The Plant and the Showstopper

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Once upon a time, there were two plants: One was a small sapling that had to work very hard to grow and photosynthesize. The other was a large and beautiful sunflower that could grow anywhere at any time and be enjoyed by all. Here a couple of visual aids:

See? The small sapling on the left is almost being RIDICULED by the beautiful flower on the right. Doesn’t it just make you want to cry?

So, while the little sapling struggled and toiled through the summer, nearly being torn from the ground by the mildest of thunderstorms, the sunflower grew and thrived. Even the gardener seemed to favor the sunflower, showing her off to anyone who visited his garden, “Isn’t she just a pretty little showstopper?” he would say, “My favorite flower!” he would smile.

This was just painful.

To add insult to injury, the sunflower would taunt the sapling as she waved in the wind, “What are you doing down there little sapling?” the sunflower would laugh, “Trying to put down roots? You’re probably just a little weed– all of your work is in vain!”

But the more the sunflower jeered, the harder the little sapling tried to grow. He would soak up the sun, absorb as much rain as he could, and even began to take resources from other nearby plants (which he didn’t feel great about, but he felt that he couldn’t help it).

The sunflower continued to grow almost effortlessly. She danced in the breeze and sprouted to almost 8 feet that summer. The sapling grew only a measly foot.

But one day, it began to get chilly. Winter was moving in and the sunflower began to wilt.

“Hey!” she yelled, “Little sapling– give me some of your water or sunlight! I’m wilting!”

The sapling replied, “I can’t! I’ve been storing up all summer.”

“Fine!” the sunflower yelled, “I’m much larger than you, so I’ll probably survive the winter better than you anyhow!”

But at that very moment, the proud gardener was showing another friend his garden. He said, “During the summer, I love my sunflowers, but do you know what my pride and joy is? This little guy.”

The gardener was pointing to the sapling!

The sunflower screamed, “But how could he favor you little sapling? You are so small and quaint!”

And, almost as if he had heard the angry sunflower, the gardener said, “Yessir, I love my sunflowers too, but they’re not perennials. This little guy will grow to be a big, strong tree. He’ll be by my side for the rest of my life.”

He was right.

And so, the little sapling lived happily ever after. The sunflower froze to death.

Ah, such is the circle of life.

THE END.

Clammy

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Once upon a time, there was a boy named Clammy, poor little dear.

You see, Clammy had grown up in a family of people with notoriously clammy hands and he had, of course, inherited the trait. The only thing that made Clammy forget his problem was his kind and loving mother. Unfortunately, Clammy had to avoid other people very often because if ever he was caught in a situation in which he’d have to hold hands with someone, he’d freeze like a deer in the headlights. It is a truth universally acknowledged that if you have clammy hands, people will comment on it and you will have to apologize for it which is altogether degrading and embarrassing.

Anyway, Clammy’s mother taught him all about life: How to avoid social contexts, how to always carry a handkerchief in his pocket to wipe off his hands before job interviews, how he should never touch glass, and how to open doors without his hands slipping off the doorknob.

But, as is often the case with stories (because a conflict must be introduced), Clammy’s mother met her demise. How, you ask? Well, she had gone to the grocery store to gather some food and her feet got so clammy that she sweated through her shoes and slipped and fell, bringing 4,000 cans of clam chowder down on top of her. Why the grocery store had 4,000 cans of one product displayed, the world will never know.

And so, Clammy was all alone. He began to take care of himself and tried to make friends. Eventually, he found friends who had similarly awkward quirks: Shower– who smelled all the time (also a hereditary issue he had no control over), and Dumper– who, well, let’s just say he lost control of his faculties if he got too nervous (also an issue over which he had no control). They were a motley crew, but they loved one another despite their respective issues.

As the three grew up, they became fast friends. They even all eventually found girlfriends who admired their positive attitudes in the face of so much misfortune. Clammy’s  doe was especially kind and he even had to fight someone once because he wanted to date her! Luckily, clammy hands are especially good in a fight because if you hold your hands up to block your opponent, his fists will just slip right off your hands causing him to fall to the ground.

Clammy only wished he could give her more– that she could marry into a loving family as well.

That’s when it happened.

