The Man Who Claps at Inappropriate Times: Zamphidor Jones

November 24, 2009
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A salty tear rolled down Aunt Jeanne’s cheek as she watched her niece’s casket slowly begin its descent into the dirt. The gray marble of the gravestone barely contrasted with the solemn hue of the cloudy sky. Zamphidor Jones watched as the prison holding the lifeless atoms of Rosemary-Lilly Jones’s body was lowered to towards the center of the planet, or at least six feet closer to the core than the rest of the living. Although her body would be lost, the memory of her would remain forever.

When the casket finally reached the bottom of Rosemary-Lilly’s own private hole, Zamphidor Jones noticed suddenly that this burial went very smoothly. It went, he though, a great deal better then the burial of his grandfather, Pete. Pete was a chunky man, and so when he was being buried, his grandson Jimmy, who was helping lower the casket, accidentally dropped his end of the box and thus, the rest of the coffer went down into the grave hole with a thud. The jolting of the wood on the ground jounced the cover open and everyone got a nice last look at Grandpa Pete’s remains one last time. While seeing that horrible sight of Pete’s pale corpse, Zamphidor’s cousin of seven years screeched with all the frightened shrillness of a blind owl that just got its tail feathers burned off by a mouse, “ZZZZOOOOMMMBBBBIIIIEEEEEE!” and promptly urinated in her pants.

But the burial went so well at his sister’s funeral that Zamphidor Jones felt that he must do that thing he always does. He began to applaud to the men who lowered Rosemary-Lilly’s carrion into the soil.

“Bravo, guys. You all did a great job with that burial. It went very smoothly.”

The bagpipes that had been playing abruptly stopped and everyone began staring that the grinning Zamphidor Jones.

“Zamphidor!” Cousin Annie said. “What in the name of Cassius are you doing?”

Zamphidor’s smile gradually began to flatten, and the periods between his claps lengthened until he stopped altogether.

“I was just congratulating the men on the smooth burial. Was that an inappropriate time to clap?” he asked.


“Oh,” Zamphidor said. “Sorry.”

And with that, the bagpipes resumed and the funeral continued on with its somber mood.




The meal after the funeral was held at the one and only Gary J. Gouda restaurant, a famous chain noted for having a giant animatronics band with a lead singer who was a poorly constructed and rather annoying goat-sheep hybrid. It also had an arcade in which children would often play games like Whack-a-Beaver and Shoot the Ducklings. These games gave tickets that would be traded for cheaply made prizes. It was heaven for anyone under six, and hell for anyone over twelve. Well, anyone except for the twenty-four-year-old Zamphidor Jones.

Gary J. Gouda was Rosemary-Lilly’s favorite restaurant, and so the family decided to remember her by going there.

“Party number?” some acne-ridden teen said as the group of nineteen came into the restaurant.

“Nineteen,” replied Veruca, Zamphidor’s mother.

“You all are dressed up,” said the teen. “Are you here for a birthday party?”

“Funeral,” said Uncle Atticus.

“Oh,” said the teen. “Well, in that case, you each get two and one half extra tokens.”

After everyone got seated and ordered their pizzas, Zamphidor told his mother that he would be at the arcade. After buying about ten more tokens, Zamphidor went to the Stomp on the Puppies game. In the thirty-second time period, Zamphidor stomped on an entire seventeen puppies (and one child who happened to walk too close). That was a new record! Zamphidor, in the middle of the arcade, began applauding himself as his whopping prize of eight tickets flowed from the machine like paper gold. As he was clapping, a young boy of eleven at the slide began clapping, too. And then his sister joined him. Soon, everyone in Gary J. Gouda was clapping for reasons they did not know.

Zamphidor then went in the ball pit, where he vomited. That was an exciting ordeal, to say the least.

After his Technicolor yawn, a little girl near him in the ball pit began screaming in terror.

“You puked in the ball pit!” she shouted, tears welling in her eyes.

“Yeah, I did,” Zamphidor said as he was wiping his mouth. “Sorry.” The girl scrambled to escape the ball pit.

Fifteen minutes passed, and Zamphidor finally returned to his table after washing his mouth in the bathroom sink. He watched as Gary J. Gouda, the goat-sheep hybrid animatronics chimera, sang Chanukah songs. When Gary and his band finished, Zamphidor found the music so peaceful that he began clapping loudly.

He was clapping loudly as the waitress walked over. “Is that boy alright?” she asked Veruca. “He’s clapping for a robot singer.”

“He’ll be fine,” Veruca replied. “Zamphidor, stop clapping,” she said.

“Are you ready for the celebration?” the waitress asked, and before Veruca could reply, about fifteen waiters waltzed over to the table and sang:

“She’s dead, she’s gone, forever lost

You fam’ly member bit the d’oust

So here’s your pizza and tokens

Have fun at Gary J. Gouda restaurant!”

The waiters threw confetti in the air, and all the people attending the funeral began laughing heartily. The entire group looked at Zamphidor, in the expectance that he would clap. Zamphidor just sat there eating his pizza.

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CheshireKitten said...
Dec. 19, 2009 at 4:27 pm
I laughed out loud just at the title xDDD Write more!
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