Friday, January 28, 2005

A Parable of Questions

Once upon a time, there was a village in the highlands where everyone spoke in questions. Whether it was the particular lilt of their accents or not, no one is sure - but every sentence ended distinctly higher pitched, the perfect place for a question mark. A typical conversation would be as follows:
    Mother - "Son, have you been outside playing?"
    Son - "Do you think I have?"
    Mother - "Indeed, was I not asking you?"
    Son - "If I have been playing, have I then also missed something here at home?"
    Father [from inside the house] - "Is anyone going to fix dinner?"
There was much conversation, and also much frustration - it is difficult to speak in questions all the time. But they managed.

One day, a stranger entered the town. This man had a different way of talking - no questions, just statements. Statements all over the place. He sounded so sure of himself, with all of his sentences seeming to end in the proper flatness of a solitary period, his accent and dialect being so very different from their own. Everyone was amazed - still talking in questions, here was a man who seemed to have all of the answers.

For days they asked questions of the AnswerMan, until his voice just gave out on him. Having so many answers and opinions and advice had ruined his vocal cords. It seems he ran out of answers before the townspeople ran out of questions.

So they beat the crap out of him.

[originally posted 07-13-2004]


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