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Simple Simon - A Tale of Modern Neuroses
by Janette Perkins

Simple Simon Met a Pieman going to the Fair

Simple – who said I am? Am I an airhead, a thicko, a duffer  - did I get diagnosed by a psychiatrist? Why aren’t I at school? Am I school refuser, if so am I statemented? So here I am on a road to a fair on my own, without a responsible adult and  without a mobile phone or a personal attack alarm in the middle of nowhere on my way to meet a stranger. What about stranger danger? Am I safe from gangs and child molesters?

Who is this pieman? Has he been vetted or should I contact a police disclosure unit? Is he licensed by Trading Standards and Environmental Health agencies to sell pies? What kind of pies are they? If vegetarian, have the vegetables been sprayed with chemical pesticides, or are they genetically modified?

If meat pies, what kind? Has the meat been produced by British farmers displaying the red tractor symbol or has it come from Argentina via Southern Ireland? Have the animals been reared and slaughtered in humane conditions? If they are chicken pies, were the fowls battery reared or free range? If they were corn fed, did the grain come from an EU grain mountain? So what about the pastry – is it low fat, low calorie, and is the flour gluten free, more importantly, was the flour milled in a factory free from nut traces?

More importantly, why am I going to the fair in the first place – do I have amnesia and should I be going somewhere else? What kind of fair is it – a trade fair, craft fair, horse fair, toy fair, job fair, wedding fair or a fun fair? If it’s a job fair – am I old enough to work, or could I be taken overseas and sold as enforced child labour? If it is a fun fair, what kind of fun - comedy  - stand up, slapstick like pie throwing? Are there rides, have they been checked for health and safety defects – will there be dodgems, helter skelter and coconut shies? Here comes the nut allergy thing again! If it’s a wedding fair, am I old enough to be married? Is it an arranged marriage, if so who arranged it?

Why is the pieman going to the fair – is he following me- am I under surveillance, is there a hidden camera in his pie tray? Will images of me be posted all over Facebook without my permission, and then will a barrage of unwanted messages follow? Or is he meeting up with a load of other piemen and in disguise they are plotting to overthrow the government?

On reflection, I don’t think I’ll go to the fair after all. I’ll turn around and go and find Jack and Jill instead.

Now Jack and Jill – are they partners, are they in a steady relationship………..?