by Mark Saporta, Resident Nihilist
A horse walks into a bar.
The bartender mutters to himself, “What is this, a joke?”
…Pausing for a moment, the bartender realizes that this is, indeed, a joke.
“Bad news, everyone,” he shouts to the patrons at the bar, “we’re in a joke. Soon as the punchline happens, we all cease to exist.”
The reactions from the patrons vary with their drunkenness but are all more or less “Wait, what?”
“Yeah,” says the bartender. “Y’see that horse over there, near the entrance? Why in the world would a horse walk into a bar? This is clearly the setup to a joke (and a lame one at that), and when it resolves, poof, we’re gone.”
“I dunno, man,” pipes up one of the soberer patrons. “You’re expecting me to believe that just because some glue factory escapee wandered into our bar our entire universe is doomed? I mean, it’s not like this is impossible. Improbable, yeah, but not impossible.”
The bartender pauses again. Perhaps he had been hasty in coming to his grim conclusion? After all, the world sure felt real to him. Surely his entire life—his family, his friends, his 32 years’ worth of memories—couldn’t just be a fabrication? And yet here he was, watching a horse walk into a bar.
He silently shakes his head as it dawns on him that there’s only one way this is going to get resolved.
“Why the long face?” he asks.