(Editor's Note: Last cross-post for awhile.)
Once upon a time there was a boy named Dan. On Dan’s 7th birthday, his parents bought him a blogging machine and a blog named after his favorite baseball player at the time, Delino DeShields. Young Dan was a precocious blogger and he entered many contests in order to show off his great skill with the machine. He even won first prize in the prestigious New York City Open Blogging event, winning a more powerful machine for his darkly brilliant post about his difficult upbringing on the
But then, on the night of his 8th birthday, Dan started to hear sounds from the room next door. The sounds were strange and disturbing, but they were also funny. In fact, he believed that they were sounds of laughter. His posts began to change in nature, becoming more humorous with each passing night. His parents became increasingly proud of what their young son was accomplishing, turning out some of the funniest posts in the blogosphere.
One evening, however, after three years of increasingly hilarious blogging, Dan just could not take it anymore. His writing may have been improving, but at what cost? Who was making those noises next door? He had to know, so he broke down the door. Once inside the room, he discovered his parents sitting there with a whoopee cushion, a Condi Rice mask, and the laugh track from season 4 of Friends. Dan shared a long laugh with his parents as they told him how he had passed their tests and had become the great comedy writer that they had envisioned from the moment he was born. Dan was extremely happy to have both secured the affection of his parents and solved the mystery that had been nagging him for so long. That evening he slept through the night for the first time since he was 7.
A year later, after Delino swept the bloggies, Dan started to hear the sounds of laughter again from the room next door. At first, he dismissed it as something in his head. He had already passed the tests; his parents could not be in the other room any more. But the sounds would not go away and Dan realized that he would have to face the inside of the other room again.
When Dan broke down the door, he could not believe his eyes. What he saw there would change him forever. His long-forgotten older brother, Rich, was passed out on top of a laptop computer. Dan tried to revive him, but it was too late. Rich had died from the torture of too much laughter inflicted by his parents. However, Dan did take a look at the computer screen and started laughing, harder than he had ever laughed in his life. Finally, Dan shed a tear, because what he saw on that screen was Rich’s first and only post at Not About Marquis Grissom, and it was better than anything that he had ever done or will ever do in his life.