In the year 1348, while the Black Death went scything through Italy, ten young people took refuge in the countryside outside of Florence. To pass the days as they waited for the Reaper to be on his way, they told each other stories.
On the second day of story-telling they elected Filomena their queen. She demanded from each of them a tale of misfortune, which must end unexpectedly with happiness. So one by one they went stumbling through hazards and sorrows, until ten happy endings left them breathless under the setting sun.
Then, as on the first day, they all looked up from Boccaccio’s dusty pages and waited to hear what I would say.
“We enjoyed your first story very much,” said Filomena, “and we appreciate that you told it according to our fourteenth century customs. But we beg you to speak more freely and in keeping with your own times. Shock us if you must. We won’t hold the centuries against you.”
So I told them a tale from my own time, inventing at will as I went along.
the tale of the Ford
Once upon a time there was a
2013 Ford Fusion
tuxedo black with beige interior
front wheel drive
some kind of engine
The lady wanted seven thousand for it, but Josh had talked her all the way down to five. On condition that he paid cash today.
In the year 1348 as the Black Death went scything through Italy, ten young people took refuge in the countryside outside of Florence. To pass the time as they waited for Death to be on his way, they told each other stories.
On the first day of story-telling they elected Pampinea their queen. She demanded from each of them a story about anything at all, because it was her wish that the teller had freedom for a tongue. So one by one they ventured into topics of their choosing, until ten tales were told and the day was nearly spent.
Then, very much to my surprise, they all looked up from Boccaccio’s dusty pages and patiently waited for me.
the tale of the bean counter
Not so very long ago there was a bean counter in the land of New York who had a beautiful wife through whom he sired two incredible children. They all lived in a great big house which they filled with many wonderful things. Moderate success and moderate happiness came easily to them, and it seemed to their neighbors that they must be the most fortunate family on earth.
O Viking Jesus –
warrior of wild faith –
man of times! who storms the Capitol
storm of men! whose flag is also mine
I vow to you my silent vote,
my many clicks and shares,
whereupon your ship may sail
Storming the Capitol
I confess my political opinion:
These Trump fanatics who stormed the Capitol must be punished in accordance with our laws because their silly insurrection failed, but it’s not a tragedy that the Capitol itself was stormed. In fact it ought to be stormed – frequently, and by all stripes.
To put it another way:
Democracy isn’t dead because of the dopes who crashed the Capitol; democracy is dead because of the ghouls who rightfully inhabit it.