|Written By Heinrich
| The Laugher
What comes to your mind when you see a man who laughs for living ?
Yes, it sounds very strange and odd indeed. But the man in this story
is a professional laugher. He is neither a clown nor a comedian, but
a very professional laugher. In short, his laughing is a trigger to
draw out a roar of laughter from the whole audience in a night club.
He is, in another word, a claque laugher. In a sense his laughing must
be infectious and it is actually so.
He can laugh at will according to any requests, laughter of any race,
any age, any area.
On the contrary, his private life is very quiet. He seldom laughs for
himself. His wife, too. They just exchange silent smiles. Though he
knows all kinds of laughing as business, he doesn't know what laughing
truly means to him.
Isn't it sarcastic ?
I don't like to be asked what my occupation is, because I can't answer
it easily. If I told my job is a laugher nobody understand what the
laughers do. I sometimes call me an actor, but it is not suitable
I am a laugher and earn good money from it. I don't make people laugh,
I laugh as I was told to do. I can laugh like a Roman emperor, or
like a sensitive schoolboy, I can laugh like whomever I was requested.
I am indispensable in many occasions such as in nightclubs and recording
studios, so I am always busy.
I laugh mournfully, moderately, hysterically and I laugh in the right
time when poor comedians need a trigger of the audience's laughter.
But my everyday life is really quiet one. I scarcely laugh. I don't
like noise. I am tired by laughing.
My wife used to complain that I didn't laugh, but she realized that
I can't change my attitude. Like confectioners like sour pickles,
butchers like marzipan, and the baker prefers sausage to bread, while
I am off duty, I prefer a quiet life without laughing.
I can laugh in many different ways, but I don't laugh in my private
I envy those who can say exactly what they do; like I am a bookkeeper,
I am a barber......
I am a laugher. I make a living by laughing. I am confident in myself
doing my job, because no one else laughs as well as I do. I can laugh
in any situations with various expressions and I can be anyone in all
classes of society at any age.
I have become indispensable especially for the not-known comedians.
I must laugh at the right time, all audience follow me.
On the other hand, I hardly laugh in my life. I forget laughing. My
wife used to say I should laugh in my first married years but I feel
so relived when I stay quietly and stilly.
As we spend time together, my wife also fogets how to laugh. We only
smile each other, we speak in lower voice. Have I ever laugh in my life?
No. I have never heard my own laughter.
Heinrich Boll(ハインリヒ・ベル）は1972年にノーベル賞を取りました。日本語にも翻訳されています。「The Laugher」は笑い屋という職業で成功している男は私生活では、微笑むことがあっても決して声を上げて笑うことはないという話でした。
|The Laugherの単語/Summary 提出後のMLでの討論/
Dictionary of Contemporary English /American
Heritage College dictionary/Colins