Not a Bar Joke

A horse, a Rabbi, and an apatosaurus walk into a bar. The bartender is a Catholic red panda, and the waitresses are all Atheistic humans. The other inhabitants of the bar are mostly reptilian, though there are also a few amphibians present. There are no dragons, as of yet, but dragons are welcome in this particular bar (which is progress).

This bartender never means to be offensive, but almost always is, this time is no exception. He makes it clear that he assumes the horse, Rabbi, and apatosaurus are all together, which, naturally, leads to the apatosaurus being too offended to sit at the bar. He leaves his date, the horse, there alone (This is a difficult task for a creature who takes up half the bar) and puts some shekels into the jukebox. The Rabbi, equally offended, assumes the Red Panda is Catholic, to which the bartender, not the least offended, concedes. This interests the horse, who begins talking to the Rabbi.

As slow jazz starts from the jukebox, the apatosaurus lights up the blunt he had brought in, and offers some around. Unfortunately, a dino-blunt is too large for the other customers, but the frogs and the turtles take the opportunity to pull out their own joints. The snakes see this, and a few relight their pipes as they compare patterns on their skin and pipes alike. The room fills with smoke, and nobody cares.

There is finally an opportunity for the apatosaurus to share, but he and the dragon that arrived have to step outside, because of the crowd.

Despite the Rabbi’s best cross-faded attempts, the bartender will not engage in a debate about Jesus Christ. The horse however, an Evangelical Christian, gladly assumes the opposing side, and views are ardently shared. No personal principles are called to question until an agnostic lizard joins the conversation. At this point, the Rabbi and the Christian horse take the same side, and attempt to gang up on the female lizard, but do so respectfully.

Everybody is having a good time now, until the stoned dragon comes in. His tail “happens” to catch the underside of a waitresses skirt, and he is stung by the waitresses personal taser immediately. His attention then diverts to the conversation at the bar, wherein, after six bottles of brandy, he feels the need to interject. This is a problem, since a drunk, high, non-practicing Christian who is more self-involved than he should be has no place in this conversation, but dragons never pick up on social cues (not to generalize, but… well). The debate gets slightly heated, until the Catholic bartender reminds the dragon and the Rabbi how easily he could get the cops there. The dragon finally steps back out into the twilight with his new apatosaurus friend.

The conversation between the lizard, the horse, and the Rabbi has now turned into a vessel for finding similarities in their beliefs. The Lizard agrees with the horse that Karma and Divine Judgement are rooted in the same philosophy. The Rabbi takes more convincing of this, but eventually concedes. By the time the lizard walks out, the horse and the Rabbi are closer to agnosticism than ever, and both feel a peace with this (though that is, perhaps, more closely related to the smoke).

Before deciding to return inside, the apatosaurus makes good friends with the dragon. They decide that life is all shit. They make fun of the lizard that walks out of the bar. They get way too stoned. The apatosaurus walks back into the bar. He wishes he hadn’t.

As he comes in, the apatosaurus is greeted by his date, the horse, dancing with the Rabbi, who is copping a feel, and not being fought in the least. The song he had put on earlier had come back onto the jukebox, and it is clearly having an effect on some of the customers. The smoke still lingers, and even the bartender is having a drink. The apatosaurus bites the whiskey bottle out of the red panda’s lips, and finishes it.

It’s the exact thing he needs before doing what he has to do next. His head crashes against and through the ceiling as he rears up. His front feet are high above everyone’s heads for but a moment before coming down with a ferocious force. His right foot is right on the horse, and she gets smashed into a pile of guts and shit as easily as an eagle opens a turtle shell. The Bartender reminds everybody to stay calm, though most are unsure what has happened.

The apatosaurus says something to the dragon on his way out, and goes on his way. What happens next is not clear, but soon, some snakes are the only ones able to slither out of a bar that is being devoured by a raging fire.

Two years later, the apatosaurus is best man at the dragon’s wedding, whose bride happens to be a newly christian lizard.

Flash fiction

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