A Day In The Laugh: If Life Had A Laugh Track

By: Michael Pershan

SCENE: My Bedroom — 6:30 a.m.

I am enjoying a deep slumber. My limp body is in an odd yet comfortable position on my bed. My sheets have fallen off the bed. As I am in the middle of a snore the alarm clock goes off.

Me: [grumbling] Oh come on…just five more minutes?

[laugh track]


SCENE: My Bathroom — 6:45 a.m.

I walk into the bathroom wearing boxers and a t-shirt. I scratch my chest and neck and turn on the sink. Visibly tired, I cup my hands in the sink and collect a pool of water. I attempt to splash the water on my face, but miss.

Me: Not again!

[laugh track]


SCENE: Starbucks — 7:23 a.m.

I walk into the Starbucks and get in line. Soon, it’s my turn to order.

STARBUCKS: Hello, how can I help you?

ME: Well, for starters you could’ve made my alarm clock go off ten minutes later.

[laugh track]

STARBUCKS: What the hell was that?

ME: What do you mean?

STARBUCKS: The people cheering and clapping. You know, like a laugh track.

ME: I have no idea what you are talking about.

[laugh track]


SCENE: My office — 8:02 a.m.

SECRETARY: Hi, Michael. How was your weekend?

ME: Great. It was great. Just great.

[laugh track]

SECRETARY: What was that?

ME: I was telling you about my weekend.

SECRETARY: Not that. The laughing.

ME: I think you had one too many cups of coffee, sister.

[laugh track]


SCENE: Board Meeting — 9:01 a.m.

A group of bored employees are sitting around a large mahogany table. A man in a new black suit is standing in the front of the room with a clipboard and a projector. He is pointing to the projector with his pen and talking in a monotone.

GUY WITH CLIPBOARD: So you see that profits in the third quarter of last year dipped, but rebounded by the end of the fourth…

ME: [in a whisper, to the Indian guy sitting next to me] This guy’s so bad, he’s making the chair look good.

[laugh track]

Everyone turns to me.

BOSS: You’re fired.

[sympathetic ohhhhhs]


SCENE: My apartment — 11:03 a.m.

I step into my apartment. I look very upset. I throw down my suitcase and coat. I go to my bed and flop down on my back with my face pointed towards the ceiling.

ME: I can’t believe I got fired.

[Sympathetic moans]

I feel worthless. Life is meaningless. I have no friends and have just gotten fired. This not only upsets me due to the income I will be losing, but also because my being let go is another failure in a life chock-full of failures. I don’t want to be awake anymore — I just want to let myself go into eternal sleep. I lean back into my pillow, tears trickling down my cheeks. I am very upset and I want to die.

I roll over in my bed to get in a more comfortable position. I fall off the bed.

[laugh track]