Bedtime Story

Once upon a time, there was a kingdom and within that kingdom lived the Royal Wizard, who was considered the wisest and cleverest man in all the land. All the people loved the Wizard and and the King sent invitations to the Wizard for many parties held in the Wizard’s honor, all of which the Wizard declined.

“Take no offense, dear King,” the Wizard would reply. “But I really cannot step away from my laboratory even for a moment. You see, I am hard at work on a magical potion that will allow all the people in the kingdom and beyond to live and love happily ever after.”

The King took no offense for he knew that this Wizard was not only wise and clever, but good and dedicated as well. If the Wizard said his work was too important to attend a party, then it was too important. There would always be another party on another day.

And so the Wizard continued his work. Day in and day out he labored, taking off only enough time to eat and sleep.

Then one day, all of the Wizard’s hard work finally paid off. The potion sat in a glass bottle on the laboratory table and the formula for making more of it was safely stored inside the Wizard’s wise and clever head.

“This will please the King,” the Wizard said. “As it will please his subjects and people everywhere. I shall take it to him, but tonight I must rest for it is late and I am very tired.”

The next morning, the Wizard grabbed the magical potion and embarked on daylong journey between his laboratory and the King’s palace.

It was a beautiful day outside. The sun was out and it was neither too warm nor too cold. Birds sang in the trees. The Wizard’s heart sang as well.

“How glorious it is to be outside again,” the Wizard said. “Now that my work is done on this potion, I hope to be able to enjoy countless days as wonderful as this one.”

About halfway to the palace, the Wizard encountered a large, shabby peasant named Drooly standing in the middle of the road. Poor Drooly, the Wizard thought, his mother spent all the months she was in the family way drinking at the village tavern. Perhaps his next potion should be one to drain the water between the poor brute’s ears.

“I got a riddle,” Drooly said.

“And I would love to hear it, but right now I must deliver this magic potion to the King. Perhaps we shall meet upon my return,” the Wizard said.

Drooly did not step aside.

“What did the pillow say to the sleepy head?” he said.

“I’m sorry, but I really have no time for this.”

“Get off my case,” Drooly said and waited for the Wizard to laugh at the punchline. ¬†When no laugh was forthcoming, Drooly punched the Wizard hard enough in the face to send him flying off his feet. Drooly then reached into a burlap sack and pulled out a meat tenderizer, which he then wielded like a club.

The Wizard lay on his back. The bottle carrying the potion had shattered and its contents began to evaporate. The Wizard stared up at Drooly and saw the bits of meat, blood, and hair stuck to the business end of the meat tenderizer. The last thought to pass through the Wizard’s mind was the realization that Drooly had told this joke before.

And that, dear reader, is why there is no cure for AIDS.

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