Collection of funny stories

collection of funny short stories and a collection of jokes and funny stories | Download free pdf
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Published Date:02-07-2017
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t his book is a work of fiction. n ames, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously . a ny resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental. Copyright © 2012 by James Patterson Illustrations by Laura Park a ll rights reserved. In accordance with the U.s. Copyright a ct of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher is unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s intellectual property. If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the publisher at t hank you for your support of the author’s rights. Little, Brown and Company Hachette Book Group 237 Park avenue, n ew york, ny 10017 Visit our website at Little, Brown and Company is a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. Prologue t he Little, Brown name and logo are trademarks of Hachette Book Group, Inc. t he publisher is not responsible for websites (or their content) that are not owned by the publisher. t hird-party website addresses listed in this book are accurate and age appropriate as of the time this book went to press, but they are beyond the publisher’s control. t he publisher cannot guarantee that the content of these sites will not change. First e dition: December 2012 Is Bn 978-0-316-20693-8 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 rr D-C Printed in the United s tates of a merica I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 4-5 8/2/12 9:33 AMe Flo P Sweat Have you ever done something extremely stupid like, oh, I don’t know, try to make a room filled with total strangers laugh until their sides hurt? t otally dumb, right? I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 6-1 8/2/12 9:33 AM n o Well, that’s why my humble story is going to start with some pretty yucky tension—plus a little heavy-duty drama (and, hopefully, a few funnies so we don’t all go nuts). o kay, so how, exactly, did I get into this mess— up onstage at a comedy club, baking like a bag of French fries under a hot spotlight that shows off my sweat stains (including one that sort of looks like Jabba the Hutt), with about a thousand beady eyeballs drilling into me? a very good question that you ask. t o tell you the truth, it’s one I’m asking, too What am I, Jamie Grimm, doing here trying to win something called the Planet’s Funniest k id Comic Contest? What was I thinking? But wait. Hold on. It gets even worse. While the whole audience stares and waits for me to say something (anything) funny, I’m up here choking. t hat’s right—my mind is a total and complete blank. a nd I just said, “n o, I’m Jamie Grimm.” t hat’s the punch line. t he end of a joke. 2 I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 2-3 8/2/12 9:33 AMa ll it needs is whatever comes before the punch Very tough. s ort of like mrs. Darth Vader. Had the line. you know—all the stuff I can’t remember. heavy breathing, the deep voice. During roll call, s o I sweat some more. t he audience stares some she said, ‘a re you chewing gum, young man?’ a nd I more. said, ‘n o, I’m Jamie Grimm.’ ” I don’t think this is how a comedy act is I wait (for what seems like hours) and, yes, the supposed to go. I’m pretty sure jokes are usually audience kind of chuckles. It’s not a huge laugh, but involved. a nd people laughing. it’s a start. “Um, hi.” I finally squeak out a few words. “ t he o kay. Phew. I can tell a joke. a ll is not lost. other day at school, we had this substitute teacher. yet. But hold on for a sec. We need to talk about something else. a major twist to my tale. “a major twist?” you say. “a lready?” yep. a nd, trust me, you weren’t expecting this one. t o be totally honest, neither was I. 5 I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 4-5 8/2/12 9:33 AMo Hi. Presenting me. Jamie Grimm. t he sit-down comic. s o, can you deal with this? s ome people can. s ome can’t. s ometimes even I can’t deal with it l adie S and gentlemen… me (like just about every morning, when I wake up and look at myself in the mirror). But you know what they say: “If life gives you lemons, learn how to juggle.” o r, even better, learn how to make people laugh. s o that’s what I decided to do. s eriously. I tried to teach myself how to be funny. I did a whole bunch of homework and read every joke book and joke website I could find, just so I could become a comedian and make people laugh. I guess you could say I’m obsessed with being a stand-up comic—even though I don’t exactly fit the job description. But unlike a lot of homework (algebra, you know I’m talking about you), this was fun. I got to study all the greats: Jon s tewart, Jerry s einfeld, k evin James, e llen DeGeneres, Chris r ock, s teven Wright, Joan r ivers, George Carlin. 