one day a little girl named jesse james was walking in central park with her governess, ms chang, when she noticed some spinach growing under a park bench.
“why is that spinach growing under that park bench?” jesse james asked ms chang.
“i do not know,” ms chang replied. “i guess it just is.”
“that is no answer,” jesse james replied scornfully. “find out, if you please.”
ms chang took her phone out and googled “spinach park bench” and “spinach under park bench” and “spinach central park” but did not find any satisfactory answers. she did not point out that jesse james could have looked up the same things herself on her own phone.
“i expect you to find out before we return home,” jesse james told ms chang, “or i shall have you fired.”
miss chang kept her own counsel on this ultimatum, and the subject was dropped while they purchased ice cream cones from one of the many carts traversing the park. jesse james had a strawberry cone and ms chang a triple chocolate cone with vanilla flakes.
however when they returned home jesse james made good on her threat and demanded to her father, mr william james, that ms chang be dismissed.
but the eminent philosopher was in no mood for her nonsense, and declined to even consider the matter.
“oh!” cried jesse james, “i hate you all!” and she stormed up to her room and went online and joined an anarchist cult dedicated to the teachings of mr bartholomew bradford and his theories of anti-language and anti-gravity.
the next day jesse james and ms chang went back to central park.
this time there was no spinach growing under the park bench. it had been replaced by rutabaga.
“why is that rutabaga growing under that park bench?” jesse james asked.
“i do not know,” ms chang replied, and before jesse james could respond, she added, “please, my dear, we both know that in stories and jokes of this kind, there are always three stages with the kicker or climax coming in the third, so why don’t we just wait until tomorrow?”
jesse james could not but agree with ms chang, so after continuing their walk and purchasing some gelato from one of the myriad vendors traversing the park, they returned home.
mr william james was away at a conference, so jesse james could not have complained about ms chang even if she had been so inclined.
that night jesse james was visited by an incubus named william mckinley. tired of her rule-bound existence with ms chang and the philosopher, she found herself enchanted with william’s wit and savor faire and decided to abscond with him to his tastefully designed hell in the thirty-third firmament.
the next morning ms chang was passing through central park on her way to the employment office and noticed that the rutabaga under the park bench had been replaced by sprouts of rhubarb.
but ms chang did not return to central park for many years as she immediately obtained a position on a cruise ship on the danube river, supervising the music programmes, and she flew out of new york that same evening.
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