Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, April 06, 2010


Tuning my Memory to History

"And the wild waves sing his Requiem
on lonely Banna Strand."

Where's Banna Strand?

"Over there."

Right. And what happened there?

"It's where Roger Casement was captured when he was trying to bring arms ashore in 1916."

And where's Béal na mBláth?

"It's right behind you."

Oh right. What happened there?

"It's where Michael Collins was shot dead in 1922."

Which one am I again?

"You can be whatever you want to be."

Good... And what do I want to be?

"A fence post."

That explains a lot.
What if I want to be Michael Collins?

"Do you not remember your history lessons?
Do you want to get shot?"

Oh yeah. I was thinking of...
Never mind.
The fence post will be fine.

"Grand. Now we're just going to put this can on your head and we're going to shoot it. Is that okay?"

Are ye going to shoot the can or my head?

"The can."

That's okay.

"Grand. Maybe you'll want to do something to take your mind off things for the next few minutes. You could... I don't know. Write a book or something."

Write a book? What could I write about? I could have a go at writing a history of Banna Strand. Or I could just go to the wheelbarrow races.

"I wouldn't recommend going anywhere, or even moving a muscle."

Could I write a history of the wheelbarrow races?

"As long as you remain at the planning stages for the time being, and don't physically write anything."

It's never likely to go beyond the planning stages. There isn't really a whole lot I can write about them. It's just people racing wheelbarrows down narrow roads. They can attach as many wheels and jet engines to the wheelbarrows as they want. That's all I know about the races. As I said, my book was never likely to go beyond the planning stages. I wish I had my grandmother's memory. She used to tell some amazing stories about the historical events she witnessed. She kept her analogue memory for years after everyone else had switched to digital. She could remember when she was a young girl, before memory had even been invented. School was a much tougher place back then because they were expected to remember things even though they didn't have any memory. That reminds me of my uncle Bob, who built his own television. It was really just a wooden box with some knobs glued to it. It wouldn't come on when he plugged it in, so he started beating it repeatedly to make it work. He had some success with this method. It was like that with my grandmother in school. The teachers used to beat them to make them remember things, and my grandmother had to admit that it worked. She remembered the beatings anyway.

"One other thing. If someone told you that your postman was made out of ice cream, would you be tempted to point a hair dryer at him, just to see if he'd melt?"



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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