November 22, 2010

Several thousand years ago a poor woodcutter left his hut deep in the forest to find a wife. Hopping into his Volkswagen, he drove directly into the nearest river and sank to the bottom, where a mermaid bound him to an old bedstead. Thus were they happily married and content. The mermaid’s father, a kindly ogre, supplied them with seventeen servants of gold and one of bronze. The servant of bronze, whose name was Dave Stottlemeyer, possessed a wandering eye. On the day the eye wandered off for good, the servant of bronze received permission from the mermaid to leave the river in search of the disobedient eye. On gaining land, the servant of bronze was amazed to gaze upon the unknown wonders of the forest. Trees, for instance. A princess, busy hacking away in the woods just for fun with her favorite ax, noticed the bronze youth and at once married him. Later, in the palace, she questioned him about his wandering eye. “It wandered off,” he said. “Ha Ha!” cried the Princess, producing the eye from the toadskin pouch she always wore about her waist. The eye promised never more to roam, and so they remained happily wed for the foreseeable future. Then they died and went to London.

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