What do you write for the man who likes everything?
My friend, Brian, has a lot of hobbies. The guy loves beer (homebrewer), bears (spirit animal), board games (two duffle bags), motorcycles (rebuilt one), videogames (hundreds of titles downloaded), and much more (alliteration notwithstanding). He's an interesting guy and I love him. It was his birthday this week and as I’ve been doing for others, I wanted to write him a short story as a gift, but I knew a singular concept would be difficult, to say the least.
Luckily (or "unfortunately," depending on your persuasion), one of his favorite hobbies is horrible dad jokes. He loves hearing them, cringing at them, then repeating them to others in order to make them suffer. He’s a nice, cruel guy like that. So, I decided to take some of his most favorite things and tell a joke. I thought it was funny. Luckily he did, too. With any luck, you might as well. Enjoy!
The Bear's Beer
“More honey!” Bear shouted as he wafted the air above the pot of immature, steaming beer. The long claws on his paw glinted in the late afternoon sunlight. He sniffed in deep, his nostrils flaring wide, and a satisfied grin spread across his ursine face.
“But we’ve already got three whole bottles in there…” Brian grumbled. The young homebrewer peered out the corner of his eye at the seven-foot-tall brown bear standing in his driveway, hoping to dissuade Bear from his obsession. “It won’t take much more. I’m not even sure if this will ferment!”
Bear looked back at Brian with a hard stare, his large, fur-covered arms folded in defiance. The dark eyes behind his snout gleamed with fire and determination.
“You promised a brew of my own design, Brian. I don't care if it's your birthday. That was the deal,” Bear argued. Tired of the conversation, he wandered over toward the deck and picked over a plate of chicken and hamburgers.
“I love horrible jokes, but it wasn’t even that funny! Definitely not funny enough to warrant four bottles of honey in this thing,” Brian retorted. “I promised a special brew on the premise that a talking bear would be able to tell me a pretty great joke.”
“Listen, it’s not my fault you spend all of your time on Reddit,” Bear complained as he poked a sharp talon into a beef patty and tossed it into his open, salivating maw. “And if you don’t like it, I could always take my compensation in another way…” Bear’s voice was possessed of a menacing tone. He licked his lips and turned to stare again at his new human friend.
Brian responded with a dead-eyed stare and hoped to mask the chill of fear constricting his lungs. He choked out a nervous laugh and said, “I thought we were friends.”
“We are. But that doesn’t change the fact that the beer needs more honey.”
“Come on, just one joke,” Brian pleaded against his better judgment. “One joke and I’ll hop in my car and get your damn honey. No fuss.”
Bear released a thunderous, grumbling sigh, and then stalked back toward Brian. The massive forest creature towered over his companion. Ears perked and lips set in a smirk, Bear relented.
“Fine. I’ve got a great joke about pizza.”
“What is it?!” Brian bared his teeth in a beaming, boyish smile. His eyes opened wide with hope.
“I can’t tell you. It’s too cheesy.”
Brian’s earnest smile evaporated, his entire being racked with crestfallen disappointment. Bear chuckled a hearty bass drum laugh, obviously pleased with himself and his terrible joke.
“Toss me my keys. I’ll be right back,” Brian muttered in defeat.