Friday, 29 June 2012

The Beaver Dating Service by K. A. Laity.

It's a hard business getting beavers together, says Beaver Dating Service founder Celia Underhill. And she should know. Celia's been in the beaver business practically since birth.

"Nothing as stirring as the sight of a beaver with a big log clamped in its mouth," she says with a sigh.

Her husband and business partner, Ned Tartan, agrees. "There's just something seductive about watching a beaver waddle."

Why a dating service? Doesn't nature just take care of its own?

Celia shakes her head. "You'd think that, but while it is natural for a beaver to go out in search of wood, they don't always get together with other beavers."

"Lodge culture has a strong hold on the beavers," Ned adds. "But you kind of have to know where they are and they can be difficult to get into. You need to know the right beaver."

"Having a big paddle helps you get noticed," Celia explains, showing off the pictures of some of her best clients. "This one's been in films, too. Nothing attracts a beaver more than a big paddle."

Ned shows his expertise on beaver oil and can't say enough about their webbed feet. They are amazing swimmers. "And let's face it, there are few sights more appealing than a nice wet beaver."

But society still frowns on the BD. Neighbours objected to the discreet sign for Beaver Dating on the front of their house. "We made it as small and tight against the frame as we could. Didn't even spell out our names, just used our initials."

"They called us obscene!" Celia said, with righteous indignation. "The world needs more beaver awareness." She strokes the lovely brown beaver in her arms. "Look at the size of those teeth. This is one beaver who can take care of herself.

Society may mutter about propriety, but it's clear that Celia and Ned are doing a booming business. Beavers are lined up outside their door.

"See you next Tuesday!" Celia chirps, as she waves goodbye to another happy beaver.

All-purpose writer, Fulbrighter, uberskiver, medievalist, flâneuse, techno-shamanka, Broad Universe social media maven, History Witch, Pirate Pub Captain ☠ currently anchored in Galway, Ireland · K.A.Laity 

Monday, 25 June 2012

The Crocodile of Corfu by Strachan McQuade.

There I was on holiday in Corfu, enjoying my sixth rum and coke beside the swimming pool, when the crocodile spoke to me. Not a real crocodile of course. It was a bright green inflatable toy that some kid had left beside my sun-lounger. Being in the holiday spirit, I’d been admiring it’s cheeky grin and probably encouraged it by smiling.

‘How you doing, mate?’ it said. ‘Having a good holiday?’

‘Yeah, having a great time. Thanks for asking.’ I wondered if I ought to cut down on the drinking. During the day at least. ‘What about yourself, Croc? How’s tricks with you?’

The crocodile sighed mournfully. ‘To be honest, I’m feeling a little deflated.’

‘Sorry to hear that. Anything I can do to cheer you up? I’ve few good jokes that’ll make you laugh.’

‘No, I really am feeling deflated. I’ve a slow puncture and getting all soft and flabby. Not a good state for a respectable inflatable to be. Listen, I hate to ask, but you couldn’t see your way to giving me a quick top-up could you? A couple of big puffs should do the trick.’

The rum had made me mellow and I was happy to oblige. ‘No problem. Where’s your valve?’

‘Underneath. If you turn me over you can’t miss it.’

I flipped the crocodile on it’s back and sure enough the rubber valve was sticking out prominently. Pulling off the cap, I sealed my mouth around the opening and blew as hard as I could. The crocodile gasped in what sounded like intense pleasure.

‘That’s it, big boy. Don't stop. Don't stop. You’re making me so fucking hard…………’

I removed my mouth from the valve and bunged in the cap, before hastily turning the beast back onto its stomach. My face was burning with embarrassment. ‘Why, you sneaky plastic …….’

The crocodile apologised. ‘Sorry about that. Honestly. Don’t know what came over me. Maybe it’s the heat. You’ve no idea what it’s like lying here all day in the baking sun. I know I shouldn’t ask, but could you help me out one last time?’

I shouldn’t have listened, but there was a note of pleading in its voice that tugged at my heart strings.

