Jersey's Comedy of Quirky Mismatches

“Okay, okay. So Puns of Fun have a couple of bad jokes here and there–” “A couple? Mate, their entire existence depends on awful puns, dangerous slapstick and the worst references to pop culture imaginable.” *** Jonathan Fisher is the average sixteen-year-old, minus his addiction to puns, wordplay and awful jokes. When he is invited to join the YouTube channel, Puns of Fun, his life is fulfilled. The wacky, peculiar and quirky idols he admired over the internet are his colleagues. Now is his chance to become friends with these comedic geniuses. However, the crew of Puns of Fun aren’t acting weird; they are truly uncanny. And suddenly, the best year ever becomes a test of survival.

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1. Prologue

Cars zoom past ours at optimal speed. We’re dressed for the beach, with our oversized sunglasses a barrier against the glaring sun, set high at its midday peak. There’s just one problem: we aren’t going to the beach. The beach doesn’t trigger Patrick’s gritted teeth, stare of death or the pitiful “Why am I doing this on a Saturday?” look. But I’m determined to arrive at the audition early… even at the expense of my best friend’s displeasure. “You can still pull out now,” Patrick says, one arm on the steering wheel and his forked fingers clutching onto a single cigarette. With desperation, he speaks quicker. “It's not too late. We can just chill at the bowling alley instead--” “Pat, we’ve been through this.” “I know, I know; dreams, future, ambition, blah, blah, blah. Pretty small dreams you have there, if you ask me.” Before a chance to reply, I suffer the consequence of being a passenger in a speeding car. Wind leaves my hair disarrayed in every direction, the skin around my neck flutter violently, and my ashen knuckles grip onto the handlebar for dear life. I scream when we drive over a large brick. Yet, the driver seems unaware, happily munching on a sausage roll pulled out of nowhere. Patrick tilts his head towards me. “I get cold easily,” I defend. The car begins slowing down –still at least ten kilometres over the speed limit, but slow enough for me to retain my breath. He raises an eyebrow. Ignoring the obvious raised eyebrow, I say, “Joining Puns of Fun is not a small dream. I realise we don't share the same sense of humour, but this is absolutely my "big break."” Patrick makes a face. “Puns of Fun is the worst comedy I've ever seen. You can't even call it a comedy. It's really just a whole bunch of random, but not in a good way.” “Refrain from your unpleasant comments,” I snap, but then remember quickly that he’s my only possible ride. Then, as a rushed afterthought, I add, “But I truly appreciate your time and energy in driving me here. It means a lot.” “I wouldn’t mind you joining a comedy show –I know how serious you are ‘bout performing and all.” His reckless driving fades into a stop when the traffic light’s red. Although I’ve spent my whole life hating traffic, I find a newfound admiration for its ability to stop my best friend –Patrick the unstoppable. “But just not that one.” “Okay, okay. So Puns of Fun verbalise a couple of bad jokes here and there–” “A couple? Mate, their entire existence depends on awful puns, dangerous slapstick and the worst references to pop culture imaginable.” The light turns green. I swallow a mouthful of spit, squeeze my eyelids shut, and feel the raving wind attempt to tear my face off. Maybe faking courage in front of my apathetic best friend wasn’t the best idea. When we reach a giant hill, one that’s inevitably a million kilometres south, I yell out, “Knock, knock.” His answer is quick, like a reflex. “No.” “I'll repeat myself, as you have evidently misheard me the first time.” I need something relax me before this intense audition; nothing does this better than jokes, the most brilliant puns invented, and something that’d become my career. “Knock, knock.” “Not this again. I’m not going to fall for it; not this time.” “I’m notifying Lia of where you hide your stash of Snickers bars.” I pretend to count on my fingers. “If I’m not mistaken, she’s coming home from Girls Scouts in exactly three days. Who knows how many other knots she’s learned over camp? But I think it should be enough to tie her big brother to a chair–” “Who’s there?” Pat says, a little too quickly. I grin. Patrick the Unstoppable has two vulnerable, easily manipulated weaknesses: food, and the fear of his savage, merciless young sister. “Orange?” Patrick winces. I have repeated this joke too many times, each with a different threat to put him into place. After all, what are friends for? “Orange who?” His voice comes out strangled, as if his entire life has shattered due to that single word. To consume his sadness away, he picks up another sausage roll from under his seat, but the spark in his eye’s gone. He has prevailed to the dark side. “Orange you glad you opened the door?” I give him a thumbs-up sign. Suddenly, the car halts to a stop on the left lane. Stopping from such high, ferocious speeds is not only dangerous, but extremely difficult to do. He must’ve really hated the joke. “Get out.” After I step out of the car, he drives off without a second thought. I look up at the sign in front of me, indicating the studio is merely a kilometre away. As I make my journey of a thousand seas, I can’t help wishing I’d snagged a sausage roll. I grin, holding his backpack in my hands. In the bag is all the food he packed for the trip, and what I imagine heaven would look like. Chips of all varieties, meat pies, sausage rolls wrapped in foil, unopened muesli bars. Oh well, I think, munching on a candy bar. The delicious peanut buttery taste fills my mouth, makes every step towards the studio a little easier. I’ll get over it.
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