The Old Burt is completely fictional.
I told this story to 2 of my friends while indulging in a cigarette at a bus stop (I am the dancing ciggyman) which lead to their contributions.
The physiotherapist bit - did happen almost in it's entirety - I was just thinking about this short story at the time. She did help though she had to stand on a stool in order to get leverage. She did seem rather confused by the end of the story. Bearing in mind that it wasn't the full story - i.e. the bit with her wasn't in there. Mr. Cream hadn't yet come up with the Old Burt character.
The bar scene is based on Mr. Cream and myself finding an Irish pub that had opened up the road and our taking up seats by the bar and talking to the bar lass all night.
Chapter 2:Story of a Soulless Man
Written by Nevyn Hira with input from Black Cat, Ian and Mrs. Cream.
A young man approached the Old Burt to presumably ask a question. The appearance of the man in this instance isn't important except maybe for the fact that the man was young. He also looked a tad crestfallen. The man tripped upon the old cracked pathway leading up to the Old Burt.
“Hail oh Old Burt teller of truths but mostly of lies”, bellowed the young man. Obviously the young man knew somewhat of the Old Burt. “Tell me please, why do girls seem to go for guys so nasty?”
The Old Burt scratched his head with a toothpick. Well this time around the Old Burt wasn't going to be able to play his game. Three simple answers were simply not cut it.
“Sit” said the Old Burt, “and I'll tell you a tale”.
- = -
Three men stood at a bus stop. It was night. It was cold (It was winter after all). One man took out a packet of cigarettes, took one out and lit it. One of the men was looking crestfallen.
“What's the matter?” said the man with the now lit cigarette (to save time/space I'm going to refer to him now as the ciggy man).
“Well”, said the man without the ciggy, “I've an interesting question. You see, I go to the pub. As you know, I'm single and can't seem to remove the singleness from myself. But while I'm in the pub I observe nasty guys with nice girls and I'm wondering to myself, how do they do it?”
“Ahh” said the ciggyman. He didn't know why he said “Ahh” - it just seemed right at the time. This man started to dance at this stage to keep himself warm. He shall now be known as the dancing ciggyman.
The third man said to the other two, “it sounds like the question asked within the tale of a soulless man. Listen up and I'll tell you the tale.”
-- === --
A man walks into a physiotherapists office. He was a rather normal looking man except for the fact that his back looked a lot like question mark. Also he said “ooch” and “ouch” an awful lot. This probably explains why he was at a physiotherapists office.
After a rather amusingly conversation with the receptionist (which won't be related in this story), the man finally got to see the physiotherapist.
The physiotherapist was female and pretty. She looked at him doubtfully. A question mark hanging over her head. Could she really help this man? To distract him from the pain he is about to endure, she asked the man for a story.
--- ===== ---
Two men walk into a bar and take up bar stools. The lass behind the bar asks the men, “what'll it be?”
“We'll have a pint each and an answer.” said the non-bespectacled lad. (Three guesses what the other lad is going to be called.)
“That'll be $12 and a soul”.
The non-bespectacled man handed over $20 and his soul. “Keep the change” says he.
“Thank you”, said the lass, “and now for your question?”
“Well”, said the bespectacled man, “We're wondering. Why is it that girls always seem to go with nasty guys?”
The lass laughs. “Oh that's easy”, says she, “Girls love the idea that a guy holds something back just for her. That smile or kindness. That tenderness that they share alone and with no one else.”
The guys think about this for a second. “That's complete crap! I want my soul back!”
The lass looks surprised. “Why would that not be true?” she asked.
“Because”, says the bespectacled lad, “the definition of a nasty guy is that he's overtly nasty. Not only is he nasty to other people, but people see that he's nasty to her. Thus truly nasty.”
“But”, the lass responded, “The answer still holds true. Girls go out with these guys because they're convinced that they can be changed. The guy will show a secret side to the girls to keep them interested but only in private. Thus, they're still nasty in public and considered nasty by the general public”.
The now soulless man accepts this answer as try. The bespectacled man went to empty his bladder while the lass went to serve other customers. Much as the soulless man would like to think he was the centre of the universe, it turns out there were other people in the bar. Such as a dodgy looking man (possibly an insurance man) in the corner.
The soulless man sees someone else behind the bar. A woman. A non de-script woman. So non de-script in fact that she was invisible.
--- ===== ---
“So?” asked the man.
“So what?” asked the strong handed and still attractive physiotherapist.
“What'd you think of the story? I've been working on it and think it's quite good”.
“I don't get it”, said the physiotherapist.
“Don't get what?”
“What's the punchline?” she asked.
“What punchline? It wasn't a joke” said the man. "You asked for a story. Not a joke."
“Well it's rubbish anyway” said the physiotherapist.
“What do you mean?” asked the man.
“The reason. The reason girls go for nasty guys is because nasty guys actually approach them. While nice guys are sitting around trying to drum up the confidence and just the right words to use to approach these girls, the nasty guys have absolutely nothing to lose by just going up and asking.”
The man moans. “I think I just wasted my soul” says he.
-- === --
The ciggy man thought for a second. “It's stupid. Everyone knows why girls go out with nasty guys. It's because girls are stupid.”
- = -
“That's a tad dismissive isn't it?” asked the young man.
“Well yes”, said the Old Burt, “But can you claim to know the minds of woman?”
“Well no”, said the young man, “But then I've only ever known one man who did. He had a sex change operation soon after so I guess he slash she doesn't really count.”