The Jackhammer Syndrome (Creative Response)

Not gonna lie, I did this as a creative response for school. I thought it was actually pretty good (though the mark I get on it probably won't be so good, didn't get enough explanation on the theme) as a story. So, please, enjoy!


             A loud murmuring filled the cafeteria, made worse by the stone walls echoes. Over a hundred inmates argued, joked and yelled. In the corner of the cafeteria sat Alex, staring at his food. Sighing, he pushed it aside, the thought returned to him.Life is a joke.

               Alex sat back in his chair, alone at his table. Well, not exactly- three other inmates were sitting with him, but he was mostly ignored. Alex didn’t have to worry about making friends any more- being in prison for forty years gives you an un-touchable status.

                Half an hour later, Alex still debated with himself over whether or not life is a joke. Not with a negative connotation, no, but a positive one. We aren’t really supposed to take it seriously. Being serious hadn’t helped him keep out of jail. It did give him a god- but, that was a long time ago.

                For the next week, Alex sat in the prison library, looking through history. A grin crossed his face.Germany declared war over how many telegraph poles it owed it’s tax collectors? Haha! How ridiculous!Stories like this came to him like a flood and each time his grin grew wider. Prison guards occasionally stopped by the library, peeking in to see what was so funny.

                Alex then moved onto poetry, thinkingmaybe they’ve seen the funny side. He read “The Jackhammer Syndrome” by a notorious Al Purdy. The last three lines caught his eye. “You press the stomach of your business suit flat and stride on into the sunset pretending to be serious.” Alex blinked and thoughtis that it? Are we just supposed to pretend to be serious?

                Days went by and with nothing to do, Alex contemplated this. He walked around the prison, slept and cursed his weak body on several occasions. On Sunday, Alex heard a young man screaming at another about his toothbrush. Really, it was about drugs- inmates got creative. Bored, Alex compared the young men to France and Germany. Soon, he laughed and with tensions this high, an un-touchable status only gets you so far.

                Alex spent a week in the infirmary, in which time the prison board was finally reminded of him. The order was made and a seventy year old man was released from prison. He donned a suit for his release. Going for the cheesy, Alex walked into the sunset, laughing away. Then he understood what Al Purdy was trying to say. Life is serious, it’s just not meant to be dealt with seriously.



The End

0 comments about this story Feed