Sarcasm is one of the few humors where the user gets more laughter than the listener.
“What has four legs and flies?”
That was the riddle asked by the sphinx lying in the entrance to the supermarket, her large, leonine body, comely face, and broad, feathered wings welcoming would-be customers and blocking their way forward. Her tail tapped lazily against the concrete as another tried to gain entry.
“Is it unicorns?” Asked a portly man, wishing for some burritos for dinner.
“Unicorns cannot fly,” Said the sphinx, her head lying in a pool of her long, flowing hair. “And they do not tend to attract flies, so your answer is wrong on two levels. Next.”
With a dismissive gesture of her paw, the sphinx sent the man away, his grumbling and groaning fading into the gathered crowd of people. Humans and monsters clamored, griped and complained, curses and ill wishes aimed toward the offending riddler floating up from the masses.
An especially angry woman in yoga pants stormed to the fore, waving a finger irately as she ranted, “You listen here, you ugly fur ball! I’ve been waiting for almost an hour, and I’m sick of waiting! You move right now, or I’m calling the cops!”
The sphinx stretched herself out, her back popping pleasantly as her claws flexed. “I’m well within my legal rights, so I fail to see what the police would do.”
“You’re blocking the entrance to a public business!”
“With the recent rash of rampant, excessive purchases,” The sphinx said. “The proprietor has hired my services to control the flow of shoppers as they restock their inventory. That and as a sphinx, I am within my cultural rights to act as a guardian for any persons, places, or things with the added benefit of indulging in my species’ favorite pastime: riddles. I am still waiting for your answer, by the way.”
The woman, red in the face, screamed, “I’m not answering anything! I want to do my shopping!”
The sphinx lifted her head, turning her sharp, feline eyes on the woman. “Would you like to try getting past me?”
While her tone was conversational, the woman instantly deflated, her face paling as she belatedly realized her situation, facing down a large, sapient apex predator.
“Wh-what?” The woman squeaked mousily.
“Oh, be still.” The feline monster chuckled, waving the woman off with a paw. “I am not allowed to harm anyone, and I have no desire to besides. I just thought it would be funny to see you try and get around me.”
The woman quickly forgot her fear as indignation reddened her face.
“Why– You–” She stammered incoherently.
The sphinx, smiling cattily, laid her head back down and ignored the annoying woman. “Next.”
With a strangled, enraged cry, the woman stomped away, rudely pushing past gathered crowd members as she went.
Before long, another had stepped forward, this time a pale young man with a dark hoodie and worn sneakers. His dirty blonde hair his face under his hood.
“Hey.” He said as a way of greeting.
“Hello. Do you have an answer for me?”
The boy asked, “What was the question?”
Raising a brow, the sphinx repeated her riddle, earning a smile and laugh from the boy.
“Oh, that’s easy!” He said proudly. “A defenestrated coffee table.”
“Wrong. Ne–” It took a moment for what he said to hit home, but the instant she registered what he’d said, she quickly rolled up onto her belly, staring at him wide-eyed. “I beg your pardon?”
“A defenestrated coffee table. Y'know, like, a table someone threw out a window.”
“I know what to defenestrate something is.” She said, a touch more defensively than she meant to. “I just– what?!”
The boy scratched at his head. “I mean, I guess it’s more like four legs and falls, but isn’t flying just controlled falling anyway?”
The sphinx stared at the young man, slack-jawed. The crowd had fallen silent, staring at the spectacle. Some people near the front had started to relay the given answer to those further back, spurring similar exclamations.
The boy, apparently ignorant of the ludicrousness of his answer, shrugged his shoulders. “I’m not wrong, right?”
Silence reigned for a time in the lot just outside the supermarket.
Then the sphinx, who up until that point had been the picture of dignity and control, burst out into peals of raucous laughter. A full belly laugh that left her wheezing for breath and brought tears to her eyes, her teeth flashing in the light as she grinned uncontrollably. Many in the crowd leaped back, startled at the sudden outburst, some even turning tail and fleeing on the spot. The sphinx for her part wasn’t paying much attention, trying to regain control of herself from her uproar.
“A-A-A WHAT?!” She screamed, howling, breathless. “A DEFENESTRATED– WHY IS IT A COFFEE– WHAT?!” She could manage nothing else, so caught off guard by the response. In all her years, she’d never heard such an off-the-wall solution to a riddle.
“You, uh,” The young man asked, concern creeping in. “You okay?”
“Just–” She tried, collapsing back into giggles. She tried again. “Just-Just go. Enter if it pleases you. Never have I heard such– oh, gods.”
Slinking to the side, she allowed the boy entry, who, for his part, was more than happy to take leave of the laughing monster. With him inside the store, and the sphinx recovering from her bout of manic merriment, the crowd was left wondering.
One brave soul in the gathered mass piped up, “So, does that mean we can go in now?”
The sphinx, recovered and smiling maliciously, resettled herself in the entrance. With a smugness befitting such a creature, she said, “One per customer.”
The groans and cries of anguish spread through the congregation, nearly setting the sphinx off roaring again.
Pleased with herself, she began to concoct another riddle.
Brothers…Domhnall and Brian Gleeson …
Laughter can boost the immune system and soothe the soul. – barc
Risa puede aumentar la immunidad. – barc
✨ Keep Smiling✨
Laughter is a gift.
The only thing on earth that holds the right to break a heightened silence is a child’s innocent laughter…