Spencer was at the amusement park with his friends Terry, Rod, and Brad.
"Gypsies!" he said, looking at the fortune telling tent. "What a bunch of fake mumbo jumbo!"
A handsome young man in a white shirt and head wrap said, "You should not mock us, Sir."
"Mock you? Please! This is just a bunch of carnival nonsense. What a joke!"
Spencer bumped into the table that was in front of the tent. A crystal ball that was sitting on the table rolled off, fell to the ground, and cracked.
The gypsy man rushed to pick up the ball.
"This has been in my family for ten generations."
"Yeah, right. It's probably some junk piece of glass you picked up at a yard sale."
The man was visibly angry. He approached Spencer.
"I should teach you to respect the powers that you mock."
Spencer puffed out his chest, "Yeah, right."
Then the man leaned forward and, brushing Spencer's chest lightly, whispered in his ear, "Tickle." Then the man turned and went into the tent.
"What'd he say?" Terry asked.
"Aw, nothing, come on, let's go." Spencer thought the man's comment was odd, especially since Spencer had managed to keep his extreme ticklish a secret since he'd come to college. But he brushed it off as the rantings of a circus geek and laughed with his friends as they moved on.
"Hey," said Brad, "Let's go on the flume ride."
The four men waited in the short line and piled into the boat. Rod sat up front, then Spencer, Brad, and Terry. They all sat on a long padded bench, pressed against each other in the boat.
As they started up the long climb to the first drop, Rod glanced down at the floor of the boat. Spencer's legs were on either side of him. Spencer was wearing blue jeans and white sneakers without socks. Rod looked at Spencer's bare ankle and suddenly thought, `I wonder if Spence is ticklish?'
At first, Rod shrugged off the thought, but he found himself staring at Spencer's sneaker and wondering. Almost without thinking, Rod grabbed Spencer's leg and put it in his lap. He started to unlace Spencer's sneaker.
"Hey, what are you doing?" Spencer said. He was crammed between Rod and Brad without much wiggle room.
Rod already had Spencer's right sneaker off. Although he'd never thought anything of it before, the sight of Spencer's bare foot suddenly gave Rod an uncontrollable urge to tickle it. So as the boat was about half-way up the incline, Rod scraped his fingernails from Spencer's heel all the way up to his toes.
Meanwhile, Brad had been sitting behind Spencer. Spencer was wearing a green t-shirt which fit snugly on his muscular frame. Brad noticed the lines of Spencer's lats and thought about running his fingers up the edge of them.
Then, Spencer let out a squeal, "Hey, stop!" he yelled and started to buck and giggle. Brad looked forward and saw the Rod had Spencer's right ankle in a firm grip and was tickling the sole of Spencer's now bare foot.
The sight of Spencer's foot tickle spurned Brad to action. Without warning, he reached his hands up the back of Spencer's shirt and dug right into his ribs.
Spencer went crazy. He was already starting to laugh from Rod's foot tickling, but the added attack to his ribs made him frantic. He started to squirm about, but the two men held on tightly. As they reached the top of the first hill and started to crash down, the spectators down below probably mistook Spencer's hysterical laughter for the excited utterances of the riders.
Spencer was truly hysterical and could not escape. Just minutes after his encounter with the gypsy and his friends had discovered what he'd so carefully hidden; that he is extremely ticklish. Having been the victim of countless tickle attacks in high school, Spencer had vowed that in college he would escape the cruel torment of tickle torturers. Now, suddenly, he was again reduced to helpless hysterics.
Unable to pull his bare foot away from Rod's tickling fingers, Spencer tried to reach back and stop Brad. But Terry, who also had an undeniable urge to tickle Spencer, but was unable to reach him, grabbed his wrists and pulled his arms back. Brad pulled Spencer's shirt up over his head and started scribbling up and down Spencer's exposed ribs and armpits.
As the flume ride continued over the next two hills, the two men tickled Spencer with a passion. The more they tickled, the more Spencer laughed and begged them to stop, the more they wanted to tickle him. It was like a fever that was overwhelming them. They didn't want to stop. They couldn't stop. And Spencer begged with each gasping breath that they show him mercy.
