I noticed a sign in the window that said “sense of humors for sale.” I thought that this was a rather awkward thing to be selling and my interests were aroused. I went into the small store that was poorly lit and had many shelves without anything upon them. The walls were bare and no one stood behind the counter. There was an eery feeling that ran through the vacant shop and as I turned around to leave I was startled by a voice from the back that said, “good afternoon young man, can I be of some assistance.” I turned around and noticed a tall skinny man who looked similar to me standing behind the counter holding an unsmoked cigarette in his hand. “Yes,” I said- “I am curious about the sense of humors that you have for sale.” “Oh yes, I believe we have one left,” he replied looking up at a shelf that had nothing upon it but dust. “Would you like to try it on,” he asked?
The dressing room was illuminated by a yellow neon light and there were no mirrors on the walls. I commented upon this to the salesman who continued to smoke his un-lit cigarette and said “we do not sell anything that you would need to see on, so why have mirrors I ask you?” He seemed a little defensive so I asked him another question. “What kinds of things do you sell in this store?” he looked at me with an expression of annoyance and replied, “why don’t you try on the sense of humor and then we will talk.”
I put the sense of humor on by rubbing a very cold cream into my chest. He wanted me to take off my pants as well and rub the cream into my legs but I felt uncomfortable getting naked in this strange environment. I rubbed the cream all over my chest and arms and then was given a cloth to wipe off the residual cream. “Give it a few moments and then you will notice a change. The cream that I gave you was a starter cream. The effects only last a few minutes. If you decide that you would like to purchase a sense of humor, we have a permanent cream,” the salesman said to me as he motioned me over towards a chair where I was supposed to sit and experience the sense of humor.
Within seconds of applying the cream I started to notice a chuckle in the back of my thought. The salesman put up various pictures on the shelves and asked me to observe these photographs. There were photographs of Hillary Clinton, villages destroyed by bombs, a soldier in Iraq carrying a very large gun and of George Bush and John MacCain. There were also photographs of prisoners being tortured, the atomic bomb, people suffering from starvation, animals stuck in small cages, two men having sex with a woman, hospitals, ghettos, a man begging for money, and a dead body that seemed to be so violated that I could not tell if the body was a man or a woman. The salesman also placed white pieces of cardboard on the shelves that had words like CANCER, DEATH, POVERTY, UNEMPLOYMENT, GREED, GLOBAL WARMING, CORRUPTION and INJUSTICE written on them. The salesman said something like “now feel free to take your new sense of humor for a test drive,” and then he walked away. I sat there alone in the cold room and observed all many photographs and words for a few seconds- and then it happened.
The laughter was so intense that I was unable to control it. I laughed like I had never laughed before in my life. There was a feeling of great release that caused all of my stress to dissipate into thin air. All things that normally were causes of stress and despair for me seemed to no longer cause me any aggravation. I looked at the photos of George Bush, Hillary Clinton, the soldier and the dead body and my normal feeling of constriction and anger seemed to vanish. All I could do was laugh. I could see the humor in the ridiculousness of human behavior and I was able to laugh at all the ways that we take ourselves SO SERIOUSLY. I saw the ignorance that most human beings seem to suffer from and all I could do was find this ignorance very funny. When I looked at the words my laughter increased because I was able to see how funny it is that human beings create the very things that they fear and do not want the most. I could not believe how funny all these realizations were to me. I saw the whole divine human comedy in which we are the actors on a stage creating our own tragedy. How fucking funny is that!! We do it all to ourselves and then think that we are free!!!
Finally, after my allotted period of time was up, the salesman returned into the room and began taking the photographs and words off the shelves. “You can take off your sense of humor now,” he said as he still held the un-lit cigarette in his hand. The moment he said this to me my laughter halted as if someone had suddenly applied brakes. I wiped the tears from my face and tried to compose myself. “When you are ready please meet me back at the counter and we can talk,” he replied as he walked into the back room. I sat in the chair and tried to assess what had just taken place. I felt what turned out to be a pulled muscle in my upper back (from laughing so hard). I took a few deep breaths and decided that I wanted to purchase a sense of humor.
“We sell all sorts of potions and creams. Not only do we sell sense of humors but we also sell, happiness, IQ’s, ambition, sex drives, maturity, wisdom, feeling successful and we just ran out of love. We sell what we can to make life more worth living or should I say to make life more enjoyable. That is our intention- however, not many seem to want to purchase what we have for sale. It is almost as if people have become so attached to their suffering that they fear change. They are addicted to the way things are because that is how they think things are supposed to be. Little do they realize that we human beings have it all wrong. We have been conditioned to suffer and we do not even know it,” the salesman said to me as he sat on a stool with his arms crossed. “How much does a sense of humor cost,” I asked? “I can sell you the cream for $75.00 and it also comes with a one month warranty. If for some reason you find that it is not working for you- you are welcome to return it and I will give you your money back. I think this is a good deal because after all a good sense of humor is priceless.”