One day, Clammy heard a knock at his door. When he went to open it, there was a very tall, strong man standing before him. Something seemed familiar about the guy too, although Clammy couldn’t put his slippery finger on it…

The man said, “Clammy, I am your father. I know your mother didn’t tell you about me, but that is because I am the king.”

Wait a second.

Clammy hesitated, then responded, “A king? We don’t really have those here in the United States–”

“No, son,” the king responded, “You don’t understand. I am the CEO of ‘King of the Forest’– the local logging company. I just refer to myself as the king.”

This made sense.

But, how could Clammy’s father wield an ax, or even a chainsaw if he had clammy hands? Unless–

“Son,” the king continued, “I’ve come to tell you that your hands can be trained not to be clammy anymore. You can control your own fate, and I will be here to teach you.”

Could this be?

It could, and it was.

And, although the king never really explained to his son why he had abandoned him for so many years in the first place, Clammy, his father, and his family built a cabin in the woods and lived happily ever.

THE END.

The Amiss Family Slobinson

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Once upon a time, a family decided to go on a cruise.

Now, if this family had been alive to see the sinking of the Titanic, or any of the Carnival cruises fiascoes of the last decade, perhaps they would’ve chosen a different vacation. But alas, the family took this cruise years before any of these incidences occurred, so they went on a cruise.

Unfortunately, the cruise was steered off course, the crew abandoned ship, and the ship wrecked on an island!

A normal family would have panicked, but this family– the Slobinson family– was strange. In fact, many people thought that something was amiss with the family. Both the parents, Bill and Liz,  and the children, Frizz, Ernie, Joe, and Frank, were huge slobs. But in addition to this, they craved adventure to an alarming degree. So, when the family crashed on the island, they were very excited– so excited, in fact, that Liz began to weep for joy.

The Slobinsons knew that this was the adventure of a lifetime. Not only did they have to forage for food for survival purposes, but they had no more social obligations to do laundry or take baths or eat with utensils!

Over the first few days of their being stranded, the family made feeble attempts to signal for help because they kind of thought it was the “thing to do.” Bill spelled out S.O.S on the sands of the beach using palm branches, but this was to little avail because, well, airplanes didn’t exist yet. Liz wrote a message signaling for help, put it in a bottle, and set it out to sea, but this probably wouldn’t yield any help because she had neglected to put a cork in the bottle. The boys put trash in the ocean thinking that the EPA might find out and come to arrest them, but forgot that there was no such thing as the EPA yet and nobody thought about sustainability practices.

And so the family lived on the island, making it a place of their own. They built sloppy houses out of the steel and driftwood from the crashed cruise ship, weaved hammocks out of palm branches, and ate only salads made of grass because they were too lazy to find anything else. All in all, the family did pretty well for themselves. After almost a year of living on the island, they even got used to each others’ smell, so baths became entirely unnecessary.

Over time, the family adopted island animals as pets, including a little skunk named Nap– after the family’s favorite pastime. They really made the island home.

One day, the family was surprised to find a small girl, alone and crying in the forest on the island! Her family had wrecked on the island many years previous, but her parents died of an unknown sickness. She was left alone, but already knew how to fend for herself on the island. The Slobinsons didn’t know it, but the girl was crying not because she was afraid, but because the Slobinsons’ odor made her eyes water.

But the family decided to adopt the girl, whose name was Ima. So now, her name was Ima Slobinson. Unfortunate.

The family lived in peace for many years on the island, even in spite of the occasional stomach ache due to their all-grass diet, or skin irritation due to their lack of hygiene, and don’t get me started on how many times the family got head lice. But their existence was peaceful nonetheless.

However, about 10 years after the family crashed on the island, they spotted a ship. It was a rescue ship!

But they didn’t want to be rescued! They wanted to live in the filth of this island forever!

So, the sons and Ima searched through all of the stockpile of items they had kept on hand from the cruise ship. They had some flares and firecrackers which they thought would be perfect for firing at the ship!

The children, now grown men, also found matches in the stockpile which they had never used before because they never cooked anything.

All five of them fired off flares and firecrackers aimed at the ship, far off in the ocean. The problem was that this only made the stranded family more obvious– and the family looked as if they were actually signaling for help.

The ship came nearer and nearer to the island as the family ran out of ammunition. Oh no.

The Slobinsons realized what they had to do. They were freaks, but they realized that opposing help would look particularly freaky.

