onceupunatimeredLarry was tall and laconic so, of course, he hated to waste words. “Why use two? One will do,” he was frequently heard to ask. People giving him simple conversation were likely to hear, “Too much, too long. Shorter.” This is a rapid way to lose friends, but Larry was unable to change his verbally sparse and alienating ways.

This irritating habit was expended on everyone. When repairs were necessary to his house, the service people were subjected to the same language truncations.

One day the kitchen garbage disposer plugged up and he had to call he plumber. The Yellow Pages indicated Jake The Plumber had a marvellous new piece of equipment to solve such problems, so Jake was called.

When Jake got to the house, he asked, “Where is your plumbing problem?”

Larry replied, “Too much, too long. Shorter.”

Jake asked, “Where?” and Larry pointed to the problem.

Larry asked, “How much?”

Jake replied, “Well, usually kitchen drain unstopping costs $100, but…”

“Too much, too long. Shorter.”

“Fifty bucks.”


Jake went out and brought in a large piece of equipment, attached a hose, and turned on a massive vacuum generator. Very quickly, the problem was solved. Larry paid the bill, and as Jake was packing to leave, Larry asked, “How works?” and he pointed to the equipment.

Larry said, “Well, my apparatus generates a large vacuum, and…”

“Too much, too long. Shorter.”

“How many words?” asked Jake.

“Three, no more.”

“O.K.” Jake replied. “Sucked sink.”

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