Work Title

Professor Blank


He walked into the room, hung his umbrella on the thermometer (on sunny days he used the umbrella as a walking stick) and turned methodically to the speaking stand. Then it came-laughter! laughter! The professor filed through his mind to determine if he "cracked" any of his jokes at the last meeting of the class. No, the last meeting was Thursday, second Thursday of the month. He always pulled his jokes on Tuesdays. Maybe it was the blackboard. Someone had written something on the blackboard, - something funny, maybe even about him. He turned to look at the board, but it was clean, not an erased gray, but a washed black. He drew a little black notebook from his upper left hand vest pocket and wrote on one of the memos labeled "To Tear Out When Done": See if we have a new janitor. But this laughter. It must be stopped. He filed through his mind again and drew out a card under H "How to Stop Laughing": Closing the mouth - think of death or oysters. No that wasn't it. H "How to Stop Laughter." Ah, that was it. The directions: Cough. He coughed. Demand attention. He tapped his pencil on the speaking stand. Say: "Mr. Blank will you please tell me what's so amusing so I can laugh too. He said, "Mr. Smith (It was so handy to have a Smith in the class) will you state the circumstances causing such hilarity so that I may share in your amusement."



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