And so, the family boarded the ship, along with Ima. They looked longingly at the island which they had called home as it became just a small speck on the horizon.

And though the Slobinsons did not live the happily ever after they had hoped upon returning to society and its hygienic standards, they lived lives of hope just knowing that such an island existed on the face of the earth. A small slab of slob, drifting on the face of a vast ocean.

THE END.

The Little Drain that Could

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Once upon a time, there was a Little Drain. Yes, like in a sink, or a pool, or a bathtub.

The Little Drain was, as its name implies, very small and located in the kitchen sink of a very small house. The family that lived in the home with the Little Drain refrained from draining large pieces of food, or paint, or even thick liquids into his sink for fear that it would ruin the plumbing. The Little Drain was very thankful for this as he was generally very insecure and lacked confidence in his abilities.

But one day, the considerate family moved to a bigger house and another family moved into the home. On their first day in the house, the new family had potatoes and steak for dinner, with an apple pie for dessert- yum!

However, as is often the case with potatoes, there were many leftover skins. And, as is often the case with steak, there were many gristly portions left uneaten. Finally, as is often the case with apples, the cores were left untouched. This posed a problem for the family, who happened to live in the United States– a country with no realistic composting options available to its general citizens.

The family considered throwing these organic scraps in the trash, but they felt immediate and overwhelming guilt, so decided against it.

They then tried to put the scraps down the large basin sink in the basement, but this only caused a massive backup. Let’s just say, that sink was not happy (and neither was the father fixing it).

They even considered flushing the scraps down the toilet, but then realized that just because a toilet could flush a bucket of golf balls didn’t mean it should flush such items.

The only option left to the family was the little kitchen sink drain.

But the family was hesitant. The Little Drain became very scared. If all of these other appliances and means of disposal hadn’t been able to take care of this trash, how could he?

Nonetheless, the family began emptying the contents into the Little Drain’s sink.

First, the potato skins.

With each gulp, the Little Drain whispered– “I.. think.. I.. can…”

Then, the leftover steak.

With each swallow, the Little Drain muttered– “I… think… I.. can…”

Finally, the apple cores.

With each chomp, the Little Drain said– “I… think… I… can…”

But then, with all of these slimy and chunky and very organic materials in his system, the Little Drain became scared. What if he couldn’t drain these things and the family hated him forever? Then, surely, they would have him replaced with a bolder model– from Kohler perhaps.

Just as this doubt was creeping in, the Little Drain looked at the worried faces of the family looking down at him and was filled with new motivation and confidence. He began chanting–

“I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can!”

And, before he knew it, each and every piece of food and gristle was blending and moving down the drain!

Wait a minute! The Little Drain had a garbage disposal! The new family had installed one when the Little Drain was sleeping yesterday.

The Little Drain was whirring away, yelling– “I know I can! I know I can! I know I can! I know I can!”

And he could.

So, the family and the Little Drain lived happily ever after so long as the garbage disposal’s warranty lasted. And the Little Drain was never scared or insecure about his abilities again– even when someone once tried to put her retainer down the drain. Even that retainer was disposed of easily!

THE END.

Beauty and the Deceased

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Once upon a time, there was an odd, yet beautiful, maiden named Bombshell. Her name was fitting because she was strangely assertive and outspoken for a woman of her day. Sometimes, she’d even openly disagree with men’s opinions (GASP!).

Every day, Bombshell would travel into town and do things like go to the library (gasp!), or get a hamburger (double gasp!), or even attend classes at the town’s STEM school (whaaaat?!). And sometimes, she would do all of these things while wearing PANTS (THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED).

Still, Bombshell remained the envy of all who knew her because she could do all of these things and be beautiful all at the same time.

One man in the village was particularly taken with her. His name was Morón. Of course, he was not very bright, but he was hot, so everyone forgave him*.

*Note: Bombshell is beautiful, yet people cannot forgive her for being smart. Morón is a moron, yet he is forgiven because he is handsome. Bombshell is a woman. Morón is a man. 

One fateful day, Morón decided to propose to Bombshell. Now, Bombshell had never so much as flirted with Morón, but he was convinced she’d marry him because, who wouldn’t?

She wouldn’t.

Yes, she turned him down because she had standards. Not many other women did, but she did. Still, Morón was not discouraged and vowed that he would marry Bombshell one day and make her do his chores and have his children and make him sandwiches, all while barefoot.

