Body Swap

This is a re-post from r/WritingPrompts.

This is not a funny story, don't expect good jokes from me.

My body-swapping client was the comedian, not me. I dunno what's his motivation for swapping body with me. For all you know it's probably he is probably dealing with standard depression issue and somebody gave him the idea of making a risky move like this.

It's risky because he is making me do the jokes on his behalf. Maybe he's overly smart that he wanna prove his material will work even when someone else perform as him.

I can tell you my motivation for taking this gig though. More on that later.

Eva and me are sitting with the audience. By me I mean my client occupying my body. Smug-faced sonofabitch. Eva is a colleague of mine, we share the same swapping agency.

I'm here on the stage, spotlight on me. I have the script (jokes, bits, I dunno) memorized. When I take a job I'll do at least this much.

So I got started. Courtesy nervous laughter followed. As far as I can tell, most of the audience were looking at me. Well not me but me-him. Except Eva, she's been on the phone since the beginning. As an observing colleague she's not much of an observer.

That my friend, is the motivator. Maybe I can pull off telling jokes after all. I carried on with the script.

The next one didn't land. There was no response.

Maybe they didn't get it. Let's give them some time. I'll wait.

It's was a precious three seconds. Still no laughter.

Ain't no thing. I proceed to give them the next one.

Turn out this bit counted on the last one to in order to land. I sense the audience was hiding their faces.

When I was rehearsing this in my head, this wasn't how I imagined it. I'd do it exactly like how my client did it and laughter ought to come on cue. They totally did not.

No matter. This time I tell the next bit with more intensity. And louder.

All I got was blank faces. Some started to lift up their phones.

Is it the material or is it me? Was I doing it wrong?

At this point I looked at me/client down there. He's too relaxed about this, sipping his drink hardly paying attention. Did he set me up for me to bomb?

If he did, how does that even compute? To the world, he is the one bombing. I'm doing everything like he instructed, but I didn't get why I felt so worked up over this.

At this point I've had it. I decided to go off script. I didn't care how much time is left, I'm gonna filibuster the stage until I drew some genuine laughter.

I went off a rant about workplace, politics, dating, whatever. I didn't give a fuck if the audience liked it anymore.

It's funny how you can have a separate train of thought running while your mouth is spewing something entirely different. In the midst of it, I realized I got tired of mimicking.

I kept ranting way past my allocated time. The crew down the stage were nervous.

Me/client gave me an intense glare, telling me time is up and we need to switch back. I've bombed way beyond whatever he was experimenting.

I haven't gotten what I want. I wasn't willing to leave the stage.

The crew and me/client started to gang up down the stage. They're probably in on this together. They may pull me off the stage any time now.

Well now I'll tell you one joke. Dad told us he used to work in a blunt pencil factory but he gave it up because he thought it was a pointless job.

Eva cracked up on that one for real. Only she did.

The crew cut off my mic and spotlight. But I'm cool with that now.

I made Eva laughed. She's into stupid dad-jokes, I could've did that much earlier.

I got the down the stage, audience are confused, me/client was fuming. "Give me back my fucking body!" he said.

He didn't understand that while I was bombing as him, the one that got hurt was me.

Eva once told me long time ago: "We're all about copying what people do here, it's easy."

I couldn't say why that rubbed me the wrong way then. Maybe I've shown her this time.