“Soon the place starts filling up with men: guys with speech impediments, guys with eye patches, sailors with wooden legs talking to tax attorneys. The animals come too. People keep tripping over a boa constrictor. In one corner a bear and a sperm...

“Soon the place starts filling up with men: guys with speech impediments, guys with eye patches, sailors with wooden legs talking to tax attorneys. The animals come too. People keep tripping over a boa constrictor. In one corner a bear and a sperm whale are communicating through grunts and clicks.

‘Don’t tell the management,’ the bartender whispers to the man. ‘We haven’t made any money all day.’

‘But look how happy everyone is,’ the man says. ‘It’s a beautiful thing.’”

From “Bar Joke, Arizona” by Sam Allingham, recommended by Marie-Helene Bertino.

Read it for free tomorrow in Electric Literature’s weekly fiction magazine, Recommended Reading.









Tags: Sam Allingham Marie-Helene Bertino bar jokes humor Short Stories Literary Fiction Electric Literature recommended reading





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