As is often the case, Bombshell had not gotten smart and assertive all on her own. Her father, Mortice, had taught her never to care what others think. In fact, this was a principle Mortice applied to his own life often, for he was a renowned baker in the village. This was especially strange to many of the villagers, for it was not a man’s place to cook!

Still, Mortice made the best cakes, pies, breaks, and cookies in the entire region. And, one day shortly after Bombshell rejected Morón’s proposal, Mortice set off for a kingdom-wide baking competition.

Along the way, however, Mortice became lost. Deep in the forest, he began to wonder if he had taken a wrong turn when suddenly, a pack of coyotes appeared!

RUN!!!

Mortice stumbled down the path, with coyotes biting at his heels. Just as he was about to give up, he happened upon a castle!

Quickly, Mortice bounded up the castle’s gate, out of reach of the coyotes. With nowhere else to go, he slowly made his way toward the castle’s door and knocked. The door creaked open, ever so slightly, and Mortice tip-toed inside.

The castle was dark and eerie. Mortice found a candlestick that was lit and attempted to explore the castle. However, while he was exploring, Mortice could have sworn he heard voices.

He thought, “Perhaps this candlestick is alive and trying to whisper to me?”

Haha, nope. That’s absurd.

As he was thinking this, a voice echoed behind Mortice, “What are you doing here?”

Mortice spun around to see three glowing figures– ghosts!– staring back at him. You see? He knew the notion of a talking candlestick was absurd.

Mortice stuttered, “I’m. Well. I guess. I don’t. Lost. But.”

The first ghost, a tall, thin fellow with a jovial disposition interrupted, “It’s okay, old boy. Everyone’s nervous the first time they see a ghost. You’ll get on here quite nicely. My name is Allumé and the killjoy next to me is named Temps.”

Temps glared at Allumé and muttered, “The master will not like this at all.”

The third ghost then piped up, “And I’m Mrs. Creuset. Delighted to have you here. Can I get you a spot of tea?”

Just as Mortice was about to ask for a nice cup of earl grey please, he heard a deep moan ring throughout the castle. The ghosts which stood before him vanished and then standing before his eyes was an ugly creature. Mortice fainted.

Later in the village, Bombshell was getting worried. Her father had not so much as sent a letter home and he’d been gone for nearly a week. She decided to go looking for him.

Bombshell took one of their horses and followed her father’s trail. When she happened upon the castle, she was very confused as to why this wasn’t on a map or in any urban legends floating around the village.

She entered the castle quietly– so quietly that Allumé, Temps, and Mrs. Creuset hadn’t heard her come in.

As she explored the castle, Bombshell wandered into the dungeon, where she heard a familiar cough– it was her papa!

Bombshell ran to him and yelled, “Papa! It’s me!”

Of course he knew it was her.

“My dear!” Mortice yelled, “You must leave this place before–”

A terrifying groan filled the air in the dungeon, followed by the sound of a rumbling voice:

“Who are you? Come forward and explain yourself.”

Bombshell stepped forward and said, with confidence, “My name is Bombshell. You will release my father at once and can take me instead.”

This was ridiculous for several reasons: 1) Bombshell had much more life to live than her father. 2) Mortice probably only had a few years left because he only ate cake. 3) No one had even offered an ultimatum here.

Bombshell continued, “But first, if you are to be my master forever, I want to see your face.”

The creature stepped out from behind the dark shadows. He was hideous and only nearly human– for he had been human at one point. Yes, he was…

A ZOMBIE.

Gross.

Bombshell fainted. It’t genetic, I guess. The ghastly ghoul let Mortice go and placed Bombshell in one of the castle’s vacant rooms. He figured that if she’d be staying in his castle forever (or at least until he decided to eat her brains), she might as well be comfortable.

When Bombshell came to, she saw a ghost sitting at the end of her bed!

The ghost introduced herself as a maid for Bombshell and offered to find a dress for the girl to wear to dinner with the Zombie. Bombshell couldn’t believe it– this creature actually expected her to eat with him after what he had done?! Never!

Bombshell asked the ghost, “What could have happened to that corpse to make him so ghastly?”

