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Live With It
by Michael Franklin

It was Hiram Schneckelburgher's day of retirement. It was a time for celebration. From here on he would not have to spend long minutes each day spelling out his name. This was England and – although his distant origins had been elsewhere in Europe – he was now English. It was time for a quiet life, most of it spent with friends and neighbours who were not puzzled or offended by the mouthful that labelled him.

As life became more peaceful, Hiram had a thought. There were, he knew, many other people in Britain who had names that were unfamiliar to indigenous Brits. He explored the internet, going into directories and various membership lists, and found some. He would form a club. He found a telephone number for Ivontit Housenschnitzel and gave him a ring.



“Pardon this call. I am Hiram from Birmingham.”

“What do you hire?”

“I don't hire anything. I'm calling you because of your name...”

“So – you are another of those idiots who say ivontit supposing that I am going to tell them that they can have it?”

“No. Now listen please. I also have a surname that originated in eastern Europe, and so do many other people. I am hoping that we can get together and form a club. Would that interest you? Do you know of any others who would qualify?”

“Certainly I do. We have a man over the road, Heidle Brunkerdumpff who has spent his life denying that he is idle – and a farmworker we know, Nodderganger Duzbinnmanne who, everyone supposes works for the council.”

“Yes. I can understand that. It can be embarrassing. I have found some others that I must contact. There is a fellow in Carlisle called Grubbit Niteschittenhoff, and a famly in Bradford called Blundercrappe. Does that surprise you?

“No. We all have to do it – whatever the language...”

“Good. Do you have an email address?”

“No. but we do have a female one. My wife Alquaseltza looks after the post.”

“What I mean is – do you compute?”

“Yes – I commute to work in every day. Why do you ask?”

“I just want us to have an ongoing contact.”

“Okay. My wife is here most of the time. Call her.”

“Give her a ring then?”

“No. She already has two and they came from me.”

“Okay - but you would like to join the club?”

“No thanks. If we did then a man I know – Badflusteri Tonioblairymutt would want to join also, and I would not want to share a membership of anything with him!”

"So - goodbye?"

"Good buy? I knew you were trying to sell me something. Buzz off!"

Hiram buzzed off and gave the idea up.