A Winter’s Night

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. “You know,” said the Word to God, “you and I are like the man and the shaggy dog.”

“What do you mean?” asked the Lord, the Lord God of Hosts, the Lord God Almighty.

“Well,” said The Word—

The Man And The Shaggy Dog

Once, O Lord, there was a poor man who had lost everything. His children had been killed in the wars, and those the wars did not claim were shot to death at school. He and his partner had bankrupted themselves trying to buy medicine for their aging parents, and lost even the roof over their heads. They did not even have each other, having divorced each other in their grief. “Perhaps if things improve—” they had said, and “Perhaps—” he had said, and they went their separate ways.

In his desperation, he cast about for any job he could profitably do, and so found a rich man desperately seeking for a dog shaggier than any other. It seemed unimportant to the poor man, but then rich men often waste their money because they could. Still, he was curious: “Why does he want this dog?” he asked the rich man’s servant?

“Oh, that’s because of the Tis Bottle,” said the servant. “Let me tell you that tale—”

The Story Of the Tis Bottle

Attend my words, O unfortunate soul, for there is much of profit here. My employer was not always wealthy as he is now. His parents were poor, his schooling was neglected, his family was too large too feed, and so he took to the roads when he was 14, hoping to make his fortune. The city was hosting a competition to find the legendary Tis Bottle, with a prize large enough to set himself up in business, if he could find it. With no better plan in mind, he took himself to the library and asked the reference librarian for whatever help they could provide.

“Oh, the Tis Bottle,” smiled the Librarian. “To understand the Tis Bottle, you must first grasp the meaning of the tale of the aspirin.”

“Tell me the tale of the aspirin,” begged my master, and so the Librarian said—

The Tale of the Aspirin

Two aspirin were walking down the road together. One of them, quite annoyed, turned to the other and asked, “Why must you always tell such awful, pointless stories?”

And the other one said, “Very well, how’s this? Once upon a time, two Advil were walking down the road—”

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