‘I’d appreciate it if you could put some sun lotion on my tail. You’ve no idea the agony I’m in.’

So like a fool, I poured a generous dollop of sun cream on my palm and smeared it back and forth along the creature’s tail.

‘What the fuck are you doing with my daughter’s crocodile?’

I looked up to see a beefy, red-faced man with tattoos, glaring angrily down at me.

‘Fucking pervert,’ he yelled as he pulled me off my sun-lounger and threw me head-first into the pool.

As I crawled gasping to the side, coughing up chlorinated water, I could see the crocodile grinning at me and too late remembered the old saying.

Never smile at a crocodile……..

Strachan McQuade is a retired Church of Scotland minister who enjoys cribbage, pipe-smoking and sausages in any conceivable combination. In his younger days he was a highly ranked shinty goalkeeper but missed out on representing his country at the Shinty World Cup due to an scandalous dalliance with royalty at Balmoral. To this day Prince Philp still refuses to play croquet with him.

He is is the author of the much admired shit-lit opus 'Invergallus' which is available from Amazon Kindle and several handpicked thrift shops.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Submissions Are Now Open.

Yes, we're open again!!  

Apologies to anyone who may have had a submission in the in-box.  Please re-send if you did.  All in-boxes have been cleared out.

The magazine is starting afresh.  Please read the submissions guidelines.  Anyone not adhering to them will not get their stories read.

Make us laugh.  Make coffee run out of our nostrils.  Bring it on!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Sorry - We're Closed For A While.

Unfortunately, due to staff shortages and a busy "real life", I'm closing The Laughter Shack for a short time while I decide what to do with it.

Hopefully this will only be a temporary closure........

Anyone with stories that have had no response please feel free to send them elsewhere.

Sincere apologies and we'll hopefully sees you soon.

B.J. Titzengolf.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Riding My Balls to Glory by Nathaniel Tower.

Last night I dreamt everyone could see my ball sack. It was just hanging out in all its sagging and wrinkled glory, a hair here and there scattered about to interrupt the view of raisined flesh. People pointed and I smiled. There was no shame. It’s not that my balls are beautiful. They're a little bigger than average, definitely disproportionate to my modest penis (which was still tucked away in the privacy of my undies). They're just like all the other balls in the world. They're weird looking, but people couldn't get enough of them. "Great balls," I heard the people say.
The craziest thing was that I was a school teacher—an elementary school teacher—and my balls were hanging out of my pleated trousers all day. No one seemed to mind, and I made no effort to conceal them. At the end of the day, the principal called me into her office and there was a famous author there offering me a bag full of cash to write my biography. I told him sure and took the cash without counting it, my balls dancing with joy.  
When I woke up I decided to live out my dream the best I could. I started out small—I unzipped my pants, pulled out my sack, and walked around the house. It felt refreshing. When my wife saw it, she laughed and asked what the hell I was doing.
"I’m living the dream," I said with a sheepish smile.
"Can you live the dream with your balls in your pants?"
Then I told her all about the dream and about how I planned to keep my balls out from now on. "I think it could really advance my career," I added.
"I guess it's worth a shot," she told me. I could tell she doubted it, but we needed something to get us out of our rut.
I kept my balls out on the way to work, even in the drive thru at the coffee shop. The attendant didn't say anything, but I'm sure she noticed. There was a definite glance when she handed me my change.
In the office building I kept my briefcase in front of my exposed balls until I got to my desk. I had to ease into it, for the sake of the others. Besides, we had a staff meeting in the conference room scheduled for that morning, and I thought it would be best to reveal it to everyone at once. I didn't want any rumors about my balls circulating through the office.
I made sure I was the last to arrive to the meeting. I marched in and my balls flopped around. No one paid attention though. They were all staring at Beverly's exposed tits. They were glorious. I didn’t mind that she got the promotion I was after. She deserved it. I zipped up my balls and went back to the grind.

