Once upon a time, there was an ordinary girl named Candice.
Candice, like most ordinary girls, hated doing homework.
In fact, she would often sleep through the lessons that her personal tutor went to loads of trouble to prepare for her.
And one day, while Candice’s tutor was trying to be a fun teacher and allowed Candice to do her lessons outside, Candice dozed off.
However, she was startled awake by the sound of a small rabbit, wearing bloomers, hopping around and muttering to himself: “I’m late. I’m late. I forgot to put pants on I’m so late. No time to explain why I don’t have pants, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late.”
And honestly, we’ve all been there.
But something was peculiar about this rabbit. Usually, rabbits don’t wear bloomers, or pants, at all!
Candice decided to follow the rabbit, which led her to a giant hope chest, located right in the middle of a field.
The rabbit opened the chest and burrowed into a pile of clothes inside. Of course, Candice decided to follow him because maybe she’d be able to steal some of the clothes. She had no sense of morals.
But soon, Candice found herself burrowing deeper and deeper into the clothing, until she was doing less digging and more falling.
SHE WAS FALLING!
Down, down, down, she went– past clothing from centuries past like pantaloons, and ballgowns, and tunics, and tube socks–
Until she landed in a giant pile of clothes. What was this place?
Candice looked around the bottom of this giant hope chest, for that’s what she assumed it was, for a way out.
She found a tiny door, too thin for even a magazine to slip through. Candice looked around for another way out, but there was none. In her search, however, she did come across a small bottle, which had a label that said,
“Take a sip from me and you’ll be thinner than a model– size negative 3!”
Candice had no idea what a “negative” size was, but she thought this might be her only shot to get out of this cavernous container.
(Of course, Candice hadn’t paid enough attention in her studies to know not to drink strange substances. She also probably didn’t know what the word cavernous meant, but I digress.)
Candice took a sip of the liquid and shrunk to be thin as paper! She quickly opened and scooted through the door. On the other side, she saw another bottle, with a label that said:
“Take a sip from me and you’ll be back to normal size. You shouldn’t drink from strange bottles like this next time.”
Candice was soon back to normal (although the tattoo she had on her stomach was never quite the right proportion ever again).
She saw, in the distance, the rabbit with bloomers hopping away! She decided to follow him because she had committed to it so far, so why not.
However, the rabbit soon hopped into the woods.
Woods?! How are there woods in a clothes chest?
As Candice was walking around in the woods, she noticed something strange– the trees had no leaves. Also, they were wearing robes.
Yes. Robes. Like the kind you get at a spa or whatever. I don’t know. I’ve never been to a spa. But I assume you might get robes at a spa.
Actually, come to thing of it, the squirrels and chipmunks and birds she had seen up until this point were wearing underwear and robes too!
Just as Candice was reflecting about the oddity of it all, her thought process was interrupted by the sound of loud music playing very close by. She peeked through the trees to see a house just off the trail. And, just outside of the house, was a man in a robe wearing a baseball cap. With him, was a rabbit, wearing bloomers. (Not the one she had been following, another rabbit. There were a lot of rabbits in these woods. They were probably all related somehow.)
“Hello?” Candice said as she approached the man and the rabbit.
“My dear!” the man yelled, “You are just in time for tea!” And with that, the man took a baseball out of the pocket of his robe, threw it into the air, and hit it with a baseball bat right past Candice’s head!
“Ahhhh!’ Candice screamed, “What did you do that for?!”
The rabbit spoke up, “Don’t you know? He’s the Mad Batter!”
“And I’m the mad bunny!” he added.
“You don’t prefer ‘rabbit?'” Candice replied, “It sounds a little more dignified, considering popular culture…”
“Ever since the queen decreed that we wear underwear, I’ve been known as the Bunny in Bloomers because alliteration is preferable to no alliteration.”
He had a point.
“So,” Candice began, “Tell me about why the queen wants everyone to wear underwear?”
“NO TIME!” the Mad Batter cried, “TIME FOR TEA!”
The Mad Bunny in Bloomers suddenly began pitching full tea cups to the Mad Batter, who would hit them with his baseball bat, causing ceramic and teas of various flavors to fly all over the yard!
Candice decided it was time for her to leave. She ran back to the path and continued on her journey, all the while hearing the Mad Batter and Mad Bunny in Bloomers yelling things like, “Strike!” “Homerun!” “Peanuts!” “Crackerjacks!” and “Sports!” in the background.
Soon, she came across a fork in the road.
She thought this was odd because usually, people aren’t so careless with fine silver.
She bent down to pick up the fork and, when she stood up, she found she was face-to-face with a very large rat!
