From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Dorbin) Newsgroups: talk.bizarre Subject: Daybreak Date: 1 Dec 1997 05:30:36 GMT Organization: Purdue University Lines: 59 Message-ID: <email@example.com> X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL2] We are conjurers, all of us. We take a single person, and with magic incantations we make him into something else, something greater. A hero. Sometimes the spell breaks. When it does, some avert their eyes out of respect for what once was. Others stare, goggle-eyed, at the deflation from hero to man. We tell stories about our heroes. It gives meaning to our lives. I have often wondered, when the heroes gather, and need meaning, who they tell stories of. I suspect it is something like this. A day in the life of Nobody Special The morning shone through the window pane, awakening our not-a-hero in his Fortress of Solitude in downtown Burbank. Sitting up, he stretched and gazed blearily about his underground bedroom. A bit of biography on our not-a-hero. This particular Nobody Special was thirty-two years of age, male, and had a penchant for pork rinds and corn mush. He considered the greatest moment in his life to have been the afternoon he achieved total slack by watching another man play solitaire for four hours straight, and then defended his assertion before a tribunal of judges, who awarded him a decree of 'total slack.' He was also the nineteenth incarnation of the Dalai Lama, but this does not figure into our story. And so we return to our not-a-hero in his Fortress of Solitude, preparing a breakfast of pork rinds and corn mush, and travelling to his job. Sitting in his cubicle, he writes a memo that had occurred to him during his seventeen-minute unicycle commute. To: That guy in the cubicle across from mine From: Nobody Special Re: Last night Last night, I dreamed that I was in the cafeteria, and you walked past with your arms full of packages. I volunteered to help you carry them to your car. In the hallway on the way to the car, I asked you if you thought that if I ever became truly happy, if it would be because circumstances changed to meet my standards or if my standards would change to fit the circumstances. You asked what the difference was, and I told you I wouldn't want to be happy if it meant going against my principles, and you asked me where I got my principles, and I said mathematical induction. You said that this reminded you of the story of the man who built a machine to tell him the names of all saints, that he might ask them for intercession. The very first thing, you said, that the machine printed out was "Pray for us, Saint Pinnochio." Then I woke up. Please stay out of my head until such time as you are prepared to make sense. Nobody Special Satisfied, our not-a-hero slumps back into his chair, and completes another day of work in meaningless fashion. The End I think that's the sort of story heroes tell. Of course, I could be completely wrong. I'm not a hero, after all.