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55 Fiction

“The World’s Shortest Stories” yearly contest

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Doggerel from the Drunkard's Walk

(Pre-2000)
There is a literary tradition in Science Fiction practiced by no less a worthy than Isaac Asimov. His “A Loint of Paw” is the progenitor of this very bad pun.
an excerpt from this science fiction short story …

It was my first year off planet when I heard this one. You’ll just have to go along with my tempered version even though the slang was more imaginative and often anatomically precise. But that was only our fiftieth year off earth and maybe we were just a bit lustier then than now. However: “Give us a broo, Cob.”

All back bar workers, be they terrestrial or other off planet sap (short for sapient in those days) were Cobs to a Spacer. There was no insult meant. Even if you called a sap a sap, I recall it was good natured for the most part. It was like we were all in it together, you know. Whatever “it” was.

But those words were a cue, too, and acted to alert any creature that had audio sensors to the fact the speaker was a returned out-rider. And if he had gone far enough into the least known reaches of interstellar space, he may well have returned from having “tested the envelope,” the riskiest venturing into the unknown a sap could do.

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Man and his many intelligent friends throughout ten galaxies still had centuries of exploration ahead of them. A new face could take its place at the bar and call for broo and heads or what served as heads would turn in the direction of the speaker and a sort of silent alliance was formed.

It meant that here was one who had come back alive to tell the tale. Every man or monkey who could talk was reverently listened to when he ordered up at the Drunkard’s

This story is 7 pages long, available in PDF format.
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