That joke isn’t funny anymore

“Did you just hear that?”

We look up at the head rounding the door without either of us lifting ours; a rapid response technique we’ve perfected from having the misfortune to occupy the office right by the photocopier. Code body language for ‘Did you try turning it on or off? No? What about fucking off? Can’t you see we’re busy being apathetic here’


“A loud bang”

He looks over at me looking over him; the disappointment is mutual.


“I swear I thought it was an explosion”

Both of us clamour for the quick retort. It’s a collision between his “I can think of a few people who’d happily blow the place up” and my “We’d be so lucky”. No polite you-firsts, just some bog standard word-on-word violence born of an opportunity to demonstrate how we regard the place in high esteem. By now the body has joined the head in the room.

“Maybe it was a door upstairs”. One of us pretends to break the indifference.

“Yeah maybe. It was loud though. Like an explosion”. The body has planted its backside on the corner of the spare desk.

I look over at him looking over at me. Your turn, I intimate with a slight narrowing of the left eye.

Five minutes later…

“Haha. Aye, the evacuations were good craic. Especially if it was during maths. And you never had to be on time either. Sorry sir, got pulled in by the peelers”

“I’ll tell you one better than that. My mate’s cousin got arrested for making a hoax call from a phone-box in London. The stupid fucker. His Da was some big wig politician in the South.”

“Did he not phone the Confidential Phoneline?”

Everyone laughs for reasons they’re not altogether sure about.

“Coleraine One *pause* Glentoran Two”

“What are you talking about?”

“We used to ring up the Confidential Phoneline and leave the weekend’s soccer scores”

They look at me looking back at them. I’m on.

“Did you just hear that?”


“Ah had yiz there”


5 thoughts on “That joke isn’t funny anymore

  1. I’d laugh out loud if I could work out whether or not I’m allowed to laugh depending on whether I’m from the north or south, but I haven’t, so I won’t, or at least I might do one or the other but deny everything.

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