Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Joe fell out of an upstairs window

   Joe fell out of an upstairs window but he landed on the roof of a van. In telling this story all he needed to say was 'I fell out of an upstairs window but I landed on the roof of a van', but he kept embellishing the tale until it took an hour to tell. He inserted the following account of an event at a wedding reception, which really had nothing to do with his fall:
   "The band was called 'Eddie and the Foglights'. They only used this name for weddings. Their real name was 'Jimmy Buggalarm's Wafer-thin Life'. They used to be called 'Jimmy Buggalarm's Wafer-thin Wife', but Jimmy Buggalarm didn't have a wife. He didn't have very much at all, a life you could see through it was so thin. The lead singer, Eddie, hated weddings. He hated most of the things that most other people loved, including love. But he was able to put on a good act at weddings. A woman called Lisa played keyboards with the band, and she hated Eddie's negative attitude. At this wedding he whispered something about the bride in between songs. Only the band heard what he said -- I found out later that it had something to do with her resemblance to a wrecking ball in a dress -- but I could see the effect it had on Lisa. She told him she needed to take a break, and she went to the bar for a drink while the rest of the band played the next song.
   "I went over to her and I asked her if she wanted to dance. She said, 'I've seen you dancing and you look as if you were taught how to dance by a gorilla.' I said, 'He's not a gorilla. He's a man who sometimes wears a gorilla costume when he dances for the purposes of sweating.'
   "She shrugged her shoulders and she agreed to dance with me. During that song I told her a lot of things about me. I said I was taught Kung Fu by a man with no legs. I don't know if that's what made her kiss me, and I don't suppose it really matters. I've tried that line on other women and it hasn't worked, but she was different. At the end of the song she told me she'd made up her mind to leave the band for good.
   "She kept dancing with me until the band finished their set, and then she informed them of her decision. She went to the band's van to get her things. When I was waiting for her in the lobby, Eddie came over to me. He was blaming me for leading Lisa away from the band. He was threatening me with violence, so I said I knew Kung Fu. He said, 'I know how to use this,' and he took an iron bar out of a guitar case. Then he said he was going to use it to perform a song called 'Angry in the Head'. I had to dig deep into all my reserves of... whatever it is I have deep reserves of. I had a moment of inspiration. I performed a move that hadn't been shown to me by the man with no legs. I ran away.
   "I didn't want to go outside in case Lisa saw me running away. I went up the stairs and down a corridor, and then up another stairs, and down a stairs, and down another corridor. Then more stairs and more corridors and a room where a woman threatened to put a curse on my head unless I left. I said, 'Well I'm fairly sure I'll be using my head again in the future, so I suppose I'd better go.' When I left the room I saw Eddie outside, and he was threatening to lodge something more solid than a curse in my head. I ran away again and I ended up in the bridal suite. There was a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the door handle, but I didn't notice the 'Not'. The bride and groom were too interested in each other to notice me. I thought my only chance of escape was to leave through the window. So I tip-toed across the room, and I was half-way out of the window when I noticed that I wasn't on the ground floor, as I had thought. The bridal suite was actually on the first floor. I made an attempt to get my outer half back in, but this failed, and the inner half fell out. Fortunately I didn't fall far. I landed on the roof of the van, just after Lisa had closed the back door. She was obviously impressed by the way I'd made my exit from the hotel.
   "The fear of being hit with an iron bar faded after she agreed to re-join the band, but only after she made Eddie promise to be more enthusiastic about the weddings. He was no longer allowed to compare brides to industrial machinery, wild animals or tangerines, but he did get away with the occasional Nazi comparison."

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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