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The Fool on Capitol Hill

Krista is the author of the fictional books: The Sandavalova, The Book of Nefarious Intrigues, and The Bull Runner.

Once upon a time, there was an influential, yet foolish man who denied the existence of bent-headed yard rakes. Maybe he'd never seen one in real life, or maybe he thought they only existed in cartoons. He may have even thought they were a myth created by his enemies to make him look bad. Whatever the reasons were, he believed so strongly that they were a hoax, he publicly, and very vocally, denounced their existence. He even went so far as to make fun of those who believed in them, calling them weak for following recommendations to protect themselves against them.

Eventually he came to admit that they were indeed real, but refused to acknowledge they were dangerous, or even lethal, despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of people were dying from them. Those who were fortunate enough not to die, were sometimes permanently injured by them.

One of the fool's excuses for denouncing the danger was that there were plenty of other types of yard rakes lying around, and they didn't cause any harm, so why would bent-headed yard rakes be any different.

Shockingly, this distorted thinking spread to a large number of people throughout the land, creating a cult-like following. These people launched protests and hateful campaigns against those who did believe, and accused them of being weak, fascist perpetuators looking to steal their freedoms. Of course the fool was leading these claims, even though the experts all said that simply looking down while walking reduced the risk of stepping on a bent-headed yard rake and could even save others from doing so, too: That made it a win-win! But despite the evidence, the non-believers refused to look down simply because the foolish man wouldn't, either. They became known as the Anti-rakers.

The rest of the world shuddered in horror that this type of ignorance could exist in such a scientifically advanced culture and even worse, that the propagator of such ignorance was the person responsible for the safety of the people he led!

Yet the fool's denials continued to spread for the better part of a year. This caused even more division and anger among the people. There seemed to be no end to the chaos as other social issues began piling up, too.

Then, one day, the foolish man did the inevitable and stepped on a bent-headed yard rake! They were lurking everywhere by that time, and as the fool repeatedly refused to watch his step as he walked, it was truly bound to happen! As soon as his foot pressed down on the tines, the handle of the rake promptly swung upward, smacking him squarely, and humiliatingly, in the middle of his face!

Denial of any kind regarding the bent-headed yard rake was no longer an option; at least the majority of the people thought.

So did the believers raise their voices in a harmoniously joyful cry of justice, or did they bowl over in a cacophony of laughter that caused blinding tears to stream down their cheeks? Well, there was quite a mix of both happening, actually, yet neither reaction was what the Anti-rakers expected. Oh, no, they expected and demanded empathy for the fool. Instead of admitting they'd been wrong or taking responsibility for believing every misguided falsehood the fool had told them, they clamored together demanding that he be given sympathy for the burden that befell him! They did what they'd always done, and what the believers knew they would do, and continued to defend him. But this was no longer a sustainable way for the Anti-rakers to exist. They needed guidance as their voices had been instantly silenced by the only proof they couldn't make excuses for. But they were fully vested in the lie, and admitting it then, would only damage them further.

They had only one option, and that was to await the fate of the fool. Maybe he would survive and give them instruction on how to react next. Would he come forward and admit his drastic mistake? Would he then inform the Anti-rakers to look down before they stepped? After all, he couldn't possibly look more foolish than he already did...could he?

Indeed, he could!

After suffering treatment for his injuries, the fool came out of the hospital with his first announcement being that there STILL was nothing to fear from the bent-headed yard rakes!

Since it was inevitable that the Anti-rakers would again take his lead and NOT follow the guidelines to look down before they stepped, it was sure to continue being a long, dangerous, and deadly situation for everyone.

The moral of the story? Well, there's a few:

The human condition is innate to suffer from its own idiocy, for one, and fate, when arrogantly and continuously tempted, will eventually accept the challenge.

How about this one: Never blindly follow the leader. The bent-headed yard rakes he leaves in his path will most likely become yours to step on.

And my favorite: Always put away your gardening equipment when you're finished with them. I saw someone step on a bent-headed yard rake once, and the result was exactly as you'd expect: Pure comedy!

So no one lives happily ever after in this story, but I still have hope for ours. That may all depend on whether our fool, and/or his followers have an epic epiphany, or two, of their own.

The End.

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