7 I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 6-7 8/2/12 9:33 AM w tI also filled dozens of notebooks with jokes I made up myself—like my second one-liner at the comedy contest. “Wow, what a crowd,” I say, surveying the audience. “s tanding room only. Good thing I brought my own chair.” It takes a second, but they laugh—right after I let them know it’s okay, because I’m smiling, too. t his second laugh? Well, it’s definitely bigger than that first chuckle. Who knows—maybe I actually have a shot at winning this thing. s o now I’m not only nervous, I’m pumped I really, really, really (and I mean really) want to take my best shot at becoming the Planet’s Funniest k id Comic. Because, in a lot of ways, my whole life has been leading up to this one sweet (if sweaty) moment in the spotlight 8 9 I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 8-9 8/2/12 9:33 AMPart one the road to ronkonkoma I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 10-11 8/2/12 9:33 AM1 r e t w elcome to my w orld But, hey, I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves. We should probably go back to the beginning—or at least a beginning. s o let’s check out a typical day in my ordinary, humdrum life in Long Beach, a suburb of n ew york City—back before my very strange appearance at the r onkonkoma Comedy Club. Here’s me, just an average kid on an average day in my average house as I open our average door and head off to an average below-average school. Zombies are everywhere. Well, that’s what I see. you might call ’em “ordinary people.” t o me, these scary people stumbling down the sidewalks are the living dead I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 12-13 8/2/12 9:33 AM p a h Ca pack of brain-numb freaks who crawl out of the ground every morning and shuffle off to work. t hey’re waving at me, grunting “Hul-lo, Ja-mie” I wave and grunt back. s o what streets do my freaky zombie friends like best? t he dead ends, of course. Fortunately, my neighbors move extremely slowly (lots of foot-dragging and Frankenstein-style lurching). s o I never really have to worry about them running me down to scoop out my brains like I’m their personal pudding cup. t here’s this one zombie I see almost every morning. He’s usually dribbling his coffee and eating a doughnut. “Do zombies eat doughnuts with their fingers?” you might ask. n o. t hey usually eat their fingers separately. t he school crossing guard? s he can stop traffic just by holding up her hand. With her other hand. a re there really zombies on my way to school every morning? o f course there are But only inside my head. o nly in my wild imagination. I guess you could say I try to see the funny side of any situation. you 15 I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 14-15 8/2/12 9:33 AM2 r e t should try it sometime. It makes life a lot more interesting. s o how did I end up here in this zombified suburb not too far from n ew york City? Well, that, my friends, is a very interesting story.… a Stranger in an even Stranger l and i moved to Long Beach on Long Island only a couple months ago from a small town out in the country. I guess you could say I’m a hick straight from the sticks. 16 I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 16-17 8/2/12 9:33 AM p a h Ct o make my long story a little shorter, Long For instance, if you hit your local bully with Beach isn’t my home, and I don’t think it ever will a pretty good joke, he or she might be too busy be. Have you ever felt like you don’t fit in? t hat you laughing to hit you back. It’s true: Punch lines can don’t belong where you are but you’re sort of stuck actually beat punches because it’s pretty hard for there? Well, that’s exactly how I feel each and every a bully to give you a triple nipple cripple if he’s day since I moved to Long Beach. doubled over, holding his sides, and laughing his moving to a brand-new town also means I have head off. to face a brand-new bunch of kids, and bullies, at my brand-new school. n ow, like all the other schools I’ve ever attended, the hallways of Long Beach middle s chool are plastered with all sorts of no yingbull posters. t here’s only one problem: Bullies, it turns out, don’t read too much. I guess reading really isn’t a job requirement in the high-paying fields of name- calling, nose-punching, and atomic-wedgie-yanking. you want to know the secret to not getting beat up at school? Well, I don’t really have scientific proof or anything, but, in my experience, comedy works. most of the time, anyway. t hat’s right: n ever underestimate the power of a good laugh. It can stop some of the fiercest middle- school monsters. 