|Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.||
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
The Swans on our Side
Bob is a neighbour of mine. He once met some blind swans, and he wanted to see if they were really blind, so he started moving his right leg about. He found that he liked moving his leg about, so he kept doing it. It became a hobby. His left leg held him upright while his right leg moved all over the place. He did this at GAA matches and events all over the country.
Non-blind swans were attracted to his moving leg, and Bob often had to run away from them. When he was chased by a swan with an ice pick in its mouth, he vowed to never move his leg around again. He took up smoking a pipe at the crossroads instead.
Myself, Jimmy and Chadwick went to see him at the crossroads, to see if we could convince him to give the leg-moving another go, but he had no intention of leaving the crossroads. "I'm smoking a pipe at the crossroads," he said. "That's just what I do now."
"Couldn't you move your leg about a bit at the same time?" I said.
He looked down at his leg and thought about that. "No," he said three days later when we were driving by in an ice cream van we had to steal. 'Steal' is probably over-stating it. We just borrowed it to get away with nine tins of red paint. 'Borrowed' would be under-stating what we did to the paint. We had to take them because the paint would have been used on the footapth outside the pub. It was part of a film that was being shot in the area. The paint was meant to represent blood, but it would have prevented access to the pub. Our first plan was to change the script so that the paint would be returned to the hardware shop.
Our fake script fooled the leading actor. We were there during the filming when he said, "This film and that tree." He went over to the tree, drew a red X on it, stood back and pointed at it. "That tree is where I threw an apple at a squirrel." He took out a script and drew a big red X on it. He pointed towards another script on a chair. "That script is the one I meant to use. And that's the man who gave me the wrong one."
He pointed at Jimmy. All of the actors and the film crew looked ready to pounce on Jimmy. It was his own fault for allowing his rivalry with a squirrel to influence his work on the script.
He said, "I'll be running away in that direction." He pointed one way and ran the other. The actors and the film crew ran in the direction he pointed.
The paint was left unguarded, so myself and Chadwick used the opportunity to borrow that. It's not easy for two people to carry nine tins of paint, so we borrowed the ice cream van too. We picked up Jimmy, and we would have got away if he hadn't pressed the button to play the 'ice cream man' music. One of film crew heard us, and he saw us in the van.
So we were going through the crossroads in the van, with the film people not too far behind, and we thought Bob and his leg could be of some use, so we stopped and picked him up. After a long chase, the film people eventually cornered us in a field. The only way forward was through a stream, but we decided to face them instead. As they advanced on us, Bob stood on his left leg, and he moved his right leg around in a very menacing way. The film people stopped moving towards us.
The swans appeared, and instead of attacking Bob, they went for the film people. They were even more menacing than Bob's leg. The film crew and the actors all ran away. Bob has been moving his leg about almost all the time since then, and he's never been bothered by the swans, although they sometimes come to watch, even the blind ones.
The Tree and the Horse
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.
More blogs about Storytelling.