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The Three Friends
by Amit Parmessur

Lots of comic tragedy can be written using the technique below. But you see, when it comes to make others laugh, I start laughing myself. I can't think. I can’t write. That's why I’ll relate a little Mauritian piece I've been hearing for centuries. Just listen.

Once upon a time there were three friends. Let us call ’em Twofight, Savage and Shutyormouth, because these were their names. One night, they decided to pluck some man...goes by the side of a riverside. Savage's name was such that he ate and plucked like a savage. Twofight had to fight wasps. I won’t say Shutyormouth could hardly shut your -- sorry his -- mouth when it came to mangoes.

They plucked, ate, fought. Then, Twofight got lost.. Don't know where he went. Stuck at the top of a tree, eaten by mangoes or vanquished by wasps. And carried away.

Hours collapsed; darkness grew.

Savage: [Still eating.] Any idea? Where that Twofight could be?

Shutyormouth: Let me think. [He hardly thinks.] No.

Savage: Let’s to the police!

Shutyormouth: [Gloomily.] I think good idea!

Savage: [Suddenly eager to tease Shutyormouth.] Oh Mister thinks too.

Shutyormouth: Yessss!

Savage: I always thought you thought I know you can't ever think of thinking.

Shutyormouth: Yes?

Savage: Let’s to the police.
 [Soon, they were at the police station.]

Savage: Stay at the door. [Pause.] Shut your mouth, and don't offend the fifth word after :, OK.

Shutyormouth: OK, savage. I mean Savage.
 [Savage entered and saw a policeman.]

Savage: [Erratically.] Sir, I want you to fin’ my friend.

Policeman: What's his offence?

Savage: He’s lost.
 [The policeman thought the man must be mad.]

Policeman: What's your name?

Savage: Savage.
 [The policeman’s thought was confirmed. He was on the verge of madness himself.]
WHAT'S YOUR name?: Policeman

Savage: [Smouldering.] Can’t you hear? Savage. Savage, man! Aren't you here!

Policeman: How dare... SHUT your mouth!

Savage: [Calmly.] Oh. You know him. You want him? He is at the door.

Policeman: [Scratches his head. Two lice die -- husband and wife.] Shuuut up!

Savage: [Cries.] I want to fight.

Policeman: [Rubbing his hands together..] You want Twofight.

Savage: I want Twofight. Really.

Policeman: Don’t cry! Don’t cry. Constable, behind bars. I’ll tame him, shut his mouth forever and satisfy his desire to -- Quick!!
 [Minutes later, inside the cell, the smallest unit of death: herculean kicks with hands echoed. Embracing, thrashing, hiccupping.]
Policeman: You wanted to fight.

Savage: [Proudly.] I still want to fight.

Policeman: [Kicking hard.] Yaaah!

Savage: Aaaah.

Policeman: Yaaah! Yahoo! Yaaah! Yahoo! .com!
 [Little by little, Savage’s plight became exceedingly excessive.]

Savage: [Suddenly and loudly.] I know the PC!

Policeman: [Stops. To himself.] This madman even knows the Police Commissioner. Trouble! [He thinks.] But you will report only if your candle is still burning... Heeha!

Savage: But. He doesn't know me.

Policeman: [Doubly excited.] Then take this, and this and this and this... end.

The following day Shutyormouth, behind bars, was orphaned.