The Komic is the funniest person in the universe. She is the super hero in a series of graphic novels I hope to write some day. So far all I’ve managed to do is draw one sketch and create a few plot outlines. The following is the Komic’s origin story because every great superhero needs a great origin story.
At the Odd Port Hospital for the Indigent a doctor said to a woman giving birth, “Give one last BIG push.” The woman complied and pushed with such force that the newborn flew out her womb, slipped through the doctor’s hands and out the open second story window. Safety regulations were non-existent in Odd Port.
The baby landed on her head in a puddle next to a lily. Bonnie Watson, a kindly woman walking by, yelled up to the mother, “Do you want her?”
“Not now,” the mother said snipping the two-story long umbilical cord. “She’s probably brain damaged.”
Bonnie Watson scooped up the baby, named her Lily Puddly, and took her home to the funeral parlor she ran next door. The hospital was a never-ending source of business.
Bonnie Watson raised Lily Puddly and fretted about her future. “What can someone who fell on her head as a tot do in life?” she asked herself many a time.
A huge cartoon hand, like the hand of God, drew a light bulb above Bonnie Watson’s head. Bonnie Watson gave Lily Puddly a box of crayons.
When Lily Puddly was 10-years-old she said to Bonnie Watson, “Did you know you can do something with crayons other than eat them?”
“Poor, dear,” Bonnie Watson thought. “She’s probably too brain damaged to even be a cartoonist.”
When Lily Puddly was 35 she and Bonnie Watson went to open mike night at the Odd Port Comedy Club. Bonnie Watson had just been diagnosed with a terminal brain disease and thought laughter would take her mind off the diagnosis.
But there was no laughter at the Comedy Club that night.
“I didn’t get any of those jokes,” Lily Puddly said as they walked home. “Is that because I’m brain damaged?”
“No,” Bonnie Watson said. “It’s because they were all bad jokes. You tell better jokes than any of those so called comedians did tonight. You should sign up for open-mike night.”
“What if I bomb?” Lily Puddly asked chewing on a crayon. “I’d never be able to go out in public again?”
“Wear a disguise,” Bonnie Watson said.
Lily Puddly, wearing Groucho Marx glasses, signed up for the next open-mike night as The Komic. She meant her stage name to be The Comic, but she misspelled it when she designed the second part of her disguise, a T-shirt she had custom printed at Cafepress for $21.99.
People laughed when she was got on stage. It was cruel laughter because people were laughing at her typo. Lily Puddly was used to people making fun of her, but she’d written ten jokes, and she planned on telling them.
There was no laughter when she told the first one, and none when she told the second, but there were a few chortles when she finished the third, some sustained ha has when she finished the fifth, and peals of laughter when she finished the seventh. And on the 10th joke? Everyone in the audience had tears coming out of their eyes because they were laughing so hard.
The comedy club manager asked The Komic to become a regular. She turned down the offer because she’d told all the jokes she’d written.
That night Bonnie Watson said that being in a room full of people laughing at her jokes relieved her pain more than any of the medications she had been prescribed.
Lily Puddly loved Bonnie Watson more than anything, so she spent all the next day writing another set of jokes.
When she told them the next night, once again disguised as The Komic, Bonnie Watson’s laughter could be heard almost down the block
After that Lily spent her days writing jokes at the funeral parlor and her nights telling them at the comedy club.
Videos of The Komic’s routines went viral. “No one has a better sense of timing or a sense of the absurd or a better way with words than she does,” wrote a critic for the Odd Port Times. Stand ups the world over studied her segues, her turns of phrase, her jokes and her delivery technique, but none came close to making people laugh the way she did.
HBO, Comedy Central, and NBC offered her her own show, but she turned down the lucrative offers because she wanted to take care of Bonnie Watson.
One morning Bonnie Watson woke up wracked with pain. “Tell me a joke,” she said to Lily Puddly. “Tell me a joke so funny I will die laughing.”
So Lily Puddly told the funniest joke she could think of and seconds after finishing the punch line, Bonnie Watson, tears of laughter rolling down her cheek, took her last breath.
After that, no one ever heard one of The Komic’s punch lines and lived to tell the joke.
Next: The Komic, like all super heroes, grapples with the implications and responsibilities of having a super power.
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