The ghost explained that long ago, the Zombie had been a handsome prince. Unfortunately, his sexy looks had resulted in quite a haughty and self-absorbed attitude. One day, quite unexpectedly, a young Girl Scout knocked on the door to sell cookies. When the prince learned that the girl was all out of Thin Mints, he became enraged. Just as he was about to slam the door in the girl’s face, she transformed into a beautiful maiden. This was weird indeed. She said to the prince,

“All you care for is yourself. It takes the most heartless of humans to turn away a Girl Scout selling cookies. And now, you will be cursed! You and all of your household will no longer be human. Your servants will all become ghosts and you a zombie– for you have acted in a way which is brainless and deserve to be handsome no more.”

This was terrifying news.

Bombshell refused to go to dinner all the more.

The Zombie became enraged when he heard that Bombshell would not be joining him and went to knock on her door. He yelled,

“How dare you disobey me?! You will starve in that room until you die of hunger, or until I decide that I’m hungry enough to eat you!” and with that, he stormed off to his room.

Several hours later, Bombshell did get rather hungry, so she slowly crept out of her room to look for a kitchen. Along the way, Allumé, Temps, and Mrs. Creuset joined her. They decided to make for her a lovely meal and introduced her to the rest of the castle ghosts:

Le Fragment (Mrs. Creuset’s son)

Miss Plume (The maid whom Allumé adored)

Miss Robe (The other maid whom Bombshell had already met)

and Mr. Cuisinier (The cook)

They then took Bombshell on a tour of the castle grounds and warned her never to step foot in the west wing.

Naturally, Bombshell was intrigued and split off from the group. She had a little bit of trouble finding the west wing, for she was slightly directionally challenged. But, when she did find it, she was mortified:

It was a dark, damp place in the castle. The walls were tattered and dusty and the rooms wreaked of rotting flesh (What? The guy’s a zombie).

But, in the middle of one room was a glowing, glass case. Within the case was a golden onion, the layers of which had peeled back slowly over time.

Bombshell forgot herself and, just as she was about to remove the case to see if the onion would make her cry, the Zombie stormed into the room and yelled,

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? GET OUT! GET OOOOUTTT!”

Overcome with fear, Bombshell ran out of the wing, down the stairs, past the ghosts, and out into the forest. She ran for some time, fighting to choke back tears. However, because she had not been paying attention, she ran right into the midst of a pack of coyotes!

She was being attacked on all sides!

She certainly wouldn’t have made it out alive if it wasn’t for– the Zombie! He had followed after her and began biting and eating the brains of each coyote attacking Bombshell– soon, many of the other wild animals became scared and ran away.

Bombshell couldn’t believe it! But no sooner had she been saved than the Zombie collapsed of fatigue and stomach cramps (from overeating).

She took the poor creature back to the castle and bandaged him up. Of course, it was hard to tell which parts of his flesh suffered from fresh wounds and which had been festering for a while now, but she did her best.

Over time, the Zombie and Bombshell became friends. They read books together and talked about all of the things in the world they wished they could have seen.

Months passed and Bombshell agreed to come to more dinners, laughed more often, and even made a cake for the Zombie on his birthday.

Much of the castle staff were excited by this, for they knew that the spell placed on both them and the Zombie could be broken if the Zombie learned to love another and be so loved! However, for the curse to be broken, this needed to occur before the final layer fell from the magic onion in the west wing– and there were only a couple layers left!

One day, the Zombie decided to take his platonic relationship with Bombshell to the next level and asked her to dress up and join him for dinner and a dance.

Bombshell agreed and wore a beautiful golden gown.

Then, the Zombie took Bombshell to the balcony of the castle and showed her a magical heirloom book that, on each page, showed the story of one’s life in moving pictures! Bombshell flipped through the book and watched the portions of her life during which she spent time with her father. Oh, how she missed him.

That’s when the Zombie realized that, if he really loved Bombshell, he would let her go. And so, without another thought, he set her free.

Bombshell was so grateful and immediately set off for home.

The rest of the castle was saddened, but happy that the Zombie had finally learned to love another.

When Bombshell got home, she found that her father had been carted off to an insane asylum for talking so much about a zombie! Bombshell could not stand for this– she went and spoke to Morón and begged him to speak to the owner of the insane asylum because he had refused to listen to her on the grounds that she was an “emotionally hysterical woman.” Jerk.

However, Morón wouldn’t believe her either. So, the only thing left for Bombshell to do was to show Morón the book the Zombie had given her. Morón saw that Bombshell was telling the truth!

