Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, May 02, 2006


An Affair Up There

   Myself and Jimmy met Chadwick in his front garden one day, and he was reading a book called 'Basketball is for People with Heads'.
   "You can't argue with the title," he said.
   "What about Gilbert?" Jimmy said.
   We went to see Gilbert at the basketball court. He was holding a ball under his arm.
   "I suppose he does have a sort of a head," Chadwick said, "in his own way."
   We rarely saw his head before, because he was so tall and you couldn't keep looking up all the time. In my mind there was just a blank space above his neck. But it was blatantly obvious that he had a head then because of what Sylvia was doing to it. She was tall too, but she had to stand on a wooden box to get to his eye level. And she needed to get to his eye level to look into his eyes, which she did pretty much all the time, even when she was kissing him.
   "Barry won't like that," Jimmy said.
   Barry was Sylvia's husband. We went to see him, but he didn't even look up at us. He was obsessed with his own knees.
   "I haven't seen my knees in years," he said, "but I saw them by chance the other day when the dog took my trousers. Look at that one. I never knew that one looked like that."
   It wasn't much fun looking at his knees. After we left his place, Chadwick said, "As long as he's looking at his knees, he'll never see what's going on above."
   "Unless he saw them in a sort of a horizontal position near the ground," Jimmy said. "But what are the chances of that happening?"
   We thought we might as well have a word with Sylvia, to see if we could convince her that an affair with Gilbert wasn't such a good idea after all. We had to make sure Barry didn't look up when was near Sylvia and Gilbert, and Charlie was just the man to keep him distracted.
   Charlie is a stand-up comic. His comedy act was terrible until he started wearing a top hat and saying 'I say' before everything he said, like, "I say, look at those birds. They'll get lost." These little changes made his act hilarious. Most of his jokes involve getting people to look at things, and this was an ideal way of diverting Barry's attention if he ever looked up from his knees.
   So we left Barry with Charlie, and we went to see Sylvia at the basketball court, but it wasn't easy to bring up the subject of her leaving Gilbert, especially when Gilbert was there. And then Barry arrived with Charlie. They were both looking at Barry's knees. "Look at that," Barry said. "Have you ever seen anything like that? I never thought I'd see anything like that on my own knees."
   "You should get someone to look at that," Sylvia said. "I've been saying that ever since you fell off the shed."
   "Is that what happened?" Barry said.
   "Do you not remember?"
   "Come on," she said, "we're going to get someone to look at your knees. And then we'll get someone to examine your head."
   It was interesting that his knees got priority over his head.
   Sylvia walked away with Barry. An awkward silence followed, as Gilbert watched them go. But Charlie broke the silence when he said, "I say, look at that man. He looks as if he's going to Mullingar." It was very funny. Mullingar.

The Tree and the Horse
Henry Seaward-Shannon
A Walk in the Rain
The East Cork Patents Office
Words are my favourite noises




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very slight stories

They Met a Bear
  They stopped in a small seaside town and they went for a walk. They met a bear.
  This is one version of the story. In another version, they met a sailor, and in this one they ended up being held at gunpoint on a speedboat and becoming unwilling participants in a diamond robbery while disguised as a cow, and sharing in the proceeds of that crime.
  So when they tell the story they just say, "We met a bear. He waved at us."

The Story of the Fortune Teller and the Alarm Clock
  A fortune teller threw an alarm clock at me. This story is deliberately lacking in details to mock the predictions of the fortune teller. Although she was right when she said she'd throw an alarm clock at me.

  One. Two. Three, the study. Four, a candle stick. Five. Six...
  Seven is missing, presumed dead. One has taken up the case, and two is helping him in his investigations. They both suspect six. Seven was last seen next to six in the garden.
  But seven isn't really dead. He's consumed half a bottle of whiskey and he's currently in the orchard, talking to a rabbit. "One of us is as boring as a gate post," he says, "and it's not..." He stops to count on his fingers. "No, actually it is me."
  Eight nine ten.

Debbie and his dog
  Debbie was sick of people mistaking her for a man.
  "Is your dog my parole officer?"
  She was sick of people asking her that too.

Very Slight Stories: like short stories, only shorter

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