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A Man of a Few More Words - by Swan Morrison



Safety Warning and Urgent Recall Notice:

The Short Humour story that previously appeared on this page has been withdrawn by order of the Police.

If you have downloaded a copy, please do not read it or re-read it. Delete it from your computer, and take to your nearest police station any removable media on which it is stored.

It has come to light that the story, called Bananas by Swan Morrison, was, inadvertently, the funniest piece of humour ever written. In susceptible individuals such writing can trigger uncontrollable and unstoppable laughter. It is impossible to eat or drink whilst convulsed with such humorous hysteria, hence there is serious risk of death within five or six days. There is currently no known treatment, and those affected have been maintained under sedation in hospital.

Similar pieces of writing have been developed by intelligence services in Russia and in the West. Indeed, it is believed that the murder of at least one former KGB agent was effected by inducing ‘Mirthus Gravis’ from reading such a story passed to him in a London restaurant. This was discovered when staff in the restaurant, who had seen parts of the text over his shoulder, tested positive for pathological joviality.

The Government employs teams of brilliant comedians to undertake the secret and dangerous research into this material, despite this leaving those who are less funny, or not funny at all, to fill comedy entertainment roles in the media. Even with such research, however, the most deadly humour is often found by chance. National disaster was narrowly averted in the UK just prior to a party political broadcast by the Leader of the Opposition. On analysis of his speech it was clear that hearing his plans for governing the country could have left over eighty percent of the population in agonising contortions of laughter. Fortunately, the danger was identified in time, and all subsequent policy statements have been sufficiently bland and substanceless to be safe – even for children.

A particular danger of the Swan Morrison story was that it appeared to maintain its potency in translation. Even Germans reported a strange and unfamiliar sensation on reading it, together with an involuntary vocalisation, sounding something like: ‘Ha Ha’. This contributed to the fear that the material might fall into the hands of terrorists. This story read on national radio could have a destructive power equivalent to ten megapaxmans – one paxman being the effect on an evasive politician of a TV interview during the UK current affairs programme, Newsnight. It would also, of course, be fatal to the reader, but ‘suicide humorous story reading’ is an ever-present risk.

In addition to research for military purposes, work continues on the use of deadly humour to control vermin. Oxford University has built a facility to discover what rats find amusing – a move that has led to some confusion among anti-vivisectionists. So far, the one about the two mice and the gerbil is said to be showing promise.

Finally, although the story on this page has been removed, some people may be affected by other writing on this site. If you find that you have been unable to stop laughing for more than twelve consecutive hours, consult your doctor immediately.