rosy glasses, she was involved in a lengthy extramarital affair. At first, she was waiting for the kids to leave the nest, and then I had a health scare. She wanted to be kind. She felt duty bound, vows exchanged were not to be thwarted, she said.

She waited a bloody life‑changing amount of time to break the news. To face me. In the end, she chose the event of the christening of our first great grandchild to create the hefty hole in my heart. Broken into segments, as cleanly as if cut with piano wire.

I was tucking into the particularly delicious roast prepared with love by ‘her’ hands for the celebratory feast, when she asked if we could chat. I looked up at her, oblivious to the cuts she was about to impart, and felt gravy sliding down my chin and a large, odorous burp escaped my lips.

She grimaced, then smiled brightly again.

“When you’re ready, darling,” she said.

I continued to eat the quality meat. Only the best for our table. I raised my fork to get the attention of my riotous extended family.

“Oi, you lot. I get the sense a surprise is in the offing. Any of you know what Mum has up her sleeve?”

There was a pause in conversation as several faces turned toward me, various degrees of stupidity, disinterest and general boredom reflected back. There was only one quizzical expression, shown in raised eyebrows and a nervous smile. That was the face of Johnny, my longest and dearest friend.

“No? Nobody? Alright then, must just be something between Joanie and me”, I called. ”Carry on!”

I got up from the table and followed my beloved wife to the nook, our cosy winter space. Scene of many a companionable evening, cuddled together in front of a roaring fire.

“My darling,” she began. “There’s no easy way to say this …”

“What is it, Joanie? Just say it, quickly. Rip the band aid,” I said, encouragingly.

“I want a divorce,” she said.

“Wow, not what I was expecting,” I said. I sank into the nearest sofa. “But it is probably about time.”

“Sorry? Um, you’re not surprised,” she said. “I’m in love with Johnny.”

“Ah, Johnny. Our Johnny? Johnny imbibing of our fabulously rich celebratory feast, right now. In the other room. That Johnny?”

“Yes. What other Johnny could it be,” she asked. I could see that she was puzzled, intrigued, and frustrated all wrapped in a messy package.

“Just checking, my love. Because, that Johnny has been my lover for the last twenty years,” I said.

“I … can’t believe it,” said Joanie. “He … we’ve been talking about leaving you for years.”

“As have we. We have discussed and planned what we’d do with the divorce proceeds. Where we will travel to, where we’d live …”.

“No,” she said. “No. That can’t be right.”

“Do you think, darling that he has hedged his bets and we’ve been tapped for our marital fortune?” I asked Joanie, angry and confident that we’d both been played. “He has always been a greedy bastard.”

As we have done for over sixty years, we came to an easy telepathic decision. We were a team. Together we could conquer all. And we would not be played.

We walked back into that party, took our places at table and I threw into the conversation … “Has anybody heard … Uncle Johnny has syphilis. Unfortunately, he’ll be checking into a sanatorium tomorrow.”

Stunned silence and a beetroot red, sweating Johnny jumps to his feet and crashes away from the table. Without a word, he wobbles to the door grabs his coat on the way and slams the door behind him.

“Well,” said my elderly mother. “That was different.” [701 words]

Take Seven

MLMM Wordle #261 – Awakening

Yves is our host for the Monday MLMM wordle. You can join in here

Our words this week are:
sorrow, cringeworthy, miscreant, hide, hilltops, swivel, plaid, freeze, privacy, escape, mermaid, limp

***

On my pre-dawn walk, I stumble upon the mermaid, limp and freezing on the beach.

I’m not so much up early as I haven’t been to bed.

A widower, I hide from society and nurture my sorrow by doing night shift for the paper that employs me. I get the darkest most cringeworthy stories. Evil stalks at night. Miscreant youth roaming in gangs, hassling the homeless, looking for sport find the inside of a prison van.

As I approach what is clearly a body, I hesitate. Consider escape. I live with darkness. I do not let the light in. But can I handle one more moment in that world? Another death?

I swivel on my hilltops, and with that turn dig a divot into the sand that seems to suck me in. Stay, the stickiness pleads. Bring the best of yourself.

Reluctantly, breath held, I bend down to the woman and press her neck for a pulse. Nothing. I survey her form. Scales glisten in the moonlight. Her long, lean torso ends in that flipper. I look to her face, beautiful in repose. Porcelain skin, rosy, red lips. Hair that tumbles like tangled seaweed.

I feel my heart stir.

Removing my jacket, I place the plaid over her, providing some privacy. Protection.

I turn away, swipe the screen of my phone to call for help.

Something grabs my ankle, a powerful hold. A sweet voice whispers, “Help me, please.”

I look down into emerald eyes and I am bludgeoned by my burgeoning heart.

Welcome back light, life, love.

I return the phone to my pocket. [265 words]

Simply 6 Minutes – Strike a Pose

Thanks to Christine at #StineWriting for the weekly Simply 6 Minutes challenge. Use the photo prompt to write anything that comes to mind, in six minutes. Submit as is, or quick edits allowed. Enjoy.

Giraffe

You have what it takes, babes. Go for it.

Estelle continues posing and pouting, checking her refection off the glassy surface of the waterhole.

I don’t know, she moans. Jasmine has a better shape. She births all the calves.

Girl, you have the height, the lashes, the ‘to die for’ coat. Perfect natural trout pout. Those wildlife photographers will eat you up!

You really think so? Mmm, okay. Maybe a new lippy though.

Yes, babe. Loud and glorious red. No, a brilliant orange will suit your fur type. Loud and proud, baby.

Oh, Johnny. You’re the best friend a gal could ever have. Will you come with me to the callup?

Yeah, baby. I’m your man and there ain’t nobody can hold a candle to your bodaciousness. Don’t waste those lashes on me, darling. I’m already sold. Strike a pose, and I’ll fill your portfolio.

You got it, darling. [6 minutes, 149 words]

FF – Carousels in the Sky

brenda-cox-merry-go-round

Photo by Brenda Cox

Round and round and round … he whispers.

James. Stop that, now. Look at mummy.

Mama, he slurs. Can you see them?

She touches his forehead. Burning.

His eyes roll and hands wave whimsical shapes in the air.

The mother worries. His fever has burned for three days.

There is no money for a doctor.

The boy’s inner world is completely joyful.

Horses from the uptown carousel they cannot afford, have come to him.

A kaleidoscope of colour, costume, prancing and dancing.

He laughs aloud. A crackling, wet laugh.

They love me, Mama.

She laughs through sobs.

Loud and lonely. [100 words]

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for continuing to set this 100 word or less challenge. It is certainly a commitment appreciated by many. Other 100 word stories can be read here.

Friday Fictioneers – Home

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for continuing to set this 100 word or less challenge. It is certainly a commitment appreciated by many. Other 100 word stories can be read here.

Photo by Roger Bultot

Photo by Roger Bultot

How wonderful. How old are these photos?

Late 1800s, something like that.

Amazing, and precious. I wish I had that kind of past connection. Something as tangible.

Yeah, it is special.

Do you see a family resemblance?

Definitely. I’ve always seen my dad in the older lady. My four times great grandma. She had like 12 kids, who all lived. There are so many cousins. You can’t turn a corner in my hometown without meeting a relation.

You’ve a tribe. Awesome. We’ve never had that. Immigrants.

Sounds lonely. Sad.

It can be. We’re a community of six. [97 words]

I have to admit that I wrote this based on the other photos Rochelle had in her post. By mistake, so perhaps the story doesn’t make sense in relation to the actual prompt. Hope you enjoyed it anyway. 

grandmothers-weinberg-finis

Photo by Rochelle