Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Magic Sweatshirt

Once upon a time, in the far away Land of Minnesota, there lived a boy. He liked to play with his friends and use his imagination. And although he almost never ate his vegetables, he was, for the most part, a good boy.

Like most good boys, this one was kind of a square. He wore glasses. He got bad haircuts. He didn't spend a lot of time thinking about his clothes.

Over the years this little boy grew. Up, up, up! And in the natural course of things he slowly changed from a little square to a big nerd. The boy signed up for the band. He joined debate. He got pimples on his nose. He developed an appreciation for the ironic humor that can be found in embracing the mundane as cool on account of its unspectacular nature. He kept his glasses and his bad haircuts. And he still didn't spend a lot of time thinking about his clothes.

One day when the boy woke up, the far away Land of Minnesota had become a blustery world of ice and snow. He was cold. But he needed to go outside, for you see, the evil Rivalschool had challenged the boy to a duel. He was to fight Rivalschool at the Student Congress Finals, using only his words as his weapons. There was much at stake. If Rivalschool won then Evil would spread over the entire land. Only if the boy were victorious would Good triumph.

But the land had become cold, and the path to his destination was treacherous. The boy needed to find a special garment that would protect him on his journey. After he woke that morning he opened his wardrobe to reach for one of his usual warm, long-sleeved shirts. But they were all gone! All that remained were short-sleeved t-shirts, most of which now mockingly portrayed cartoon figures. He hurried to the laundry, hoping that perhaps one of his spare sweatshirts had been made clean in the mythical waters of the Whirlpool(TM). It was not so. All of his usual long-sleeved shirts - the very shirts he needed to protect him on his journey - were either missing or ketchup-stained. Oh what was the boy to do?

He returned to his wardrobe, thinking perhaps he had missed something. He searched diligently through the hanging clothes, shirt after shirt. The further he went, the stranger the clothes became. There were shirts much too small, hideous sweaters, and strange vests. He had been to the closet many times before, but this was a part he had never seen. The boy could tell that the back of the closet was fast approaching, and still, there was no sign of anything that could keep him warm. Then, just when all hope seemed lost, he pulled aside the penultimate article of clothing, and it appeared to him, a glowing vision: the magic sweatshirt.

It was large and heavy, perfect for keeping him safe from the frigid spell that had taken over the land. The sweatshirt was hooded, ideal for protecting the head. There was a large pocket across the front that the boy could slip his hands into. It was a grayish color, simple and neutral, so as to be easily matched with any pair of pants. And above the pocket it bore a clear, simple coat of arms: the image of the Land of Minnesota, surrounded by clear text proclaiming, "Minnesota-State: Curb Gutter Div.". The message was powerful and striking, and yet so mundane as to be cool on account of its unspectacular nature.

The boy had never seen the sweatshirt before. He inquired of all the others around, but none knew of its origin. Finally, convinced that it did not belong to anyone else, the boy returned to closet where the magic sweatshirt hung. He reached back, gently removing it from its hanger. Then, as Arthur pulling the sword from the stone, he slipped the magic sweatshirt over his head, pulled his arm through the sleeves, and flipped back the hood. The fit was perfect.

The boy knew instantly that this was no ordinary sweatshirt. It appeared from nowhere, an existence without origin. It came to the boy just when he needed it most. It gave the boy a special confidence, a power that increased the strength of his words and heightened the effect of his deeds. It was really, really soft.

Wearing the magic sweatshirt the boy knew he could come to no harm. He journeyed through the bitter cold that had befallen the Land of Minnesota, secure in his faith that he would be protected. Though the path was treacherous, the boy never faltered. Using the strength of the magic sweatshirt he continued onward, to the Student Congress Finals, where he would face Rivalschool with the fate of the entire land at stake.

As he arrived at the Student Congress Finals the boy was grateful that this was a surprisingly casual duel, for that meant he could continue to draw power from his magic sweatshirt. Indeed, the magic was so powerful that Rivalschool withered soon after looking upon the mundane-yet-cool coat of arms displayed upon the shirt. The boy, wearing the image of the entire Land of Minnesota upon his breast, was victorious in battle, his words powerful and precise. And all who looked upon the boy that day knew that he was destined to succeed, for the image of Minnesota was a sign that he was to free the land from the tyranny of Rivalschool.

And so began the wonderful reign of the boy, and his magical sweatshirt.

The end.

It was once upon a time

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Not Bad

If "no news is good news" and "there's no such thing as bad press", then does that mean that "it's all good"?

On the wind that lifts her perfume through the air