Bedtime story

Once upon a time, dear Reader, when your grandparents were still in diapers, there was a gigantic monster with three heads. He lived far, far away in a land where the sun never rises and the sky is always pink. When he was at home, he would mostly lie on his back, scratching his stomach, but when he was hungry, he would go off and find a pretty maiden to eat.

He lived so far away that your grandparents would never have heard of him at all, if it were not for the fact that every once in a while, when he ran out of pretty maidens to eat, he would cross the oceans, mountains and valleys and stride into one of the villages where the blue people lived. (He particularly liked blue maidens.) And he would start picking off pretty maidens there.

Naturally, the villagers were not pleased and the maidens would even threaten to run away. Something had to be done. So eventually, valiant farmer’s sons and bricklayers and cooks and blacksmiths rallied forth with all their axes and trowels and filleting knives and hammers and what-have-you-s and somehow they were able to topple the monster and cut his heads off. Yes, every single head.

You can imagine how they danced for joy, how they revelled! There was only one small problem: While they were dancing and laughing and singing, the monster got up and went to join them. You see, for every head they had cut off, he had grown three. Moreover, as you can imagine, he was very angry.

At the time, a skinny wisp of a computer nerd was living in the village. Yes, they had computers back then, and nerds, too. Anyway, this nerd suggested to the terrified revellers that they should serve the monster lots of their cakes and ice-cream, and banana-splits and coconut shake and all the other delicious things people used to enjoy until they decided they would rather look young till they died.

The terrified revellers were so terrified they forgot, for a moment, to be valiant, so they did exactly what the nerd suggested. And the nerd let the monster play World of Warcraft on his shale tablet.

Let me tell you: The monster particularly liked the coconut shake. And he absolutely loved World of Warcraft. So he sat there, eating and eating, never for a moment thinking about pretty maidens, playing World of Warcraft till all the revellers had fallen asleep.

I wish I could tell you that he burst in the end, like the astronomer Tycho Brahe. But he didn’t. As far as I know, he is still there, with his nine oversized heads all eating coconut shake and angel cake. But at least the pretty maidens need not fear him any more, and eventually, I expect, arteriosclerosis will get the better of him.

With that, I ask you to please remember to brush your teeth.


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