That Laugh

I could hear that laugh in my office, which was across the hall and down two doors from his office. Loud, braying, and annoying was that laugh. It got worse late in the afternoon when he took a Valium. You could always tell when he took his Valium. At least I could close my office door. It was hilarious how many office doors closed late in the afternoon.

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “that laugh.”


Author: Virginia DeBolt

Writer and teacher who writes blogs about web education, writing practice, and pop culture.

4 thoughts on “That Laugh”

  1. I heard it as soon as I came through the door. That laugh grated on my ears like fingernails on a chalkboard, like a file scraping metal. as always, I gritted my teeth and smiled. It wasn’t a good smile, more of a thin hard line turned up at the corners.
    “What’s so funny?” I asked.
    The laugh stopped. Four eyes turned to look at me.
    “Who was laughing?” Their faces were blank, smooth and innocent as white gloves on Sunday hands.
    I knew the truth then. He was laughing at me. At something she had said about me.

  2. His laugh was contagious. It was one of the salient characteristics she loved about him. It didn’t matter how sad she was at times, that laugh initially always brought out a chuckle that turned into a side-splitting peal of laughter. He was no longer around and to this day, no one else had been able to make her laugh that way.

  3. Whenever she thought about her grandfather she would remember the time he took her to the neighborhood theatre to see an old black and white “Three Stooges” movie. It only happened once but it gave her some insight into her grandfather’s usually business-like and serious demeanor. He had worn his usual three-piece suit. They bought popcorn and sat about three rows in front of the movie screen. There was a scene where one of the stooges was chewing a huge wad of gum while he was talking on the phone. It was one of the old fashioned two-piece telephones. Obviously, you can guess at what happened. The stooge wound up with the gum sticking to the speaker part of the phone. He panicked and was trying to disengage the gum – all the while creating an even larger mess. I’d never heard that laugh. My grandfather could not stop laughing. Tears were streaming down his face. He laughed for the longest time. I always waited as I grew up to hear that laugh again. I never did. It was a once in a lifetime experience.

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