Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Once upon a time, in a mythical kingdom by the sea, there lived a humble and downtrodden people suffering under the evil rule of King George the Second, a corrupt and bloodthirsty tyrant who was always starting wars and oppressing his peasants.

The tyrant knew that his days were numbered, however, because an enchanted apple tree grew in the center of the kingdom. It was guarded by fairies, and no mortals could pick the magical apples. Legend had it that if a person were to bring a crowd of followers to the enchanted tree and inspire the crowd to shout for justice, the fairies would pick some apples and give them to him or her; and when a person got enough apples, he or she would become the next ruler. Although King George had tried several times to burn the tree or chop it down, he had never been able to do so.

A tall, dark, and handsome knight rode into the country one day. Before long, the people were flocking to him to listen to his words of hope and inspiration. "Go to the enchanted apple tree and save us from the tyrant," the people urged him.

But a wicked witch called Rumpelstretchspin already was planning to try to become the next ruler. She got her name from her rumpled ethics and her extraordinary talent for stretching and spinning the truth at every opportunity. She had no idea what hope or justice meant, but she was a pretty good rabble-rouser, and she thought that she might be able to get some of the magical apples if her followers yelled enough.

So both Rumpelstretchspin and the handsome knight went to the enchanted apple tree. The knight's followers spoke of his goodness and beseeched the fairies to give the magical apples to the knight and make him the next ruler. The fairies were greatly moved by the knight's capacity to inspire his followers, and they gave him a huge pile of apples. It seemed impossible that Rumpelstretchspin could get as many, but she was undaunted. She told her followers all sorts of ugly lies about the knight, until they were screaming furiously. The fairies pelted her crowd with rotten apples to shut them up.

Rumpelstretchspin greedily gathered up her rotten apples, declaring that it was her destiny to become the next ruler! There was just one problem, though. The knight's pile of apples was still much larger. What could she do? She thought about it for a moment and decided to stretch and spin some weeds into the shape of apples. Perhaps the spirits of the enchanted tree would pick her as the next ruler before anyone noticed the difference.

Before long, Rumpelstretchspin had a big shiny pile of something that looked like apples, and the people were all muttering about the great loss that the knight had suffered. However, she got too gleeful about her scheme and cackled a bit too loudly, and all of her weed-apples blew away on the wind from her noxious breath. The enchanted tree then made both King George and Rumpelstretchspin disappear, and the people lived happily ever after, guided by the knight's great wisdom.

Edit, March 6: Once again, the Clinton campaign has been caught in another dirty trick, as reported by MSNBC.com.

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