He became terrified and ran into the village to gather a group to fight the Zombie.

OH NO!

They all marched to the castle with pitchforks and torches and garlic and wooden stakes (50% of them thought they were going to fight a vampire, tbh).

The group broke into the castle and began looking for the Zombie. Luckily, many of the people were afraid of ghosts, so were scared off rather quickly. But not Morón, for he was a moron.

He found the Zombie in the west wing and shot the creature in the back with an arrow. The Zombie did not care. He’d lost his true love. Also, he didn’t feel pain because he was undead.

Just then, Bombshell caught up with the angry villagers and yelled, “Zombie! I’m here!”

She had come back! Zombie now had a reason to live (well, theoretically speaking).

He began to fight Morón in earnest– he must win Bombshell’s love! However, just as he was about to feast on Morón’s brain, the Zombie was overcome with compassion. How could he eat this man’s brains if he had 1) Truly learned to love others and 2) If he wasn’t even sure if Morón had a brain to begin with?

The Zombie decided to let Morón go free, but warned him never to return.

But no sooner had Morón begun to run away than he turned around and shot a single arrow at the Zombie’s head. NOOOOO!!!

The Zombie crashed to the ground as Bombshell ran to him.

Bombshell held him in her arms and whispered, “You can’t die. You’re a zombie, it’s going to be okay.”

The Zombie whispered, “Bombshell. My one weakness is my brain. I’m just glad I got to see you one last–” he stopped.

This couldn’t be true.

Bombshell began to cry and softly said, “I love you,” just as the final layer of the onion fell and the Zombie died.

All was lost. Or… was it?

Just then, the Zombie’s body began to lift into the air. Bombshell had never witnessed a zombie death before, so she wasn’t sure if this was normal, or?

His body began to repair itself before her eyes! His golden hair returned, his skin glowed, and he began to smell like a human again. His body dropped to the ground and, almost immediately, he began to sit up. When he turned around to face Bombshell, he was hardly recognizable! His piercing blue eyes were the only thing recognizable.

It was him! It was the prince!

He embraced Bombshell and the two kissed.

At that moment, all of the other castle residents began to transform into their old selves– Allumé was a dapper adviser to the prince, Mrs. Creuset a trusted nanny and tea connoisseur, and Temps… Wait a minute…

Temps was still a ghost?!

Allumé exclaimed, “Sacré bleu! Why have you not turned into a human?!”

Temps’ face became red as he bashfully looked at the prince.

The prince replied solemnly, “Um, well, it seems that Temps is an actual ghost. You see, one night I was angry and hungry and came across him just sitting in the hallway and…”

Oh well, it made no difference. Temps was annoying anyway.

And so, Bombshell and the prince married and traveled the world together. They even set up tours in the castle and donated all of the proceeds to Bombshell’s father as he established his own chain of bakeries! Oh, and don’t worry– Morón had been devoured by a pack of hungry wolves on his way back to the village.

So it looks like each of them lived happily ever after.

LA FIN.

The Ugly Truckling

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Once upon a time, there was a mother truck (no, no, literally– she was a truck who had children. Don’t ask me about the biology. This IS a fairy tale, after all. Suspend your disbelief a little, people).

Anyway, she had four small children whom she all loved dearly. But one of the children was a little bit homelier than the others, so she loved him slightly less.

Side note: “Homely” is a gentle way of saying “ugly.” Just like the words “cute” or “adorable” when used to describe a full-grown adult really mean “infantile,” “annoying,” or “You’re definitely not taller than 5’1″, are you?”

The ugly little truck had dents and scratches and was a terrible color– almost like a green dirty-diaper color.

His brothers and sisters would make jokes about him, both behind his fender and right in front of his hood! They would say things like:

“It’s exhausting just looking at you!” or

“You’re WHEELy ugly,” or even,

“What, are you? A Ford or something?”

I didn’t say the jokes were clever or subtle. They were jerks.

So, the ugly truckling decided to drive away, and not just on a short trip– the truckling drove all the way to Route 66.

He lived on the road all winter, which really just rusted him through all the more. Soon, his paint chipped off. He had no dental coverage, so he grew buckteeth. And he had to work to buy his own gas, so began to tow other cars and trucks.

