“Your fly is undone,” the Giant said. He spewed his drink over the bar as another bout of laughter wracked his body. He threw his head back and laughed hard, shaking the walls of the tavern and drawing every eye in the place (which, counting the Hovelton twins down from Fair Havens, numbered in the thousands). The svirfnebli eyed him cooly and fingered the hilt of the axe at his belt loop.
“Have you got anything else you want to say?” the svirfnebli said. The combination of his words and stare should have frozen the Cloud Giant’s contorted face for three weeks. But the Giant merely waved him off, wiping a stream of tears that had begun to flow from his eyes.
“No, hehe, that was all, haha! Ah, gosh, what a good one! What’s your name squirt?”
This last statement deepened the svirfnebli’s mood. He jumped down from his stool and snatched the axe into his hands.
“Woah there little guy, don’t mind me! I meant no disrespect. You must admit that the fly thing was a regular gizzle-tugger. I mean, three Morstas and a Zambeezo rat couldn’t keep a crowd entertained as long on such a simple trick.”
Mollified, the svirfnebli swung his axe at the Cloud Giant. As it lodged in the Giant’s arm, the creature gave a huge yell, followed by hysterical cackling.
“Ah! You hit my funny bone! Ahahaahah. Take it out squirt! Hurry, it’s too much!”
Embarrassed, confused, and more than a little dejected that all of his efforts seemed to be severely ironical, the svirfnebli obeyed the laughing Cloud Giant (who was banging the table with his other hand) and pulled the axe free. After a few minutes of weezing and clutching his enormous chest, the Giant turned to the svirfnebli.
“Thanks! I thought I was done for back there. I’m addicted to laughter, and my doctor says if I’m not careful, I’m going to keel over and die in the middle of a good roar. What’s your name squirt?”
the svirfnebli grimiced, but feeling a curious attraction to the magnanimous Giant, he picked his mug up off the floor, ordered another round for the two of them, and started in.
“The name’s Patr,” he began…