In bloom

Eric, the cherry blossom tree, looked proudly at his luscious branches. “Bloomin’ heck, summer’s comin’!” he said, chuckling.

“Mm,” said Jean, his wife.

“Do you get it?” asked Eric. “‘cos I’m, like, startin’ to bloom and that.”

“Yeah, I get it,” said Jean.

“Oh, right. You didn’t laugh so I guessed you didn’t twig…” chuckled Eric.

“Mm,” said Jean.

“Do you get it?” asked Eric. “‘cos we have twigs and that.”

“Yeah, I get it,” said Jean.

“Oh, right. You didn’t laugh but I guess you were just being a sap,” chuckled Eric.

Jean didn’t reply.

“Do you get it?” asked Eric. “‘cos we have sap inside of us and that.”

Jean stood silently.

“Do you get it? Huh? What’s the matter? Why you quiet? Soiled yourself or somethin’?” laughed Eric. “Do you get it? Soiled yourself-”

“For Christ’s sake, shut the hell up!” snapped Jean. “I didn’t laugh because you’ve been making the same sodding ‘jokes’ for the last 25 summers. I would just love for some peace and quiet in the sun. Is that too much to ask?!”

As Jean fumed and swore at Eric, a tennis ball flew into her, lodging itself in a cluster of branches.

“Oh my goodness, are you OK?” tried Eric.

“Yes, yes! Just leave me alone!” said Jean.

Eric stood in silence thinking of ways to cheer up his wife, but nothing came to mind. As he wracked his brains, he heard an awful racket coming from the ground and felt the sharp scratch of paws on his body. He looked down to see an angry dog staring back at him.

“Give me my ball back!” woofed the dog.

“I don’t have it,” said Eric.

“Give me my ball back!” woofed the dog as he began to bite Eric.

“I don’t have it,” pleaded Eric.

“Give me my ball back! Give me my ball back! Give me my ball back! Give me my ball back! Give me my ball back! Give me my ball back!” continued the dog as he started urinating all over Eric.

Jean looked on as her husband began weeping.

“Oi!” yelled Jean, dropping the ball to the floor. “You’re barking up the wrong tree, mate.”

The dog nodded, collected his ball and ran off as Eric howled with laughter.

“Hahahaha! Barkin’ up the wrong tree! Haha! Oh, thank you darlin’!” he said.

“That’s OK, Eric,” smiled Jean.

Eric chuckled. “I knew you wouldn’t leaf me to fend for myself.”

“Shut up, Eric,” sighed Jean.

© Carl Burkitt 2013

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