Saturday, February 25, 2006

Nice to Be Here (based on a true urban legend)

Once upon a time there was a town so nice that one day, someone said, "Hey, this is a really nice town. Let’s invite some more nice people to live here so it will be a nice town, only bigger." So it came to pass that a kind developer drew up a plan to expand the nice town nicely. He did this by carefully using lots of green and blue crayon in his map. Then he asked the nice people of the town if they liked it.

"It’s a very pretty map," someone said.

"It could use more green," suggested another.

"I don’t like maps," whispered another.

Some of the nice people decided that since the map was so nice, they should make it really big, almost life size, and add it to their nice town. Other people, just as nice, were politely afraid that if they did that, their nice town might not stay nice. So the nice people shared a dilemma – while they were all darned nice people, they couldn’t agree on what to do. They certainly didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. So they decided to flip a coin. No, actually, they asked Simon Cowell to decide. Oops, sorry, no -they dug up a wooly mammoth. Ok, they really did that, but it has nothing to do with this story.

They did what nice people do all over this nice country of ours –they put it up for a vote. Everyone was quietly excited – some people put up lovely green and white signs that said, "No thank you – we are happy just like this." Some other people, just as quietly excited, put up attractive blue and white signs that read, "Yes, please – come live in our nice town with us." This was very exciting for the nice little town, just exciting enough to be fun, in a good way.

Then a not-so-nice thing happened. Some of the blue and white "Yes" signs disappeared. "That’s strange," said the nice people. "They are very attractive signs. Maybe someone borrowed them. They’ll bring them back soon."

But they didn’t come back. And the nice blue and white "Yes" signs kept disappearing, to the point where the people that had owned them missed them very much, and started have sign-envy of the people with the green and white "No" signs.

"It’s not very nice," said the "Yes" people, "That you have signs and we don’t."

"No," said the "No" people, "It’s not nice, but we don’t know what to do about it."

This upset the nice people of the town so much that they couldn’t sleep in their nice comfy beds. One night, while they weren’t sleeping, one of the nice people heard a noise outside their nice house. She peeked out and saw a large, squatty troll eating her "Yes" sign.

"Excuse me, Mr. Troll," whispered the nice person, not wanting to wake her nice neighbors, "That lovely sign belongs to me. If you’d like, I could make you some nice soup instead."

"Burrrrp!," said the troll as it waddled away.

That wasn’t very nice, thought the nice, sleep-disrupted villager. But with little experience in not-so-nice things she didn’t know what to do. At least she had another lovely sign to put out, and now that the troll had eaten his full, she felt confident the new sign would not be eaten.

The next night, the troll came back. His raucous burping awakened the lightly sleeping townspeople. After eating a few more blue and white signs (apparently the green and white ones gave him terrible gas), he waddled away again. This time a nice but very sleepy villager followed him. It was easy to do since the troll was such a messy eater he left pieces of half-eaten signs everywhere. Sure enough, the sleepy villager discovered that the troll did not live in the nice town, but a good distance away, in a city known as Uglyville.

The next day, which was a meteorologically perfect day in the nice town, some of the nice townspeople went to Uglyville to talk to the troll. Being very careful where they stepped, they approached the troll, who was snoring on a huge pile of sign debris under a dead tree. They waited patiently until he woke up. This was difficult because the troll, due to his poor diet, had very bad breath.

"Excuse me," said one, "But we’d really appreciate it if you didn’t eat our signs."

"Snark!" said the troll sleepily.

"Look," said another in his most stern voice, "We like our signs. They’re nice. Please don’t eat them anymore."

"Snork!" said the troll, eyeing the lovely blue and white hat of one of the townspeople.

"I don’t like maps," said a third, obviously confused from lack of sleep.

"Shush!" shouted the troll, "I’m sick of all of youse and youse silly signs. I’ll eat what I want when I want. And youse ain’t gonna stop me!"

And with that the squatty troll got so upset that he suffered a massive coronary, no doubt brought on by excessive cholesterol content of the blue and white signs, complicated by his sub-par anger-management skills.

The townspeople, while saddened momentarily to see anyone kick the bucket, brightened at the thought of such a lovely Deus ex Machina. Eventually the blue and white "Yes" signs were able to come back, happily side-by-side with the green and white "No" signs, like so many strange Spring daffodils.

And the nice townspeople took all the trash from under the troll’s tree and used it as sub-base material to widen the freeway, which made everybody very happy. And that, too, was nice.


El said...

So everyone lived happily ever after??

Well done. :)

Kafaleni said...

wouldn't it be nice if the world worked that way?

Bismuth said...

What a nice blog. I think I'll invite some other people, so they can see how nice a blog it is...

Heather said...

What a NICE story! How NICE of you to write the story for us. And how NICE of you to replace the "edit-me" links with actual links to DB & WD.
I so look forward to more NICE stories!!

Annie said...

I should explain - our town just went through a 'yes' vs. 'no' vote about a development. I had a 'yes' sign in front of my house that was stolen about six times. In fact, over 1,000 'yes' signs were swiped all over town. After my first sign was taken, I started hotglueing & tying the new sign to a tree. This bought me enough time to get a license plate on the thieves' cars. (I saw four different vehicles.) The cops call this 'baiting.' At first the police (and I) thought it was just local kids, but it was very organized and a couple of the cars I ID'ed belonged to 'unusual' people from other towns. One night I looked out my front window to see a man, dressed entirely in black and wearing a ski mask, ten feet from my window attempting to steal my sign.
The vote was last Tuesday, and 'no' won. So the land the development was going to be built on, all 3500 acres, will be up for sale and available for other purposes, possibly a landfill expansion.
While I thought the development was pretty good (75% open space), my main intent was to show my sons that we shouldn't tolerate bullies. We had a nice chat about 1st amendment rights, too. This story was my attempt to deal with the issues. I'm not sure I hit it quite right, though.
Footnote - This past Saturday night, as a thank-you for showing them the righteous path to enlightenment, the punks egged my house. Small price to pay for free speech, right?

Dumb Teenager said...

Remember me? HAHAHAHA Your sign was tasty!

TCK said...

ah - THAT dumb teenager