We’ll open this story with a
“Once upon today,”
for when a tale begins with the rhythmic
“Once upon a time,”
there’s quite a lot of pressure to finish it
like an overpriced massage
or a gimmicky 90’s after-school special,
which is the last thing to do if
you intend to keep an audience.
Since it is 100% true (ish),
this story comes with a guarantee
of its absolute validity (this statement
not approved by the FDA),
which means you can get your money back
if the words below cause seizures,
charlie horses in the tongue area
or extreme brain-freeze.
the politics of two houses alike in appetite.
The fable begins with names
we’re all familiar with:
the famous Hansel and Gretel;
except today they’re all grown up
and have no need for breadcrumbs.
The pair now suffer from crazy
blood sugar, and their old GPS
has been quickly replaced by
low-carb, gluten-free, diabetes-conscious IPhones
so the brother/sister duo can find their
way home even in the hungriest of weather.
With navigation difficulty behind them,
the siblings decide to try their luck
at real estate, for they know plenty
about edible living spaces.
Hansel and Gretel go their separate ways
and make buildings that they hope
will take their minds off pastry homes.
The brother constructs a house of stone
strong enough to protect against the nasty breath of wolves.
The sister, fearing temptation, goes another route,
and builds a house of cheese to stay Atkins-friendly.
When the siblings see each other’s creations,
they are blown away,
and decide to trade places.
Hansel takes the cheesy crib
in exchange for the post-apocalyptic stone fortress.
He also throws in a promised candy cane
come Christmas season to sweeten the deal
for his sister.
However, in a week, the brother
eats himself out of house and home.
Cold, alone, he retreats to
Gretel’s abode to evade the
wrath of the Big Bad.
As there is no more cheese to be had,
Hansel leaves his sister hungry,
which is why she’s still asking for
her candy cane.
Postscript: Welcome everyone! Thanks for putting your feet up; I’m glad you’re making yourselves at home. I just urge you to use coasters, for the table is made of the ancient pages of people much more brilliant than this humble writer. While you’re relaxing though, I must ask a life or death question.
This shouldn’t be taken lightly; pretend you’re childhood teddy-bear best-friend is being held hostage by cottonvores (they exist: tiny creatures who eat only the soft fabric of stuffed animals). They are threatening to feast on the TY Beanie Baby (who is probably named Moe or something, and will be worth a bucket of gold coins when your kids turn forty) unless you agree to answer their inquiry.
Your question is not one of those Monty Python favorite-color preferences, nor is it the sort of “Doctor-Who-universe-collapsing” asking. But you’ve used up all your lifelines, and Moe’s time is ticking away, so:
If you had a bizarre superpower (like playing masterpieces on the kazoo or being able to untie anything [even headphones]), what would it be?