Pagliacci

Man goes to doctor, complains of uncontrollable, dark depression. “I’ve tried everything, doctor.   Medication, meditation, light therapy.  Nothing works.  I’m full of despair.”

Doctor says, “The answer is simple.  The great clown Pagliacci is in town.  Go see his performance.  He will lift your spirits and make you forget your troubles.”

The man buries his head in his hands.  “But…” the man says.  “*I* am Pagliacci.”

“Really?” the doctor asks.

The man perks up.  “Nahhhh.  I’m just kidding.  But how fucking crazy would that be, huh?!! Super fucking crazy, right?!”

“We don’t use that word here, sir,” the doctor replies.

“Fucking?”

“Crazy.  But yes, the f-word is not really welcome here, either.”

“Do you have any tickets to Pagliacci?” the man asks.

“I do, but my wife and I are going. Sir, are you even depressed?” the doctor asks.

“Not particularly.”

“Please get out of my office.”

FIN

Short Story Idea #4

A woman works for a spamming company, which looks for old defunct blogs and websites and misappropriates them. Her job is to update the websites, placing ads for products and services, malware, etc.

The woman is tracked down and contacted by a stranger who previously owned one of the old websites. The stranger believes that the spirit of his dead wife is the source of the website updates and writes a series of agonizing, heartfelt notes to the woman.

Short Story Idea #3

People on a weekly conference call uncontrollably and unintentionally start rhyming with each other in their conversations.

They are frightened at first by this, resistant, but come to appreciate the work they create together, and eventually win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Short Story Idea #2

Planets are drawn to each other via unusual gravitational forces, forming a giant planetary necklace that is gaudy, bordering on offensive.

One of the planets’ denizens thinks the necklace is kind of cute, and sends delegations to the other inhabited planets to convince them of the necklace’s aesthetic beauty.