But the ugly truckling didn’t mind. His homely nature just made him all the more friendly.

Eventually, the truck found that he could no longer just go by the name “Ugly Truckling” for he was no longer just a truckling.

And so, he named himself after his favorite fruit… no, vegetable… no, fruit– his name was Tow-Mater!

Yes! In fact, most of the reason Tow-Mater wanted to help Lightning McQueen rise to the top was to be on TV and show his no-good, rotten family the beautiful metaphorical swan he had become!

Of course, his family still thought Tow-Mater was ugly, with a weird name to boot. But what they did learn was that true and real love and friendship goes deeper than appearances. They also learned that if you know someone famous on a personal level, you can totally mooch off of their fame and glory.

And so, they all lived happily ever after until they were taken to the scrapyard and disassembled for parts.

THE END.

The Porpoise and the Heir

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Once upon a time, there was a happy porpoise named Polly.

Now, you may be wondering what a “porpoise” is. If so, here’s a picture for your reference:

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Porpoise

Isn’t she adorable?

Anyway, Polly was not like other sea creatures. She was not fast or graceful. Many of her friends were happy and playful dolphins, but she wasn’t quite a dolphin, so always felt like she didn’t fit in. Polly’s mom would always tell her:

“You don’t want to be like those other bottle-nosed dolphins anyway. They’re annoying and mean and not nearly as adorable as you.”

Polly knew her mom was saying this only because she was her daughter, but she appreciated it nonetheless.

One day at school, Polly saw that there was going to be a big race. She was going to enter the race to prove to her school that she was fast and that porpoises were just as good as dolphins and whales and other sea creatures (except octopuses because they’re cool and do things like regrow legs and squirt ink).

Polly trained for the race for weeks and, when the day came for her to prove herself, she was excited. She showed up to the race and looked at the roster. To her dismay, she saw the name of someone she’d sincerely hoped she wouldn’t see:

Princess Dolphina. The heiress.

In case you’re not sure what an heiress looks like, here’s a picture for your reference:

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Heiress

Oh wait, no. Crap. That’s hairless. Here’s an heiress:

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Not Hairless Heiress

Ok, now just pretend that the picture above is of a majestic dolphin heiress wearing a crown and you get the idea.

Unfortunately, Princess Dolphina was the fastest creature in the sea. She was Polly’s biggest competition. Actually, she was Polly’s only competition because when the other competitors saw Dolphina had entered the race, they dropped out.

When the whistle blew for the race to begin, Princess Dolphina took a rocketing start, but Polly knew not to be discouraged. She whispered to herself:

“Slow and steady wins the race. Keep the pace. Don’t get hungry.”

What? She got hungry easily and didn’t want it to distract her.

Dolphina eventually got so far ahead of Polly that she stopped off and made her butler (for all heiresses have butlers) cook her a snack.

But Polly still did not give up and continued to whisper:

“Slow and steady wins the race. Keep the pace. I have to pee.”

What? She did. But it wasn’t a huge issue because she was in the ocean.

Dolphina began to get really confident and, after she raced forward for a few more minutes, she stopped and got hair extensions. Yes– a dolphin with hair is as ridiculous as it sounds. But at least now she wasn’t a hairless heiress.

But Polly continued ahead, whispering:

“Slow and steady wins the race. Keep the pace. I just swallowed a goldfish.”

Gross.

Dolphina could see the finish line ahead, but didn’t see Polly anywhere. So, she decided to take a little nap to embarrass Polly when she got to the end and saw that she had enough time to take a nap. Rude.

Three hours later, Polly made it to the finish line. She saw Dolphina lying there and was very embarrassed. So embarrassed, that she began to cry. But she was in the ocean, so no one could tell.

One thing porpoises do have going for them is that they are great for flying under the radar! Remember how I had to tell you what a porpoise was at the beginning of this? Case in point.

Polly sneaked right past Dolphina and past the finish line.

SHE WON!

Slow and steady and hungry and having to pee and swallowing a goldfish really DOES win the race!

Unfortunately, no one noticed because porpoises are so good at flying under the radar.

But that day, Polly gained newfound confidence and started to believe in herself. And wouldn’t you know? Because Polly was so good at flying under the radar (and sonar), she’s the only one of her friends that hasn’t been captured to live in Sea World.

And Polly and her family lived happily ever after.

THE END.