A Sense of Humor – Write On Edge

Written for Write On Edge. A story, about the differences of a foreign land, begins after the image.

Genre: Science Fiction/Humor

Courtesy of Unsplash

A Sense of Humor

“So you’re going to Gaiadin?” said Nancy at the front desk. “You’ll love it there. It’s a beautiful planet, especially for a single man like yourself.” She gave a lascivious wink.

“It’s actually a business trip,” blushed Harry. Their planet, Almein, was comparatively poor since the mostly desert climate couldn’t easily produce its own food. By contrast, the garden planet of Gaiadin was perfect for growing things. Gardening was a way of life there. They even built tall buildings intending that every apartment had space for a garden. Harry’s job was to study their methods.

“Yes, business.” Nancy winked again. “Just remember, Gaiadins have a sense of humor.”

Harry stopped into his boss’ office for one last consultation. “It’s a business trip, Harry.” said Karen. “But you should have fun. Enjoy yourself! Bear in mind Gaiadins are more liberal-minded than Almeini.” She looked wistful as she toyed with a heart-shaped pendant. “Don’t fight it, and don’t forget the Gaiadin sense of humor.”

After a week on Gaiadin, Harry had seen nothing special about the Gaiadin humor. They laughed and joked of course, but no more than anyone else. What was immediately apparent was their fascination with plants. Flowering vines grew up all street lights. Every single window he saw had pots with flowers or vegetables. Billboard signs were constructed with living flowers. Every taxi he saw had a garden growing on the roof of the vehicle.

Another difference was the Gaiadin sexual freedom. Harry had little trouble finding a new bed partner each night. Coming from a world where a kiss on the first date was daring, Harry felt like he’d lept off a sexual cliff. Not that he complained much, being single, but he frequently wondered how relationships survived. Were families stable?

Before long, he settled down to his studies. Buildings on Gaiadin were built with hollow cores, so that gardens grew in balconies in the inner walls and the outer walls as well. Standing on the ground floor in the core, one could see plants growing from every terrace.

Eventually, Harry was invited to interview a family to see how they lived. The lunch with Elsbeth and Kurt started pleasantly with food from their garden. Before long the couple began to bicker, then argue loudly. Harry watched in shock.

The pair chased into the garden with Kurt saying, “At least SHE loves my cucumber!”

Another affair? How could you?” screamed Elsbeth. “I hate you!”

And here, the open society collapses, thought Harry.

Standing in the garden, Elsbeth shrieked. “I can’t live like this anymore!” And she hurled herself from the inner balcony garden, 80 floors up.

“Darling no!” screamed Kurt, and he leaped after her.

Harry crept to the garden’s edge, his face a pale mask of horror. It lasted a moment, before Kurt and Elsbeth floated back up, suspended by magnetic safety fields. They held hands and laughed uproariously.

“It’s an old Gaiadin joke, Harry!” giggled Elsbeth, seeing his expression. “Didn’t anyone warn you about Gaiadin humor?”
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This week’s prompt and the writing of many talented writers for this week, may be found here: http://writeonedge.com/2014/05/writing-prompt-2014-week-21/

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About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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29 Responses to A Sense of Humor – Write On Edge

  1. I’d love to live in a place like that, just being able to jump off safely from anywhere. Nice joke on the new guy. 🙂

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    • EagleAye says:

      Yeah, I imagined folks didn’t always take the elevator since jumping off the balcony was safe and faster anyway. Hopefully buildings in the future will be like this with green things growing everywhere. I hope you got a good laugh from their “traditional” practical joke on foreigners. Thanks much for writing in! 🙂

      Like

  2. pattisj says:

    The joke was on Harry. Who would have expected that?

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  3. Patricia says:

    Wicked twist and humor – but a really cool take on this prompt! Well done 🙂

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  4. Lovely story, sir. I’d enjoy seeing this world built into a longer piece.

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  5. I enjoyed the descriptions of the city…taxi cabs with gardens on top. Very fun and creative!

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  6. Indira says:

    You really painted a picture of delightful world and some sense of humour. Enjoyed.

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  7. Lyn says:

    Sounds like a nice place to live – I love gardens. I think I’d be kicked off Gaiadin though — unless they gave me my own personal gardener. I eventually kill anything that grows in the garden 😀
    I do like the idea of their quick way down to the ground though.

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    • EagleAye says:

      I expect people would volunteer to be your gardener rather than watch the plants dying off. I’d need one too. And yeah, I’d like to live there too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      Like

  8. Sara Healy says:

    Poor Harry. He fell for it, didn’t he? Like others said, your descriptions are wonderfully visual. I could see how plants dominated this planet and loved the billboard signs with flowers and the fact that every taxi “had a garden growing on the roof of the vehicle.” That’s fun and very easy to see in my mind. It’s obvious you enjoy your writing and have fun with it:~) That’s as it should be!

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    • EagleAye says:

      Thanks, Sara! I’m glad you could picture this world so well. I hope it was a beautiful in your mind as it was in mine. I do enjoy the writing and it’s cool that it shows. Thanks so much for your wonderful thoughts, and for stopping in to visit. 🙂

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  9. I Love it! So Creative, I love the visual images painted in my head, Its amazing when you can make me envision things I have never thought of before. I understand everyone is saying this, but I usually have a hard time with Visualization unless I can relate it to something I have seen, at first I envisioned roof top gardens I have seen… but then you took me somewhere totally different.

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    • EagleAye says:

      Oh cool! That makes me feel really good. Thank you! I don’t always spend enough time on visualization, and more time with dialogue. I wanted to do things differently this time around. It’s great to see a positive result. I’m glad I could take you to a different place. Thanks much for the encouraging words and thanks for stopping in! 🙂

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  10. lyssamedana says:

    I chuckled at the end. The way you used the picture was inspired and a lot of fun. It sounds like a lovely society Lyssa M x

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  11. Delightfully entertaining and darkly humorous.
    Your narration kept me smirking till very end.
    Engrossing all the way through.

    I’d be delighted to have your thoughts on my short story (it’s not funny though):

    http://yourstoryclub.com/short-stories-social-moral/short-story-social-issue-howling-flower/

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Cool. I’m happy that it entertained, that’s what I’m looking for. Thank you for the kind words. I really appreciate that. I’ll check your story out as soon as I can.

      Like

  12. atrm61 says:

    Wicked Eric,lol!Your sense of humour is definitely sharper than that of Gaiadins;-)Enjoyed this very much 😀

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  13. Cameron says:

    That’s an amazing practical joke. Mean, mean, mean, and yet, so excellent.

    Like

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