L is for Laughter

For the A to Z Challenge I am attempting to write short pieces prompted by a random throw of Rory’s Story Cubes – 9 pictogram covered cubes. The latest throw of the StoryCubes brings me the following: 


Marilyn’s life was a bit of an affliction. She had been named at birth by a dad who seeing her blond fuzzy hair said she would be beautiful, adored and have a cool elegance like her namesake. Within two weeks she was bald and red skinned and it went downhill from there. 

It was the uncanny knack she had of doing the wrong thing at the right moment. More than simply being clumsy she managed to do so in a context that made it all the more spectacular. 

When she she took part in the Miss Teen Ice Cream pagent she was so proud and excited – until the opening number of the evening. When Marilyn glided out  at the top of the staircase, serenely waving and smiling, she caught her sandal in her gown and bowled forward taking the other three girls on the stairs down with her like a set of skittles. The time she was asked to sing a romantic solo at her aunt’s wedding a wasp flew in to her mouth just as she hit the high note and she ended up sputtering,  gagging and retching all over the bride in an attempt to remove it.

Marilyn’s butterfingers were so legendary in her family that her mother used to say it was a congenital condition – dropsy! But even her mum was astounded when she managed to smash an entire glass wall at the health centre when she dropped a crate of files which sent a metal sculpture toppling into it. 

These disasterous turns had terminated job after job until finally Marilyn found herself at home all the time doing the housework in between interviews. She was out in the garden one lunchtime hanging washing to dry when she heard the doorbell. In her haste to answer it she tripped over the laundry basket, slammed her head in to rotary line and fell flat on the patio. When she came to, there were two strangers standing over her. They were Jehovah’s Witnesses who had been waiting at the front and had heard the clatter as she fell.

That night, waiting on a trolley in A&E so she could be assessed for concussion, Marilyn  picked up a magazine and started reading:
Have a calling to comedy? If you think you could make us laugh call us on..” It was a light bulb moment. Thinking about some of the scrapes she had gotten into she realised she had some amazing material. She jotted the number down to phone in the morning – and stabbed herself with the pen as she put it in her pocket. 

Six months later with the pilot show filmed she sat at the back of a small theatre as it was screened for a test audience. She held her breath and then smiled. They were rolling in the aisles with laughter. The producers shook hands later that day on a full series and Marilyn realised she was like her namesake after all –  she had an natural ability to make people laugh!

One thought on “L is for Laughter”

  1. What a clever—and challenging—theme for the A to Z. Thanks for an entertaining and fun post. When I looked at the cubes I was at a loss for what I would do for a story. And that makes me doubly appreciative of what you’ve done here.

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