The Pub with No Cheer by David Silver

I entered the pub. The place was hushed. I checked my watch. It was too early for anyone to be comatose. 

Dan the barman beckoned me over. "One of our number has had a shock. Someone knocked over Ted's shandy." 

I walked over to Ted. "I'll buy you another shandy." 

“You don’t have to do this.” 

"But it's only a drink." 

Ted shook his head. "Shandy is my dog. And he's been knocked over while crossing the road." 

"Is he dead, Ted?" 

"Concussion, the animal doc reckons. I'm worried. He's only a little feller." I put my arm around Ted. "It doesn't matter how tall the vet is. As long as he's capable." Dan the barman pulled me aside. "You're sober. Drive to the vet's and cheer up the pooch." "How am I supposed to do that? Tell the dog a joke?" 

I turned back to Ted. "Did anyone get the car registration of the driver?" 

"It was a pedestrian. Witnesses said the guy was rushing to get to the shoemakers before they shut and unwittingly trod on the dog." 

The phone behind the bar rang. Dan the barman picked up and grinned. "Shandy's gonna be alright." 

The pub erupted and everyone raised their glasses apart from me because I hadn't been served yet. 

"I can't wait to see him," Ted chuckled. "I'll cheer him up with a joke. Shandy loves a funny yarn, particularly a shaggy dog story." 

Because of the pub hubbub I still couldn't get served so I wished Ted well and went home. "Blimey, you're early," observed my wife. 

"Yes, my darling. I wanted to spend more time with you." 

"How sweet," she cooed. "Oh, did you manage to pick up my shoes before the shop shut?"

Published in Issue #16

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