Home > Uncategorized > Funniest Damn Story I’ve Read in Forever

Funniest Damn Story I’ve Read in Forever

My nephew is visiting this week, and he reminded me of this story I had told him about before, which literally reduced me to tears. 

It’s Arthur Bradford’s The Bet from Created In Darkness By Troubled Americans:  The Best Of McSweeney’s Humor Category, and it’s helpfully shown in its entirety at the link (less than 3-1/2 pages, so yes, you DO have time to read it).

As to why I find it so hysterically funny… it’s like a lot of what I find hysterically funny:  it all devolves from a premise completely lacking in reason or rationality – kind of like that “freak camping accident” that wiped out the Shithouse Troll’s entire family while he was in the campground latrine, thereby driving him insane and turning him into the Shithouse Troll.  Because, you know, exactly what kind of “freak camping accident” could that possibly have been?

Which reminds me…I’ve been meaning for quite some time to post this artist’s rendition of the Shithouse Troll.  I believe Xecky Gilchrist is the responsible party, but it’s been a couple of years so if I got that wrong, please step forward and claim your laurels:

Scuse mah finGAHS

Also, too:  the version with audio can be found here.  Turn down your speakers before checking it out, especially if you’re at work.

And let me know if you find The Bet as funny as I do.

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  1. June 24, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Page 133 is not part of this book preview.

    You are an horrible person.

    • jennofark
      June 24, 2011 at 12:51 pm

      Ok, D-KW, here ya go:

      “Now, as you should know if you’ve been reading this story carefully, my good hand wasn’t usable at this point, so I had to wind up with my other hand and sock him with that. This (here begins page 133) wasn’t a very effective course of action. That first punch probably felt more like a gentle pat on the stomach to old Fred. The onlookers moaned and said things like, “Aw, geez….”

      I stepped back and tried another punch, this one a little harder, more respectable. Still Fred didn’t even seem close to barfing. He seemed pretty relaxed actually, like he found the whole thing to be a very simple challenge.

      The crowd around us wasn’t so calm. They couldn’t believe what a wimpy puncher I was. I tried to explain to them:

      “My good hand isn’t working.”

      Still, they jeered.

      “You wuss.”


      I charged forward and socked Fred right in the crotch. This wasn’t what I had meant to do, but due to the lack of coordination in my other hand, it simply happened. My aim was low. I hit him pretty hard there too. Fred doubled over and the crowd began to cheer. Then something funny happened. Or I shouldn’t say funny. I should say strange. Someone, a complete stranger from the crowd, jumped out at Fred and punched him in the face.

      “Hey!” said Fred.

      Then a woman leapt at him and started slapping his head and grabbing at his hair. A large hairy man with a ponytail stepped in and landed a good punch right in Fred’s gut.

      Fred fell to his knees and puked up the oyster sandwich. It splashed all over the floor and the crowd cheered.

      Fred and I had to clean up the mess. Actually it was mostly me who cleaned it up because Fred was still hurting from the whupping he’d received. He was pretty upset.

      “That was bullshit,” he said.

      “You owe me a turkey,” I said.

      “Fuck your damn turkey,” said Fred.

      He walked out of the bar. We were in a bar, by the way. I think I forgot to mention this earlier. It was the kind of bar that serves food. Most of the other patrons at the bar were (page 133 ends) drunk.

  2. jennofark
    June 24, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    DK-W – Wha???? It was when I posted it!!!

    • jennofark
      June 24, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      DK-W – I’m still getting all the pages. I wouldn’t have linked it in the first place if any was missing. Try again – if you still can’t get it, I’ll type up the missing bits for you & email to you. Because 133 is the BEST PAGE of the story.

      • June 24, 2011 at 1:08 pm

        Thankee. Good story.

        I suspect the “missing” page problem might have something to do with where I’m trying to read it from. This is in the bottom left hand corner of my Google Books page:

        Pages displayed by permission of Random House of Canada. Copyright

  3. Xecky Gilchrist
    June 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Thanks for the nod on the illustration, but I only did a non-animated version (same images of outhouse & hand, tho.) I can’t remember who did this nifty cartoon one.

  4. June 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    A bit like “The Lottery.” Except for drunken dunces.

    And certainly does nothing to improve anyone’s opinion of humanity. It wouldn’t surprise me if the event (‘though maybe not exactly as described) had occurred somewhere; who could make up something like that?

    • jennofark
      June 24, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      I have some stories like that I could tell on myself. Except my mom sometimes reads this blog and even for those stories she’s heard, she probably wouldn’t want me putting them out there in print for the whole world to see. And also, my stories are about pretty innocent dumbfuckery, usually arising out of a misguided attempt to help a stranger rather than a stupid bet. There’s the Great Dallas Monkey Bust and That Time We Ended Up Inadvertently Giving a Ride to Two Drunk Indians and That Time We Quite Innocently Ended Up in The Living Room of That Very Large Creole Lady In The Satin Nightgown Who Was a Complete Stranger at 3 AM in Rural Lousiana and…and…and…

  5. B^4
    June 24, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    My favorite part was his misguided attempt to punch a cat.

    • jennofark
      June 24, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      Yeah, I love that…especially how the karma came back on him and fucked up his hand.

      I gotta say though, the part where I really come unglued is when he says, “We were in a bar, by the way. I think I forgot to mention this earlier.”

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