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Friday, January 8, 2010

The Emperor's New Clothes, 2010 Edition

Remember the story of the Emperor's New Clothes? Where the emperor was suckered by unscrupulous tailors? They took his money and offered him a set of clothes which were "invisible" to those who were foolish or incompetent.

So everyone pretended to see the fine clothes so as to not look stupid. And at the end, while he was on parade, some little boy/girl said "Look! The Emperor has no clothes!" I'm certain that you know the tale.

But I don't like that ending; it never sat very well with me. I just hate the fluffy, preening kind of moral exhibitionism. It gives me cavities.

That's why I wanted to try my hand at re-writing it, starting from when the Emperor is on parade...

...

Everyone in the teeming crowd of onlookers oohed and ahhed. They exclaimed, loud enough for everyone around them to hear: "Look at the Emperor's new clothes! They're beautiful!"

"What a marvellous train!"

"And the colors! The glorious fabric! I have never seen anything like it in my life!" The onlooking crowd gushed in feigned admiration.

A young boy, however, who could only see the things that his eyes saw, peered at the carriage as it rolled by.

"The Emperor is naked!" he shouted.

The crowd gasped in shock!

"No! Nonsense!" shouted his mother. "The Emperor is dressed in his best finery!" She tried to cover his mouth with her hand.

"But mommy! The Emperor isn't wearing any clothes!" He insisted.

Suddenly, the little boy heard a gruff voice come from behind: "That's enough, kid."

He turned-around in astonishment to look-up at the pair of burly men in wraparound sunglasses and dark coats towering over him. "Come with us, boy." One of them sneered menacingly.

"But I-"

"Don't hurt him!" cried his mother, who began to sob. "Take me instead!"

Before another word could slip from the little boy's tongue, the two large men grabbed his arms and dragged him, kicking and yelping, down a winding cobblestone alley. There, they promptly kicked his teeth-in.

And to this very day, he takes his food through a straw.

THE END
...

Maybe there's a slightly different moral to this story, but I think it'll help children get ready for the real world.

2 Comments:

  • At January 8, 2010 at 1:59 PM , Blogger Eric Berg said...

    Don't be dark. :)

     
  • At April 17, 2010 at 9:37 PM , Blogger J said...

    I'd prefer the Dickensian version, where the waif child runs away after being chased by the surly beadle, and eventually gets taken in by the eccentric Emperor's Vizier, who is secretly the boy's bastard father's brother. After which he is made a gentleman, promptly becoming a wastrel by losing most of his earnings on the ponies, and finding debaucherous solace in the Emperor's dance troupe.

    I'd explain what happens next but as it's written in serial form you don't get the happy ending for another 18 months. :-P

     

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