Waiting

‘Hello. Lovely evening.’

‘Yes.’

‘Balmy. Given the time of year.’

‘Indeed.’

‘Mind if I…?

‘Sure.’

‘Funny, isn’t it? The sea.’

‘Funny?’

‘You know. How it looks, you know, not like water.’

‘No.’

‘No?’

‘Yes.’

‘Ha! I suppose I should explain.’

‘Ok.’

‘To me it looks like Mercury.’

‘Mercury?’

‘The mineral, not the god.’

‘Thermometers.’

‘That too. It’s so slow. What do you think it looks like?’

‘Cellophane.’

‘Really?’

‘No.’

‘Ha! Joke.’

‘Maybe.’

‘Can I ask a question?’

‘Sure.’

‘You only ever answer with one word.’

‘Yes.’

‘Is there a reason for it?’

‘Yes.’

‘Are you going to explain?’

‘No.’

‘Can I guess?’

‘Sure.’

‘New Year’s resolution?’

‘Kinda.’

‘Isn’t that cheating? I mean, ‘kinda’ is really ‘kind of’.’

‘No.’

‘No, it isn’t, or no it’s not cheating.’

‘Either.’

‘Or both.’

‘Perhaps.’

‘So a resolution? What kind? To be, you know, mono-thingy?’

‘Sorry?’

‘You know where you only use one word?’

‘Monosyllabic?’

‘Yes!’

‘No.’

‘No?’’

‘Yes.’

‘We’re back in one of those yes-no loops, aren’t we?’

‘Suppose.’

‘Must be tricky, though, only using one word. I mean, at work say.’

‘Retired.’

‘Or at home.’

‘Single.’

‘Shopping.’

‘Online.’

‘Isn’t that two words.’

‘Polyphonic.’

‘You sure?’

‘No.’

‘What then?’

‘Portmanteau?’

‘I thought that was luggage?’

‘Maybe.’

‘Still, it’s a lovely evening, isn’t it?’

‘Yes.’

‘I’m Chris by the way.’

‘Gustang.’

‘Unusual.’

‘Grandpa’s.’

‘Apostrophe’s ok, are they?’

‘Sure.’

‘And are you here for a reason, Gustang?’

‘Yes.’

‘What’s that?’

‘Waiting.’

‘Waiting? Like, for Godot?’

‘No, waiting until you bugger off so I can watch the sunset in peace. Geez.’

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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14 Responses to Waiting

  1. V.M.Sang says:

    I love this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Darlene says:

    Very funny!!

    Like

  3. Erika Kind says:

    Too funny 😂

    Like

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Now I know what to call so many teenagers. They perfect monosyllabic exchanges.

    Like

  5. Widdershins says:

    Brilliant! 😀 … some people just can’t take the hint! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Geoff Holme says:

    I thought this tale was great, Geoff … on the whole.
    The preceding sentence contains multiple words, but is still monosyllabic, since each word is a single syllable.
    Apart from the punchline, Gustang makes 39 responses: 17 are monosyllabic, but 22 aren’t … including ‘Monosyllabic?’!!
    There ought to be an adjective – “univerbal” perhaps, or possibly “monoepic” – to describe an utterance that is a single word, but I can find neither of these terms on the web.
    (Also, I found it confusing that you chose to illustrate this story about two people contemplating the sea with a photo of a Canada goose – a freshwater fowl – standing next to what seems to be a pond or a lake. But that’s just me…)

    Like

    • TanGental says:

      Ah Geoff what would life be like without your gentle eviscerations. Thank you for taking so much trouble over such a piece of fluff and for assuming my characters are grammatically anything… their ignorance isn’t anything like as deep as their creators….

      Like

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