The "They're all horses" bit I was surprisingly proud of. I was waiting around for Mr Cream, had just done an all nighter and went around this really convoluted way around of getting to what is really just a play on a very old joke. It meant more to me than it did to anyone else.
Chapter 3. Story of the Invisible Bar Lass
Written by Nevyn Hira
A woman walks up the Old Burt's pathway.
It had been a while since a woman had approached the Old Burt. This was for many reasons. He wasn't entirely sure if it was the long white beard stained with what appeared to be tobacco (Though the Old Burt didn't smoke. Better not to ask where the stains came from) or whether it was the finger nails mentioned earlier, or the fact this breath could probably melt the paint off of a painted thing - though no one ever gotten that close to the Old Burt and so the people who knew of this were probably limited. It did come in handy if ever the Old Burt needed to strip the paint off something but this seldom came up and so no one ever saw him doing it.
Anyway, as I was saying, a woman walked up the Old Burt's pathway. The Old Burt was awestruck. She was beautiful (to his way of thinking at least). She too could strip the paint off of most painted things though this wasn't yet apparent - she hadn't spoken yet.
The Old Burt looked awestruck. Like someone who's just been hit round the head by a heavy cast iron frying pan. His insides did a loop de loop which resulted in his organs landing exactly where they should be.
The woman finally spoke (painted surfaces remained painted). "Old Burt, oh manky and teller of things, may I ask a question of you?"
This address was great. No truths and lies mentioned though implied with the single and simple word "things". The Old Burt tucked away a heavy cast iron frying pan under his 3 legged stool. "But of course", said he. He was staring now. Apparently her voice hadn't quite registered with him. This moment seemed to last an eternity for the Old Burt. He was smitten.
The moment also seemed to last forever for the woman though for entirely different reasons. The great old manky one was looking moonstruck (or frying pan struck - whichever one seems more appropriate) at her.
"Well ask your question", responded the Old Burt after what really was an eternity. After an eternity of looking awestruck, the Old Burt had decided to compensate by being gruff. Oh the confusion. Be too nice and people soon lost interest. Not be nice enough and you're just a giant git face.
"Well", said the woman. "I would really like to hear the best joke you've ever heard".
The Old Burt thought about this for awhile. Again, this wasn't a question where he could play "Three answers both lies and truths". Okay he said. I'll tell you a tale.
- = -
A woman walks into a bar. She walks up to the bar (Why are both the premises and the place where you order drinks from called the same thing?). She sits for awhile wondering where the bar staff could possibly be when a disembodied voice asked "Well? What would it be? I don't have all day you know".
The woman looks confused. "Umm... I'll have a beer", she said.
A pint glass seems to float up to the beer tap and a pint seems to pour itself. The woman looked around the room to see a whole lot of long faces.
"Right, that'll be a smile" said the disembodied voice.
"Come again?" asked the woman.
"A smile. Nice and easy. If it makes it any easier I'll tell you a joke."
"The Joke would be nice" said the woman, starting to get used to the whole idea of the disembodied voice.
-- === --
A man walks into a bar and sits at the bar. He looks around and sees that the bar is full of long faces.
The man asks the barman, "What's with all the long faces?"
The barman looks at the man as if he's an idiot. "Can you not tell? They're all horses."
-- === --
The woman is smiling from ear to ear.
"There you go", said the disembodied voice. "I knew that was funny despite what my friends told me."
"Oh no", said the woman. It's not the joke. I just realised who you are. You're the invisible bar lass mentioned in another story.
"Oh my", said the invisible bar lass. "I'm famous! If only my mother could see me now!"
"But I have to ask", stated the woman, "What is up with all the long faces?" indicating the rest of the room.
"Oh them.", said the barlass, "They're just being frugal."
- = -
The Old Burt is smiling though not a huge smile. The woman looks dissatisfied.
"That wasn't terribly funny", she said.
"No," said the Old Burt chuckling to himself, "I really need to get out more."