18 I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 18-19 8/2/12 9:33 AM3 r e s o every morning, before heading off to school, just make sure you pack some good jokes along with your lunch. For instance, you could distract your bully with a one-liner from one of my all-time favorite stand-up comics, s teven Wright: “Do you think that when they asked George Washington for ID, he just whipped out a quarter?” Jamie to t He reScue If that doesn’t work, go with some surefire Homer s impson: “o perator Give me the number for 9-1-1” o f course, my new school gives me all sorts of a ll I’m saying is that laughing is healthy. a terrific opportunities to test my “anti-bullying” lot healthier than getting socked in the stomach. theories. e specially if you had a big breakfast. Because once I make it through my Imaginary Zombie Zone, there’s another drooling demon for me to deal with. a real one. meet s tevie k osgrov. Long Beach’s Bully of the year, three years running. a ll-Pro. master of Disaster. Inventor of the Upside-Down s hanghai s hakedown. k osgrov puts the cruel in Long Beach middle s chool. a s I cruise across the playground, he’s busy making change with a sixth grader and gravity. t he poor kid’s in serious trouble. I know because I’ve been in his position before: upside down, with loose 20 I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 20-21 8/2/12 9:33 AM t p a h Cchange sprinkling out of my pockets. t he upside-down kid losing all I roll right up to k osgrov and his victim. his lunch money laughs at the joke. s tevie does not. “a nd how about that karate champion who joined the army?” “What about him?” “o h, I hear it was pretty bad. First time he saluted, he nearly killed himself.” k osgrov’s victim is totally cracking up. k osgrov? n ot so much. Desperate, I try one more time with what I think is some can’t-miss Homer s impson material: “yesterday I asked my teacher, ‘How come I have to study e nglish? I’m never going to e ngland’ ” Inside, I’m trembling. o utside, I try not to let it s tevie still isn’t laughing, but he does, finally, show. Bullies can smell fear. s weat, too. t hey’re also loosen his grip on the small kid’s ankles. pretty good at picking up on involuntary toots. t he little guy drops to the ground—and takes off “Hey, s tevie,” I say as calmly and coolly as I can. like a race car at t alladega s uperspeedway. “How’s it going?” “t hanks, Jamie I owe you one” I think that’s “Get lost, Grimm. I’m busy here.” what he says. He’s running away very, very quickly “s ure. s ay, did you hear about the kidnapping?” when he says it. “n o.” meanwhile, k osgrov redirects his rage. a t me. “Don’t worry. He woke up.” He lurches forward, grabs hold of both my 22 23 I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 22-23 8/2/12 9:33 AM4 r e armrests, and leans down. I’m basically frozen in place. Petrifying fear and locked wheel brakes will do that to you. From his hot, steamy breath, I can tell that s tevie k osgrov recently enjoyed a bowl of Fruity Pebbles (with milk that had hit its expiration date, oh, maybe a month ago). down and uP “What?” says k osgrov. “you think I won’t lay you out just because you’re stuck in a wheelchair, funny boy?” this is so awesome “yeah,” I say. “Pretty much.” k osgrov decks me. I mean, he socks me so hard t urns out I’m pretty wrong. I end up flat on my back like a tipped-over turtle (minus the kicking legs). I’m down for the count— well, I would be if k osgrov could count. He’s about as good at math as he is at reading. Lying on the ground, staring up at the sky with parking-lot gravel in my hair, I feel that I have finally arrived. 25 I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 24-25 8/2/12 9:33 AM t p a h Cs tevie k osgrov punched me just like I was a t hey’re both supercool. Good peeps. regular, normal kid. “Hey, guys,” I say. “Did I beat the count? I want a He didn’t call me gimp or crip or Wheelie rematch I was robbed. Where’s k osgrov? Let me at mcFeelie. He just slugged me in the gut and ’im yo, a drian? We did it a drian” laughed hysterically when I toppled backward. He yeah, I’m a huge Rocky fan. I liked even kicked my wheelchair off to the side so I’d Real Steel, too. a nd The Champ. look more like an average loser sprawled out on the “a re you okay, Jamie?” asks Pierce. black asphalt. t his is progress. t he world just became a little better place. I’m not the kid in the wheelchair anymore (and not just because s tevie knocked me out of it). I feel normal, and normal feels absolutely amazing. you see, once you’ve been labeled a “special needs” kid, being “ordinary,” even if it’s being ordinary sprawled out flat on your back, is the most incredible feeling in the world. s o, thank you, s tevie k osgrov I can see why you, sir, are the champ. you bully without regard to race, religion, creed, national “n ever better. Was that great or origin, or physical abilities. you are an equal- what?” opportunity tormentor. “s eriously. Come on, Jamie. Quit goofing around.” Fortunately, my two best friends, Pierce and “I’m fine,” I say. “ n othing is broken—that wasn’t Gaynor, come along and help me back into my chair. broken before.” 