Nathaniel Tower writes fiction, teaches English, and manages the online lit magazine Bartleby Snopes. His short fiction has appeared in over 100 online and print magazines and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His story "The Oaten Hands" was named one of 190 notable stories by storySouth's Million Writers Award in 2009. His first novel, A Reason To Kill, was released in July 2011 through MuseItUp Publishing. Visit him at 

Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Wager by Michael A. Kechula.

When the Queen of Zamboozia awarded Charlie Burns a jeweled trophy for winning the Faux Shakespeare Sonnet Writing Contest, I bet him ten million euros I could do better.
He thought I was nuts.
“I’ll even do it a year sooner. It’ll be so good, Shakespeare will think HE wrote it. But instead of putting fifty blindfolded, lobotomized people on typewriters like you did, I’ll use fifty blindfolded monkeys.”
Burns accepted the bet. The Queen agreed to be the judge and offered Knighthood to the winner.
I went to the Congo. Posted 785,235 recruiting posters in the jungle. 9,827 monkeys responded. After giving them personality and IQ tests, I selected fifty. Transporting them to London, I fed, clothed, housed them. Plus, I gave them weekly paychecks.
Soon, my blindfolded monkeys mounted typewriters and danced on the keys to hip-hop.
After three years of scrutinizing results, they seemed a million miles from producing a new Shakespearean sonnet. However, by cutting and pasting, I pieced together a poem Keats might’ve written in the third grade. It took first prize in Laughter Shack Magazine’s annual poetry contest.
As the deadline approached, I became anxious and drove the monkeys harder. For the thousandth time, I explained the stakes. Unfortunately, a labor organizer convinced them to go on strike for shorter hours and company-provided chocolate-covered bananas during smoke breaks.
We resolved the banana issue, but nothing else.
I explained management’s position on BBC.  After that news report flashed around the world, amazing things happened. Thousands of sympathetic monkeys found blindfolds and typewriters. They pounded them 24/7. I was flooded with tons of genuine, monkey-typed pages.
But none were sonnets.
On the final day of the bet, I spotted something in the mail that stunned me: a sonnet typed by a chimp from Kong Island. It was fantastic!
The Queen declared me winner, handed me Burns’ check for ten million, and knighted me.
While throngs of Zamboozians applauded, she said, “You were lucky, Sir Michael. You couldn’t do that again in a million years.”
“Your Highness, I can do even better. I’ll bet my monkeys can create a Harry Potter-like, 120-page novella within five years.”
“I’ll bet my crown you can’t,” she said.
“You’re on, Ma’am,” I replied, writing a check to match the crown’s value.
I won the crown and the novella became a best seller.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Two Men Get Thrown Out Of A Bar by Rob Kitchin.

‘So, these two men go into a bar ...’

‘No, you don’t,’ a deep voice interrupted.  ‘No bar jokes.’

The two men looked up from the whiskies they’d been nursing and stared quizzically at the bartender.

‘The first rule of drinking in a bar - don’t make the guy serving your drinks the butt of a joke,’ the bartender said, polishing a glass.

‘I was telling a story, not a joke.  Why would you think I was telling a joke?’ the first drinker asked.

‘Two men walk into a bar ...’  The bartender rolled his free hand, the towel twirling.

‘I thought that was a horse?  Or a giraffe,’ the second drinker said.

‘What the fuck would a giraffe or a horse be doing in a bar?’ the first drinker asked, losing his cool.

‘Taking part in a joke,’ his companion replied.

‘I’m not telling a joke!  Do you want to me to tell this feckin’ story or not?’

‘And the bartender is the straight man, not the butt of the joke,’ the second drinker continued.

‘I don’t care, bar jokes are banned,’ the bartender said.  ‘As are knock, knocks and doctor, doctors.’

‘Doctor, what?’ the first drinker said, his face a mask of confusion.  ‘Why would two men walk into a bar looking for a doctor?’

‘They didn’t, did they.  They went to a surgery.’

‘Then what have they got to do with my story?’

