The funniest thing I'll ever say

The cast

M — an unrequited novelist

A — a companion of M

B — a witness

C — another witness

Act 1, Scene 1

[An airport waiting lounge, shortly before the boarding of a trans-Pacific flight. M, B and C are sitting on couches around a low coffee table. A returns from a short walk with a paper bag in hand. She sits and produces from the bag a small pastry.]

C: Breakfast?

A: Yep.

B: Looks good. It’s unusual — a kind of diamond shape with a big slice of peach in the middle.

A: [biting a semi-circle out of one point of the diamond] Mmm.

M: Now it looks like the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.

C & B: [inspecting the pastry] You’re right, it does.

M: [feeling something special coming] Be careful, then …

A: Why?

M: … it could be a bit Chewy.

[expansive hilarity ensues, fading after several minutes to a long, contemplative silence lead by M]

M: That was the funniest thing I’ll ever say, wasn’t it?

A: Probably, yes.

C: I can’t see you topping it.

B: You’ll never be that funny ever again. It’s all downhill from here.


M: It’s funny, isn’t it, how major highlights in one’s life arrive so unexpectedly and almost immediately transmute into something bittersweet and nostalgic. It’s almost as if there’s a meaning behind it, a lesson about loss and experience so elegant as to suggest the subtly educative influence of a higher force. Don’t you think?

C: Sorry, I thought they were announcing our flight. What were you saying?

M: Er … Chewy. Pretty good, then?

B: Well, quite good.

A: It sort of loses it in repetition, actually.

C: That was our flight. I can see it boarding.