two humans, not previously acquainted with each other, were walking down a street from opposite directions, about to cross paths.
one of them, charles darwin, was feeling pretty good about life. he had a new hat on, and a new pair of shoes, and he thought he was looking pretty good.
when the other human, george meredith, saw charles darwin coming towards him he burst into laughter.
“that is the most ridiculous hat i have ever seen!” george exclaimed. “and the shoes are even worse! ha ha ha !”
charles was stunned by this unprovoked assault on his persona and his existence, but recovered enough to try to assert his dignity by replying. “is that all, sir? are you quite through?”
to which the laughing george responded as he passed charles , “no, brother, it is not all. you’re fat! ha ha ha!”
but george was not finished. when he was thirty feet past charles, he turned and cried, “and you’re ugly! and for god’s sake lose that beard!”
charles walked on, stunned. he felt a ringing in his ears, and the world seemed to dissolve around him, but he managed to get back to his lonely room.
charles never recovered. he had trouble getting out of bed in the morning, and after being late for work several times, was fired from his job as a security guard. he became a drunkard and a porn addict. the drunkenness caused him to have bladder problems, and he was several times arrested for public indecency for relieving himself in situations in which he was too drunk to realize he was not alone.
eventually charles’s body was found washed up by the bay. it was not known whether he had jumped or fallen off the bridge, or if he had drunkenly decided to go for a midnight swim.
after his encounter with charles, george continued on his way, and met his friends rene descartes and thomas hobbes at a trendy cafe. they had a great time, and george never gave charles another thought in his life.
his friend thomas hobbes got george a job at a non-profit organization which specialized in providing musical and artistic training for third world and other disadvantaged children. george was a natural administrator, and he flourished in the job, eventually rising to the position of chief financial officer.
the ogre set up shop outside a village, and began systematically kidnapping and devouring its inhabitants, one by one.
the strongest men in the village, including the woodcutter, the blacksmith, the sheriff, and the sergeant-at-arms, sallied forth to fight the ogre, but were quickly despatched and devoured.
a little tailor resolved to defeat the ogre. he found a stout stick and attached his tailor’s needle to it, and announced his intention to the village.
most of the villagers laughed at the tailor, although a few pious old woman told him they would pray for him.
as the sun rose in the sky, the little tailor set forth with his weapon.
what the tailor did not suspect, and what the villagers did not suspect, was that the ogre had grown weary of the village, and had decided that very morning to move on to fresh pastures.
the ogre was in the act of packing his knapsack with some of the bones of his previous victims, to gnaw on in his journey, when he saw the tailor approach.
the ogre made short work of the little tailor and devoured him in one gulp.
but the ogre was so outraged by the effrontery of the village in sending so feeble a champion against him, that he entered the village and completely ravaged and destroyed it, killing almost everyone in it.
the only survivor was a minstrel, who took to the roads, where he eked out an existence begging and singing for his bread.
among the songs the minstrel sang was the tale of the heroic little tailor, and how he slew the ogre and saved the village.