Laughing Stock

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In the furor over the Google IPO this week, another company’s initial public offering has been completely ignored. To G. Rin (Chuckles) Outloud, Chief Optimism Officer of Laughing, Inc., the lack of attention is just one more sign of how much his company’s product is needed.

“Good old fashioned happiness is practically a crime,” says Mr. Outloud. “These days, if you smile, people wonder what you’re up to.”

Under a constant barrage of media doom and gloom, mirth has become a scarce commodity. When market conditions are normal, such a shortage would make laughter more valuable.

Unfortunately, industry analysts believe these are not normal times. “Joke factories have an oversupply of inventory,” says one. “It’s depressing Laughing’s stock.”

Other researchers point to the cyclical nature of good times. They argue that happiness has always been an illusion.

Mr. Outloud acknowledges that the US Pessimism Index is at an all-time high. But he’s convinced he made the right decision in taking the company public. “There’s a market for Laughing,” he says. “We just have to pursue it.”

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