London, UK—Following an entirely predictable and painfully commonplace joke about her being short, local Web developer Taylor Newton failed for the first time to crack a smile to stoke the ego of the person who told the joke.
Newton had been walking to a nearby sandwich shop for lunch when Mitchell Gregory, a coworker passing in the opposite direction, pretended to warn her about seagulls overhead.
“Hey, heads up about those seagulls!” he called a few feet before they passed one another. “Oh, just kidding, I don’t think they’re flying down that low. You’re good.”
Gregory and the friend he was walking with proceeded to high-five one another in celebration of the perceived sick burn, but Newton quickly discovered that she was not able to muster up the necessary amount of compliance to stoke his ego with a smile.
“Yeah, it was weird,” Newton admitted. “I usually just kind of involuntarily smirk, like, ‘Yeah, good one, I guess,’ or whatever, but somehow this time I just couldn’t bring myself to care. So I just kind of stared and kept passing them by.”
Gregory and his friend were quick to notice her lack of enthusiasm at their well-timed and perfectly-executed joke, and gave each other a confused glance before continuing walking.
“That was totally uncalled for,” Gregory fumed. “Like, did you see how she scoffed? She basically attacked me.”
Newton went into the sandwich shop and placed her order, all the while massaging her cheek.
“Maybe I pulled a muscle and lost the ability to smile or something. I’m even trying right now, and it’s just not happening. Huh.”
Meanwhile, Mitchell Gregory and his friend comforted each other after their traumatic rejection.
“Hey, let’s not worry about this,” Gregory said, mostly to himself. “It’s not my fault she didn’t appreciate such a quality joke. But hey, it was probably just over her head.”
Gregory and his friend shared another high five.
“Eh, you can’t please everybody,” he said while heading into his workplace. “Maybe I’ll just have to say something really funny next time, like commenting on her weight or something.”