26 27 I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 26-27 8/2/12 9:33 AM5 r e “you’re sure?” “Positive. I wouldn’t lie to you guys.” We head into school. Pierce and Gaynor don’t grab hold of the chair’s handles to push me like I’m a baby in a stroller. t hey just walk beside me—like wingmen. Like I’m a normal bud. and now—t He good Stu FF I think somebody once said that friends are the family we choose. you don’t know how lucky I am that Pierce and Gaynor chose me. t hese two guys are awesome. t he best. you look at me, and I know what you’re thinking: “Zac e fron without the hot legs.” o kay. maybe not. But I do have a pretty good set of guns. Check out my bulging biceps. t hose mosquito-bite bumps on my arms there. 28 I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 28-29 8/2/12 9:33 AM t p a h CGirls look at me and think, “o ooh. t ake me to I don’t think I’ll ever get a tattoo. With my luck, the mall or the movies or t aco Bell” t hey probably the guy working the ink needle would get the figure we can park in a handicapped space close to hiccups and I’d end up with a squiggly butterfly the doors. instead of a fire-breathing dragon. n ow, I’m guessing you go to school, too. s o you know what that’s like. a ll the bad stuff, like rubbery pizza in the cafeteria and pop quizzes in social studies, and let’s not even get into that sawdusty stuff the janitor sprinkles over the occasional puke puddle. s o let me just tell you the good parts about my school. t here’s cold chocolate milk in the cafeteria. Every day a nd, of course, I’ve got my two best buds. you already met them—Pierce and Gaynor. Pierce is a total brainiac. He can tell you everything you ever wanted to know, like how you mark a baseball scorecard with a backward K for a called third strike and a forward K if the batter strikes out my friends are both excellent squatters. When I swinging. started using the chair, the whole world seemed to Gaynor is a little more edgy. a little more “out grow three feet taller, and everybody was always there,” if you know what I mean. He actually has looking down on me. Literally. But not Gaynor and tattoos and a nose ring. Pierce. 30 31 I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 30-31 8/2/12 9:33 AMIf we’re just hanging out, they’ll both hunker down a nurse goes into a doctor’s office and says, into a deep knee bend or find something to sit on so “Doctor, there’s a man out here who thinks he’s we’re all talking eye to eye. t hey’re not just thinking invisible.” about themselves; they’re thinking about me, too. “I’m busy,” says the doctor. “t ell him I can’t see a nyway, another good thing about my school? him right now.” t he science lab. If you stare out the third window Pretty corny, huh? But I figure the frizzy-haired just the right way, you get an excellent view of the girl feels the same way about me. ocean and the beach. Well, it’s only a tiny sliver, but t hat I’m invisible. if you squint real hard, you can see the surf and my I guess all the cute girls do. Uncle Frankie’s diner. I also have a feeling they always will. t hen there’s this frizzy-haired girl who’s in a couple of my classes. s he’s definitely another good thing about school. s he laughed once in math class when I cracked a joke about parallel lines: “When all those parallel lines finally meet in infinity, do they throw a party?” t he frizzy-haired girl has a very bubbly laugh. s he’s also extremely cute. But who am I kidding? s he probably doesn’t even know I exist. I’m just the jokester sitting in the back of the classroom. o ther than that, I’m totally invisible to her. Which reminds me of this awful joke (what I call a “groaner”) that I read in one of my giant jokelopedias: 32 33 I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 32-33 8/2/12 9:33 AM6 r e t I’m the first one out of the building every afternoon. I zip down the sidewalk and head to my Uncle Frankie’s diner. I love spending time with Frankie. He owns the oldest diner in the whole n ew york metropolitan area. It’s so old, I think when it my aFter-Sc Hool S Pecial opened, Burger k ing was still a prince. the final bell rings at school, and I’m off like a shot. e ven the jukebox plays nothing but oldies, mostly doo-wop tunes from the 1950s and ’60s. Uncle Frankie isn’t just the owner; he’s also the head chef. 35 I FUNNY INTERIORS 3P_6.24_KIrevTS.indd 34-35 8/2/12 9:33 AM p a h C

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