As the flume ride came to an end, the men didn't stop tickling Spencer and others in line were attracted by the hysterical laughter. As the onlookers stared, the men tickled Spencer as he broke free of their grip and managed to pull himself up on the dock. Rod grabbed his left foot and pulled his other sneaker off, but Spencer got away before he could stroke the fresh sole.
Standing on the dock, barefoot and bare chested, Spencer yelled, "What the hell are you guys doing?"
"What's the matter, Spence," Brad said, "are we a little ticklish?"
"Yeah," Terry said, "it's not fair, I want a turn." The three men climbed out of the boat and approached Spencer with menace in their eyes.
Confused by his friends' behavior, Spencer ran from them. However, he went the wrong way and ended up in the line of people trying to get on the ride. Spencer started to push his way through the line, his three friends giving chase.
As Spencer worked his way through the tight crowd of people, he felt a hand brush past his ribs. Having just escaped a terrible tickling, Spencer was overly sensitive and let out a yelp. Suddenly hands were all over his muscular body as the strangers in the line started tickling him. Hysterical, Spencer fought his way through the line as every person he passed couldn't resist the opportunity to get their hands on Spencer's ticklish body.
By the time Spencer pushed his way through the crowd, he was red-faced and exhausted. Suddenly free, he looked back to see his friends still approaching. Strangely, the people in line did not touch them at all and let them pass right by.
As Spencer was looking at his friends, suddenly from behind two hands came up and squeezed Spencer's ribs. He laughed in surprise as two powerful hands dug into his ribcage.
"See, Chet, I told you this guy would be ticklish," the stranger said. He was a tall, muscular guy about Spencer's age. He was talking to his buddy.
Spencer managed to break free of the tickling hands.
"You're a ticklish one," the man said.
"Yeah," said his buddy, "Let's see if his feet are ticklish too." The two men started to approach Spencer.
Confused and scared, Spencer ran away from the two men, and from his friends who still pursued him. As he ran through the amusement park, anyone he came close to tried to tickle him. At one point when he was running along a grassy area, two guys tackled him and started scratching the soles of his feet. Hysterical, Spencer struggled mightily to escape before others could come and join in on his tickle torture.
Spencer ran for many minutes until, exhausted, he stopped to gulp down lungfulls of air. For the moment, no one was around. When he looked up, he saw that he was back at the gypsy tent, where is ordeal began. Desperate, he ran into the tent.
The gypsy was sitting in a large, overstuffed chair facing the opening of the tent.
"Back for some more hocus pocus?" he asked.
"Please," Spencer said, "please, these people are going to tickle me to death. Make it stop."
"So suddenly you believe in my powers?"
"Yes, yes, I believe. I'll do anything, just please, I can't go back out there."
The man stood and went over to a high table.
"Come, lay up here," he said.
Spencer obeyed and stretched out on the table. The man fumbled through a bunch of jars on a counter and came over with one filled with a clear liquid. He started to drip a bit of the liquid on Spencer's feet. Then he moved to Spencer's torso and dripped liquid there as well.
"Put your arms above your head," he said and when Spencer complied, he sprinkled a generous amount of the liquid on Spencer's ribs and armpits.
"Now, you must not move until it dries," he instructed.
"Will this make them stop?"
"Not exactly," the man said. Before Spencer knew what was happening, the man tied his wrists and bound them to the end of the table.
"Hey, what are you doing!" Spencer yelled. The man grabbed his left ankle and started to tie it to the other end of the table. Spencer tried to resist, but the man was too strong and managed to tie him spread-eagle to the table.
"What are you doing? What did you just do to me?"
"That liquid," the gypsy said, "will make you one hundred times more ticklish than you already are."
"Nooo!" Spencer moaned.
"Oh, yes," the man said. He moved to the opening of the tent. Brad, Rod, and Terry were standing there and a long line of people were there behind them.
"Hurry! Hurry!" shouted the man, "Step right up. Tickle the helpless stud. Only a dollar a minute."
Spencer's friends had all their money out, handing it to the man.
"Please, enjoy," said the man, "help yourself to the many fine feathers and brushes on the table."
As Spencer's friends came up to him and began to pick tickle torture instruments off the table, Spencer looked out at the long line of people waiting their turn. He suddenly remembered the one time that he actually did go to a fortune teller to get his palm read.
"My," the woman had said, "you have the longest laugh line I have ever seen."