‘How the hell are we meant to know?’ the second drinker said.  ‘You haven’t told it yet.’

‘I haven’t been allowed to tell it!  It’s been ambushed by horses, giraffes and doctors!’

‘This isn’t going to be one of those shaggy dog stories, is it?’ the bartender asked.

‘Why would they have a shaggy dog?  To keep the horse and giraffe company?’ the first drinker said sarcastically.

‘Now you’re just being daft.  There’s no way a dog is going to hang out with a horse and giraffe.  Do you want a drink for a road before I lock up for the night?’

‘For the road?  Why would I give the road a drink?’

‘Hey, why did the chicken cross the road?’ the second drinker asked.

‘Right, that’s it!’ the bartender snapped.  ‘You two jokers are barred.  Go on, get out!’

The two bewildered drinkers slid off their stools.

‘But I haven’t got to tell my story yet,’ the first drinker complained.

‘Probably just as well,’ said the second drinker, ‘I’ve heard it before.  And what they did to that penguin was a disgrace.’

‘OUT!’ the bartender roared.

Hiding out in Ireland, Rob Kitchin spends his spare time reading or writing crime fiction.  He blogs at where he publishes reviews and a weekly drabble (a story of exactly 100 words).  He's the author of two police procedural novels and had short stories published on Flash Fiction OffensiveShotgun HoneyA Twist of NoirPowder Burn Flash, and Spinetingler

Sunday, 25 March 2012

UPDATE - Apologies!

OK, things have been busy with other projects and "real life", so please accept my apologies for the lack of activity with the magazine.

Starting this week, stories will be published every few days.  Comments and feedback are more than welcome and encouraged.

Thanks to those who have sent stories in and had them accepted.  Your patience is very much appreciated.

Come back in a day or 2 for a new story.

BJ Titzengolf and gang.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Items Found Clogging the Colonic Irrigation Machine by Thomas Pluck.

311 wads bubblegum
212 fingernail crescents
113 Pop Rocks and/or pebbles of aquarium gravel
91 petrified spitballs
82 pieces dry elbow macaroni
73 baby teeth
65 chewed wax lip pellets
53 pistachio shell shards (21 red, 32 plain)
44 orthodontic rubber bands
32 beef jerky shreds
31 pink pencil erasers
29 gnawed pen cap stems
22 insect (spider?) legs
19 dental fillings
18 fossilized Play-Doh globules
12 Legos (or Lego, whatever)
11 marbles (swirly)
9 Barbie shoes
8 adult teeth
7 marbles (solid)
6 thumbtacks
5 plastic whistles
5 gray erasable pen erasers
4 swizzle stick knobs
4 superball chunks
4 cigarette filters
3 Duplo bricks
3 latex condoms
2 pacifier nubs
2 severed Darth Vader action figure heads
2 thimbles
2 jacks
1 goldfish skeleton
1 sheepskin condoms (yuck)
1 metal whistle
1 cigarette holder
1 orange snake that came with Yoda (sell this on ebay)
1 plastic sandwich bag (presumably used as an emergency condom)
1 John Wayne-worthy red meat residue stocking
1 Diamond or cubic zirconia, pending certification, approx. 1.75 carat
1 fly
$2.37 in loose change, including two Canadian nickels 

Thomas Pluck lives in New Jersey with his wife, where he practices mixed-martial arts and tries to write as often as he can. His work has appeared in The Flash Fiction Offensive, Shotgun Honey, The Morning News, Beat to a Pulp and Crimefactory. He is online at .

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Fashionably Late by R Thomas Brown.

