There were two guys in front of me in the bagel shop this morning.
“So this crazy diet guy finally says, “Ok, there’s some bread I do eat.” and I go, “Bruschetta!…like ‘you betta!”
They both laughed more than it was worth, one darted a glance in my direction hoping for my acceptance and maybe a smile; he received my stale white-bread glance before attention diverted back to the TV.
The two continued their puns, the second man saying “Either you roll with bread or you baguette the hell out of here!” He’s clever, too.
It became a competition, the two trying to one-up the other’s stale pun, one trying to involve me in their laugh-riot. “I think this guy behind us wants to laugh, but his face looks a little sourdough!” They guffawed.
“Hey is there a bathroom in this joint? There’s a man I have to ciabatta horse!” So overwhelmed by his own genius, the man couldn’t stop laughing. His face turned red first, followed by his eyes, then blue; moldy and splotchy from laughter and swirling death.
Finally he collapsed to the floor, his friend down on bended knee screaming for help. People swarmed the two and heaved away to give him air that he wasn’t breathing.
I looked to the man on bended knee with tears streaming down his face, careful not to step on the body while placing my order.
“You’re friend is toast,” I said to him, “something went a-rye with that last pun.”
Still holding his friend’s lifeless hand, he looked at me with glistening eyes in shock, mouth agape. He took his other hand and raised it high in the air and we high-fived.
“Th…thank you. He would have…he would have loved that.”
“Thank you…stranger…” He said, looking back at his deceased friend. I took my taylor ham, egg and cheese and ate it in the car, happy to have helped in some way.