“Get up and walk around in a circle!” Shouted Dom Joly through the megaphone.
Some did as told but most of the people who had found a seat didn’t move because the joke, if that’s what it was, had worn as thin as the slick of sweat which coated Dom’s face.
“Dom, come on, we’ve got enough. It was funny.”
“You’re a comedy genius are you?” he asked her.
“No, so shut up, Claire!” barked Dom Joly. He turned on the music. It was The Birdie Song. Claire backed away. The camera had run out of memory anyway. Still Dom Joly turned the music on and off and screamed through the megaphone.
Claire had fallen in love with DJ when he was at the height of his success. Guerilla comedy, Dom called it. A success built on mean-spirited pranks on the public, the most famous of which was Dom shouting into an over-sized telephone. He’d got the idea when, as a child, he found a handheld foghorn and activated it accidentally. The sudden noise had caused him to drop the canister and run home crying.
Another of his pranks was basically holding up traffic.
“Get up and walk around you cretins!” Dom shouted through the megaphone. “Why aren’t you people funny?!” He wiped his face.
Trigger Happy TV had set Dom up for life. He’d done bits and pieces since but earlier in the year Dom had taken part in a Stand up To Cancer promotion where he’d been on a desert island for 5 days. He’d spent the whole time lying down but it had made him realise just how much he missed being on TV. So he’d bought a megaphone and a ghetto blaster and video camera. But this crowd were too brain-dead.
Looking down they really reminded him of the milling throng of zombies from The Walking Dead. He imagined himself running though the crowd with a baseball bat. Dom laughed at the image and filed it in his ideas bank.
A week later when Channel Four returned his demo tape Dom Joly ran through a crowd dressed as Negan, wielding a baseball bat. Not a real one, a joke one, but the police didn’t know that. Claire captured Dom being tazed. And then convulsing. Then dying.
She was relieved. It was how everybody would have wanted him to go.