Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Jimmy's Feet

   If you want to know where you are, ask your feet, because they got you there. Jimmy would have asked his feet that question but he was more concerned about the whereabouts of his shoes and how he'd get home without them. The shoes were new and he was still getting used to operating them. He tried to make shoes from a newspaper, but they didn't last long on the wet ground.
   He finally found them in a field. They were right behind him. He was relieved to be re-united with them, but he needed to wash his feet before putting them on, or else he'd ruin his new shoes. This wasn't the first time in his life when he needed to wash his feet. There were many occasions when he had some need to wash his feet, but not a great need. There were numerous occasions when washing his feet would have been preferrable to leaving them unwashed, but it didn't amount to a need.
   He remembered the time his right foot didn't need to be washed at all, and he thought this compensated for his left foot, which did need a wash. But he decided to wash his left foot anyway because his dog needed to wash one of his paws, and the dog had three other paws to compensate for the one dirty paw. It more than compensated for the one paw, and it made Jimmy feel inferior to his dog. So he decided to wash his foot. He could have left the foot unwashed without feeling inferior if he'd waited around to see how the dog washed his paw.
   His left foot was cleaner than his right foot after the wash. This slight imbalance meant he leant slightly to his left, and this made him fall when he leant too much. He needed to wash his head after the fall, and he also needed to wash his right foot to restore the balance with his left.
   He wondered how he could wash his head and his right foot at the same time. In trying to solve the problem, he sought the advice of various people. One of them was Phil. He was looking at milk bottles when Jimmy went to see him. He could have looked at some bricks as well, but he chose to look at the bottles. Jimmy looked back and forth between the bricks and the bottles. Phil was holding an ice cream cone. He could have eaten that instead of looking at the bottles. Other things he could have done included singing a song, turning lightswitches on or off, or standing on a chair. He only looked away from the bottles when the ice cream started to melt. "I could have bought some biscuits," he said.
   His telephone rang. It was Michelle, and she wanted to know if he could do something about her aunt's stairlift. Jimmy went with him to the aunt's house. They didn't know what they were doing to the stairlift, and the aunt didn't know what she wanted them to do to it, but she knew she didn't want them to do what they did. Phil ran back to his house to stand on a chair.
   Jimmy's right hand needed a wash after doing whatever they did to the stairlift. This complicated the matter even further, but he found that it restored his balance. He held his right hand out while he walked, and he could stand on a chair without falling off.
   He remembered this as he wondered what to do about his unwashed feet and his new shoes. He felt he should seek the advice of various people. So he went to see Phil, but instead of asking about his feet he said, "Why were you looking at the milk bottles?"

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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