The prompt for this week at The Red Dress Club is to write a piece of flash fiction (no more than 600 words) in which one character cries and one character (could be the same character) tells a joke. I loved this. Right up my alley. Enjoy!
The three friends sat and listened to Carol cry, yet again, about her inattentive boyfriend. The drama and tears were welcome distraction for the doldrums of their everyday lives.
“And he never even came home until four this morning! What was he doing all that time?” Carol managed to say through her tears.
The friends looked around at each other, not knowing how to console Carol. Everyone knew that if your boyfriend is out until four a.m., he can’t be up to any good.
Kathy decided to try and say something, anything, encouraging. “Oh, honey, why don’t you -"
“He doesn’t even CARE about how I feel!” Carol shrieked, obviously not interested in what anyone else had to say.
Between sniffles and wiping of her eyes, Carol emotionally continued, “This morning, when I tried to ask him where he was, he wasn’t even listening! He wouldn’t even LOOK at me. He just said, ‘That’s nice.’ Can you believe it?!”
“Oh, no,” Kathy said, while the others still just sat with pained expressions on their faces.
Carol’s voice turned sarcastic. “So I said, ‘You obviously don’t care and won’t listen so I’m leaving now. I’m going to lunch with my friends.’ And you know what he said?! ‘THAT’S NICE.’” Carol crumpled into her napkin again and sobbed.
One friend stroked Carol’s back. They sat in a moment of silence.
Just then, their other friend, Carly, arrived. The friends shared a bit of a collective sigh of relief. Carly would, hopefully, be a good distraction to the awkward moment. Carly usually knew how to lighten things up.
Sure enough, Carly looked around and exclaimed, “Why the sad faces? I know what! You MUST hear this joke that Rob JUST told me. It is so great! I have to tell it before I forget it. You’ll love it. It’ll cheer us all up!” Carly gushed excitedly in her usual fashion.
Without waiting for approval, Carly cleared her throat and began the joke with an exaggerated southern drawl.
“Three Southern Belles were out to lunch. The first Southern Belle said, ‘My husband! My husband is the best husband in the whole world! He bought me a three-carat dia-mond ring!’
And the third Southern Belle said, ‘That’s niiiiice.’” Carly drawled dramatically.
“The second Southern Belle said, ‘Well, MY husband is the best husband in the whole world! He took me on a cruise around the world!’
The third Southern Belle just said, ‘That’s niiiice,’ in a sickly sweet way…
…THEN, the first Southern Belle looked at the third Southern Belle and said, ‘Pray tell, what has YOUR husband done for you lately?’” Here, Carly paused for dramatic effect.
“The third Southern Belle demurely said, ‘Well, my husband sent me to charm school.’
‘And, pray tell, what did you learn in charm school?’” asked the first Southern Belle.
At this, Carly looked at everyone with a small smile. In her exaggerated Southern drawl, she finished the joke, “I learned how to say things like, ‘THAT’S NICE, instead of FUCK YOU.”
And, with that, Carol burst into tears again.