SAYINGS by Barry O’Farrell

“Hey Earl, I’m doing an English quiz. Help me finish these sayings. A bird in the hand…” Earl thinks for a minute. Actually there is no exercise. I just made this up because Earl is in a bit of a downer today and I am trying to get him out of his mood.

“Let me say it again. A bird in the hand…”

All I get is a blank look. “Okay let’s try another. As quiet as a…”


“Very good. As bold as…”


“As lonely as a…”

“Bastard on Father’s Day.”

Not the answer I expected, but it’s this quirky logic which tells me the Earl we know and love is back with us again. Well maybe love ain’t the right word. I can now pose my obvious statement. “You’re having a down day.”

“Yeah. Broke up with my girlfriend a few days ago. Can’t understand it. I gave her plenty of shags. Even threw in a couple of good ones. And now today, I’ve been banned from the barbershop.”

This has got to be a first. Banned from a club I could understand. Banned from a bar likewise, but a barbershop?

“Which one?”

“The one down by the river with the high tech lights in the window.”

“And the all-girl crew.

“That’s the one.”

“What were you doing? Swearing? Arguing? Drinking?

“No, nothing. They’ve got a sign on the front counter. It says, FEEL FREE TO ASK FOR YOUR PREFERRED BARBER.”


“All I said was, gimme the one with the biggest tits.”

Barry O’Farrell (@BarryO_Tweet) is an Australian actor who sometimes writes.

Barry’s stories have appeared in Cyclamens & Swords, The Flash Fiction Press, A Story In 100 Words, 101 Words, 50 Word Stories, Writers Grapevine and of course here in The Dirty Pool.

One of Barry’s short stories appears in FUTUREVISION, the new anthology of great Australian sci-fi stories.