“Hello!” the rat said smoothly, “Do you know which way you are headed?”
Candice was not sure whether she should lie to this rat and say she was fine, or if she should tell the truth and let it know that she was pretty ready for a nap. She chose option two because the rat looked as nice a rat could look, and because it’s fur was cheetah-print rather than regular rat fur. That gave him some points.
“I don’t know where I am and I’d like to get home so I can take a nap,” Candice answered.
The rat responded, “Well, you’ve come to the right place because I am the No Pressure Rat, after all. Basically, I help other people through these woods because travelling should be no pressure.”
The No Pressure Rat told Candice to continue following the path. If she did, in 10 minutes, she’d enter the kingdom of the queen and would either be able to find transportation home from there, or would be beheaded by the wildly jealous queen. But no pressure.
Candice thanked the No Pressure Rat and continued her journey.
Just as she was approaching the kingdom, Candice noticed that robes and underpants stopped wearing woodland creatures and were just walking around on their own!
This was strange indeed!
As she was trying to buy a subway ticket home (however that works), Candice started to smell something odd and unpleasant. She thought it was just the subway, but then, when she turned around, she saw the queen standing behind her!
She knew it was the queen because she was wearing a crown.
“Hello!” the queen bellowed, “I’ve been waiting for you my dear!”
“Excuse me?” Candice responded, “How do you know who I am, queen?”
“Everyone knows who you are!” the queen retorted, “For you are the only girl in the kingdom other than myself.”
“And you are?…” Candice queried,
“Why, the Queen of Farts, of course!” the queen laughed.
So that explains the smell.
But something else was odd. The Queen of Farts was wearing a robe– a fluffier, much fancier robe, but a robe nonetheless– just as her subjects were.
“Mrs. Queen, ma’am?” Candice began, “Why is it that everyone here wears only… underwear?”
“Well, dear, one morning, I couldn’t decide what to wear and so, I commanded that if I was not going to be able to choose what my outfit would be, no one else should get a choice either. All things considered, I quite like not having to wear pants every day. And I can eat anything I want because I don’t have to worry about fitting into clothes anymore.”
Well, that explained the lethal farts too.
This was ridiculous. Candice had to get out of here.
They entered the palace and, just as Candice was being asked to pick out underwear and robe patterns, she blurted,
“How do I get out of here?!”
The Queen of Farts became outraged, “I show you a way of life in which it is socially acceptable to never have to wear pants again and THIS is how you repay me?! OFF WITH HER HEAD!”
Oh crap. The No Pressure Rat wasn’t joking about the whole “beheading” mess.
Candice yelled, “Hey! Wait a minute! I have a right to a trial!”
Huh, she must’ve actually paid attention in social studies.
“Fine!” the queen responded, “Then a trial you will receive!”
The following day, creatures and people from all around the kingdom were assembled to watch the trial. A jury of pants and shirts and dresses watched the proceedings.
(Side note: It turns out that, after all of the clothes in the kingdom had been neglected, they had to form greater intelligence of their own to cope, survive, and resist extinction. Which is why they were able to do things like walk around and make informed judgments in a court of law.)
It was a difficult trial that lasted many days, but at the end of it all, the Queen of Farts was insane and, although the jury ruled that Candice was innocent, the queen screamed, “Off with her head!” and pounded the gavel on the podium.
And everyone knows that any decision followed by the pounding of a gavel is final and cannot be changed ever at all.
But Candice decided to run. She ran out of the courtroom and through the woods. She was chased by the entire kingdom down the path, past the No Pressure Rat’s hangout spot, by the Mad Batter and Mad Bunny in Bloomer’s house, and Candice even stopped to put the fork back in the road to confuse those following her.
It didn’t work.
Soon, Candice got back to the skinny door, but she had drank all of the liquid to make her thin!
Candice began to cry as she pounded on the very small door.
Then, she heard laughter.
Were the mean creatures from the kingdom laughing at her? She had already been through enough!
Wait, no. She recognized some of those voices. They were the voices of her parents and her tutor!
Hey! They were… making fun of her for falling asleep during her lesson!
Wait. She was asleep!
And, with a jolt, Candice woke up.
Above her, she saw the faces of her parents and her tutor. She began to ramble about all of the things she had seen and the places she had been.
Of course, her tutor didn’t believe her. And her parents didn’t like the words “fart” or “underwear,” so she didn’t even get to tell them the whole story.
But she knew it couldn’t have all been a dream.
She knew it had to have been real.
And, somewhere, the Queen of Farts was still living happily ever after because she’d never have to worry about wearing pants again.