Shillelagh Law

My Favorite Christmas Tree
Originally appeared in Ellipsis: An Anthology of Humorous Short Stories, August 2016
The names in this story are true.
Only the facts have been changed.
None are innocent.

We called ourselves the Scurvy Bastards. To us, drinking was science; the weekend our laboratory; our bodies, test tubes; and our minds, the experiment.
Every Friday and Saturday, each of us would absorb three to four times the lethal dose of alcohol, and have others report back on our actions. Needless to say, this was fascinating research.

One night, whilst sitting on the Scurvy Benches, as was our wont, the Electrician (a man permanently wired) had just dismissed the whole of Kant’s epistemology with the words, “That faggot didn’t even drink.”

The air was crisp as lettuce and miniature fogs arose whenever someone used the Pissing Tree. The Electrician’s irrefutable logic set Feeney thinking. Feeney did a great deal of thinking. He had to. No one could be that disturbed or disturbing without having put a great deal of thought into it. He was something of an enigma wrapped in legend. None knew from whence he came; he would appear like some mythical being, gym bag filled with books, Jameson, and Stout, dressed like Sherlock Holmes. He had a great red beard, and spoke in parables. One night he passed out and we found the only identification he bore was a membership card to the Dudley Do-Right fan club in the name of Little Bobby Feeney.

At present, Feeney was engaged in what he termed, “The Great Experiment.” The premise was as simple as it was ingenious: How long can a human being subsist on Guinness Stout and Cheese Doodles?

This eclectic collection of short fiction explores the human condition in all its absurdity, beauty, and heartbreak. Some are simple, uncomplicated tales; others are quirky or filled with symbol and allusion. Some are coming-of-age tales; some funny, some horrific. Still others examine themes of redemption or ruin. Written in a variety of styles and points of view, there are tales for every reader, and hopefully, a reader for every tale.
Joseph Ferguson is an author, poet, and journalist appearing in a variety of small press, regional, and national publications. He wrote propaganda for a living for a variety of entities for some 25 years.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Collection Reminiscent of the Greats
By Ashley Nestleron December 10, 2016
Joseph Ferguson is a master of the short story. I have read many short stories and short story collections, but none of them have stuck with me as much as Ferguson’s writing.
His new short story collection, Shillelagh Law: and other stories, is a mix of many different stories that reflect the human condition and the experiences that we go through as humans.
Something about Ferguson’s writing just has a way with connecting to the reader, and his insights and descriptions demonstrate how flawed we as humans are. When reading his short stories I felt as though I were reading poetry.
Ferguson’s writing is essential for vacation reading or for someone who likes to read in short bursts. He reveals his characters and situations in a way that is artistic and reveals insights that are unseen to the eye. It is clear to me that he is an artist, and I consider him an author who is essential to our current literary world. His writing is comparable to that of the great classics, such as The Great Gatsby, and I am positive that his works will outlast our time.

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Joe Ferguson masterpiece
By D. Elliotton December 13, 2016
Highly recommended. I started laughing as soon as I read the first randomly selected short story. It is a colorful work with stories most of us (well at least some of us) can certainly identify with. If you like to be both entertained and intrigued, you will not be disappointed with this read. Buy it!

5.0 out of 5 stars Dawn and dusk of adolescence
By genevanyon January 16, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
A journey into the dawn and dusk of adolescence in all its forms. This collection of short stories is marvelous, amazing and reality in a good/bad way. Loved the symbolism behind them, especially the dragon/dinosaur story. Must read.

5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read!!
By Bookwormon November 25, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love this book! The author did such an amazing job creating the dialect! Reading the book I felt a true adventure brought to life! I can see this book becoming a movie!