Funny stories in under 500 words.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

funny short story: Laughter is the Best Medicine


Wendy rubbed the crust out of her eyes and tried to focus on her surroundings. She’d forgotten where she was. To her left was a boarded up window covered in dust. Scrawled on the wall next to her were horribly depressing messages: “I wish people would stop hurting me.”

“Oh, that’s right. I’m at the psych unit,” thought Wendy. “I guess this is how they encourage people who attempt suicide to do it right next time.”

Wendy shuffled out of bed and into the lobby, where she was met by a nurse with a clipboard.

“Wendy, what time was your last bowel movement?”

“Well, good morning to you, too! I took a shit bright and early this morning!”

The nurse ignored her and began inquiring other patients. Wendy and the other patients were allowed an hour to drink coffee and watch TV in the lobby before they were herded into Nurse’s Group. It was the first of three group meetings for patients to attend daily, and no one was sure about the purpose of this particular group. The first day of Wendy’s hospitalization, the nurses discussed hygiene with everyone. Wendy was so excited to see what the topic of today’s group would be! Just kidding, she was irritated.

As everyone piled into the Groups Room, Wendy plopped down beside Paul, a schizophrenic man who enjoyed making fun of the staff just as much as she did. Once everyone was settled, the nurse wrote the word “Tranquilizers” on the board.

“Today, we’re going to play a game!” said the nurse. “Let’s see how many words we can make out of the word ‘tranquilizers.’”

Wendy and Paul immediately started laughing in unison. Never before had they witnessed such hilarious incompetence. Wendy exclaimed, “Slit! Like how I slit my wrists!” Paul and Wendy laughed so hard they started crying, while the nurse silently wrote the word “slit” on the board.

After eating breakfast and several hours of coloring with broken crayons, the patients were again brought into Groups Room for their Support Group. The social workers on staff greeted the patients with a brightly colored beach ball.

“Each color on this beach ball has a question written on it,” said the social worker. “We’re going to throw the beach ball to each other and answer the question our right hand touches.”

With that, the social worker tossed the ball to a man whose face was covered in scars. The patient read the question out loud: “What’s the best thing about your family?” “Nothing,” said the patient. “My family abandoned me when they discovered I have schizophrenia. I had no one, so I joined a gang. They’re the only family I have.”

The social worker’s face went pale. “Um… How about you toss that ball to someone else?” After the group session, Paul asked Wendy how she was doing.

“Great! I haven’t laughed this hard in ages. I feel better already. I can’t wait to see what Activities Group is like!”

This story was written by Melanie Mann, who can be contacted at Melanie.mann@selu.edu.




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