The pain of a bad joke

I feel physical pain when someone tells a bad joke. It’s like hearing the wrong note played on a violin.

How do you get holy water?
Boil the hell out of it.

Screeee. Raaannnnng. Aiieeeee.

I react like I’ve experienced blunt trauma.

My shoulders hunch immediately, like they’re protecting my body from another bad joke to come.

I instinctively grit my teeth and breathe out of my mouth to avoid inhaling the same air the joke had a second ago. Like the air has suddenly turned toxic.

Then I turn my whole body and head away from the joke teller almost in contempt.

As if their joke was so morally reprehensible, it was like I’d opened a door and found them having sex with a pig while wrapped in layers of bacon and ham.

Finally after a minute or two, I open one eye to see if I’m still in the nightmare. And, if all’s well, I stretch my body back out, shake out my hands and legs as if I was covered in spiders, and struggle with the overwhelming need to take a shower.

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