Funny stories in under 500 words.

Fowl Talk



The lower, right leg of his orange coveralls revealed a new plaster cast. I asked what happened.

“We dropped a safe on it trying to get it into our trunk. We were taking it to a cracker but on the way, we got popped for a burnt-out taillight. Cop noticed our trunk lid wasn’t latched and shined his flashlight on the exposed dial of the safe. We knew we were busted then,” he explained. “What you in for?”

“I, uh, killed a duck,” I answered.

“Yeah, right. Really, wha’d you do?” he asked between sips of coffee. They called it coffee, but it tasted like something left on a boiler plate for three days and filtered through a motorcycle chain.

“I had just crossed State Line Bridge in a government sedan and wanted a smoke when– ”

“Great, now smoking is illegal!” said a prisoner from across the table.

“No, no, I didn’t get arrested for smoking. As I was driving, I reached over for a cigarette and discovered the pack had fallen onto the floorboard. I leaned over to grab them while holding the wheel steady with my left hand. I tried shaking one of them free, but it was a tight, fresh pack and I had to shake and shake and by the time I got back up, I over-corrected on a curve and drove off into a field.”

“So?” he questioned between half-chewed imitation eggs.

“Well,” I explained, “I landed in a Federal Bird Sanctuary and crushed a baby duck with the oil pan of the car.”

A prisoner a further down the table began chuckling, then broke into hysterical laughter and asked, “Was it . . . was it the UGLY one?” and rolled off the bench onto the floor, consumed by his own joke.

Another prisoner sitting across from us listening to the discussion stood up theatrically and bellowed, “You evil son-of-a-!” and moved to another table, turning his back to me in mock disgust.

The inmate I was explaining this to asked, “And they sentenced you to the slammer for that?”

“Yes,” I replied. “The judge called it ‘Unauthorized Use of a Federal Vehicle in the Destruction of an Endangered Species on Government Property’ – it’s a felony.” I sat a little more upright, cocking an eyebrow in a villainous way.

“Oh, of course,” he replied. He silently finished his meal and left in a way that told me he didn’t want to be associated with a felonious nobody.

Fine, I thought.

I was almost finished with my “poo on a shingle” when another prisoner came in to the eating area and sat down across from me. As he began breakfast, he asked the mandatory question of all new prisoners;

“What’cha in for?”

I quickly recognized this as an opportunity to change the way others perceived me.

“I was running contraband in a government vehicle across state lines.” Never mind that the contraband was cigarettes. I curved my lips in a controlled smile that implied a more devious crime that I simply wasn’t caught for.

“Cool,” he replied. “Can you pass that salt?”

This story was written by Gary R. Baney, who has received a college education in Scientific-Technical Communication and is bored to death with it.




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