The Man Who Smelled Funny

by Peter Cherches

            There once was a man who smelled funny. He didn't smell bad, he smelled funny. Whenever he walked into a room, people would begin to laugh uncontrollably. The man didn't like the effect he had on people. He couldn't go anywhere without making people laugh. He could never have a serious conversation with anybody, because they were always laughing so hard.

            The man tried everything. He tried bathing three or four times a day, but he couldn't get rid of the smell. He wore expensive cologne, but that only made him smell like a combination of expensive cologne and the funny smell.

            Life was difficult for this man. Trouble followed him everywhere he went, because of his funny smell. One day the man went to the public library and the entire library broke into uproarious laughter. The librarian tried to make the people stop laughing, but even while she was putting her fingers to her lips and saying, “Shhh,” she was cackling like a hyena. Finally the guard came up to the man.

            “Excuse me─ha ha─Sir,” the guard said, “but I'm afraid─he he he─I'm going to have to─ha ha─ask you to─ho ho ho─leave!”

            The man was so embarrassed he turned beet-red and rushed out of the library.

            The man had trouble keeping a job too. He was a good worker, and people liked him, but his funny smell was so disruptive that little work ever got done. Whenever his bosses fired him they laughed the whole time. “I'm so sorry─ha ha ha─to have to do this,” they would say. “I know this will be very hard on your family─guffaw, guffaw, guffaw.”

            The man who smelled funny was very sad. It wasn't his fault he smelled funny, but he couldn't keep a job because of it.

            Then, one day, the man came up with a brilliant idea: he would become a stand-up comic.

            The man who smelled funny got himself booked at a local comedy club. He was nervous on opening night, but the second he got on stage the entire audience began laughing wildly. He told the worst jokes imaginable: corny old jokes and pointless shaggy dog stories. And he had the audience rolling in the aisles. He was a hit.

            The local newspaper gave him a rave review. “We don't know how he does it,” the review said, “but he breathes new life into the oldest jokes in the business.”

            The man took his act on the road. He played all the best comedy clubs in the country and earned lots of money. He was living the good life.

            Now the man who smelled funny was hardly ever sad. Never again would he lose a job because he made people laugh.

            And he decided that he would never agree to perform his comedy act on television.

            Not until they come out with Smell-O-Vision, that is.