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Topic: Laughter (10/18/04)
TITLE: The Smell of Laughter
By Brenda Kern
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All the aromas of the moment's laughter made their way to the gathering of celestial beings eagerly anticipating them. Heaven's most popular game was under way.
"Oh, that one smells like lilacs to me. I know this one-it's...it's..."
Angel One Trillion Even paused and thought hard. She knew her time was running out. But she also knew that the lilac smell was associated with something...something pleasant for God's children, it was-
"Falling in love!" She announced triumphantly.
Her team roared in approval, and the score display, made up of stars, changed to reflect the new leader. She made her rounds for high fives, which those on Earth experienced as a sun flash, then took her place again at the contestants' podium.
Another scent became prominent to the assembly, this one unpleasant and acrid. Angel 711 beat her to the buzzer this time. "It's derisive laughter. Oh, it's awful!"
Paul, their host/emcee/judge said, "More specific," and 711 ventured, "Someone's laughing at a fault or failure of someone else."
When Paul said, "Be even more specific, please," the spectators groaned. This smell was horrible, and getting worse with each passing second.
711 thought, and reasoned, and shrugged when he couldn't come up with anything else.
One Trillion hit her buzzer and said, through her tears, "A handful of young ones are mocking another, with laughter and pointing of fingers." Her sympathetic heart longed to fly down and grab the offending children by the hair and give them a shaking they would never forget! Or perhaps she should simply appear and scare them off. She yearned to do anything that would stop the pain at the other end of this particular kind of laughter.
When she was ruled correct, the stink abruptly stopped, because at the same moment a passing stranger had finally stepped in.
And the crowd went wild! They were relieved that the foul stench was gone, sure, but they really partied down when someone followed the example of Jesus.
Once things finally quieted, it was time for the lightning round, with 711 and One Trillion both advancing as representatives of their teams.
In this round contestants named the smell made by the laughter.
Not-Quite-Suppressed Laughter at an inappropriate time:
"Popcorn!" 711 moved ahead one.
Slapstick Comedy Laughter:
"Bubblegum!" One Trillion tied it back up.
Belly Laughs, combined with tears rolling down the cheeks:
"Chocolate!" This answer was shouted in unison, so no points were awarded.
And so it went, back and forth, with no clear winner emerging.
Paul had no choice but to present one final, tiebreaker aroma:
It was a smell so lovely that the throng grew still. One by one they closed their eyes and drank in the breathtaking fragrance. It was like all of Earth's flowers had given their best, at their peak, to create a marvelous bouquet.
Time passed, and no one was eager to hear the answer or wrap up the game, which had seemed so important just moments ago.
Finally, 711 ventured a guess: "Someone rediscovering laughter, after a period of mourning?"
The audience reaction was mixed. Some thought that might be it; others disagreed.
Paul said, "No. One Trillion, do you have a guess?"
She nodded, but could barely speak, as her heart was bursting with joy. "Another person... has been born again, and can't think of anything to do but... laugh as the sin rolls away...
--and they realize they are forgiven. This is my personal favorite of all the smells of laughter."
Paul grinned as he awarded the winning points to Team One Trillion.
"It's God's favorite, too."
October 24, 2004