Bill staggered into the cubicle bullpen and tossed his bag to the floor. He held up a finger to stop the questions of his fellow coders and took a gulp of water before exhaling. “What a crappy commute.”
“What happened? You’re half an hour late and you look terrible.” Doug turned his chair toward Bill. The others mimicked.
“I’m sure you’ll see it on the news, it was bad. Big wreck on the highway.”
Danny shook his head. “How bad? Anyone dead?”
Bill shook his head. “No. Not from the wreck anyway. It was a clothing truck.”
“Clothes?” Doug looked confused.
“Yeah,” Bill leaned forward. “That big warehouse clothes store, what is it, B&M, I think. Truck flipped over, tossed a crap load of suits all over the interstate.”
“That’s crazy.” Danny closed his eyes.
“That’s not the big part though. The clothes were all vintage.”
“Yeah, I guess they’re hoping for a revival of that swing craze or something, I don’t know, but all these old timey suits are just everywhere.”
“Could be worse. At least it wasn’t fuel, right?” Doug punched Danny in the arm. “Remember that truck fire?”
Bill cleared his throat. “That’s not the bad part. See, people start to get out of their cars. Old dudes first. Guess they think the old clothes are like a fountain of youth or something cause they tear out. Canes pounding the pavement, wheelchairs darting in.”
“Yeah, then the younger dudes come in. A bunch of Vince Vaughn wannabes thinking they found Mecca or some shit. They head in. Old dudes on one side, forty somethings on the other. It was a standoff.”
“A standoff? What the hell?”
“It got worse. The Vaughns charge in. I guess they thought with youth on their side, they’d take it. They charge and start grabbing stuff. Some old guy screams to stop and, I don’t know, he’s got like some hotrod power chair. He bolts in there, cane like a lance. Nails a fat dude right in the eye.”
“No way!”
“Yeah, then all the younger guys go in. Looks like they’re winning, but they’re all fat and lazy. Momentum turns, and all I can see are canes going up and down on heads.”
“Then what?” Danny was on the edge of his seat.
“That was messed up. I got out.” Bill sat back and crossed his arms. “I mean, I didn’t want to get caught up in a Zoot Suit Riot.”
A moment of silence. Bill laughed. Danny groaned. Doug got up and punched Bill on the top of his head. “Jerk.”

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year To You All!!

2011 was a great year for me.  To "loosely" quote one of our major celebrities, The Queen, "It was an anus horrendous!"  My piles had been giving me jip all year.  Luckily, Joanne found a fantastic cream and applies it twice daily for me.  I can now, quite happily, sit on my arse all day sipping tea from my cup and saucer without constantly having to scratch the affected area.

Anyway, enough about me.  I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all fantastically fun filled 2012.

We're going to try and build up this magazine this year and I'd be honoured if you all came along for the ride.

Keep stopping by to see what's happening.  There'll be a new story coming up soon.  In the meantime, here's a little joke for you.

All the best,
B J, Joannne and Mike Oxlong!!

The seven dwarfs go to the Vatican , and because they are the seven dwarfs, they are immediately ushered in to see  the Pope. 
Grumpy leads the  pack. 

'Grumpy, my son,'  says the Pope, 'What can 
I do for you?'  Grumpy asks, 'Excuse me your Excellency, but are there any dwarf nuns in Rome?'  

The Pope wrinkles  his brow at the odd question, 
thinks for a moment and answers, 'No, Grumpy, there are no dwarf nuns in Rome.' 

In the background,  a few of the dwarfs start giggling. Grumpy turns around  and glares, silencing them. Grumpy turns back,  'Your Worship, are there 
any dwarf nuns in all of Europe ?' 

The Pope, puzzled  now, again thinks for a moment 
and then answers, 'No, Grumpy, there are no dwarf nuns in Europe.' 

'This time, all of  the other dwarfs burst into laughter. Once again, Grumpy  turns around and silences them with an angry glare.  

Grumpy turns back  and says, 'Mr.. Pope! Are there 
ANY dwarf nuns anywhere in the  world?' 

The Pope, really  confused by the questions says, 
"I'm sorry, my son, there are no  dwarf nuns anywhere in the world."

The other dwarfs  collapse into a heap, rolling and laughing, pounding the floor,  tears rolling down their cheeks, as they begin chanting......  

"Grumpy shagged a  penguin!"

"Grumpy shagged a  penguin!"