Alternate Interpretations Of Hemingway’s Six-Word Story

By:
knlykken@gmail.com

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

  • A man found a magic lamp and was granted three wishes by a genie. Concerned that wishing for money outright would result in some sort of trickery, he wished for a baby shoe that would never wear out, figuring that such a shoe would be a big seller to families in Utah. However, the genie granted his wish by giving him a shoe that was unwearable. He decided to try to sell this shoe anyway by putting an ad in the paper, only then to realize that this was the genie’s way of fulfilling his second and third wishes of becoming a published writer and having the woman of his dreams finally want what he had to offer.
  • Jane was unaware that the commune her pregnant daughter, Lanie, recently joined strictly forbade the wearing of shoes, as the loud clacking of shoe soles on the floor gave the Most Woke Leader splitting headaches after a late night of drinking the Sacred Elixir for Mindfulness Expansion. Before Lanie threw the shoes away, however, the Leader informed her that while the possession of money wounded the soul, the giving away of money could heal it. He was willing to sacrifice his own soul by accepting the money in order to heal hers if she sold the shoes. Lanie felt bad about hurting the Leader’s soul, but she figured someone as selfless as him must have plenty of soul to go around, so she placed an ad in the paper.
  • When Sonny Castanetti told Big Tony that Marie May, the most prized porcelain baby doll in Big Tony’s collection, wasn’t quite so cute as Mary Mae, Sonny’s newborn daughter, Big Tony shot Sonny through the ear, saying that if Sonny assaulted his ears with his insulting words it was only fair that Big Tony strike back in the same location. Sonny Castanetti, Jr. took offense to his father’s murder, as he was now a grown man and felt that all major decisions concerning his family should be run by him first. Consequently, Sonny Jr. decided to lure Big Tony into an abandoned warehouse to ambush him. Knowing of Big Tony’s passions both for accessorizing life-sized porcelain baby dolls and for good deals, Sonny Jr. decided to bait him with a sale offer he couldn’t refuse.
  • On planet Rigdal 9, the Kilgorfo Clan use small, furry Pigdalias as shoes, as they find the Pigdalias’ soft fur, ample fat layers, and continual whimpers of pain quite satisfying. Bludbuth, the infamous Kilgorfo actuary, ripped the sobbing newborn Pigdalia twins Ewoto and Ewota away from their parents. Delighted by the thought of the twins’ bleak future of constant, involuntary close proximity to the rank feet of the Kilgorfos, Bludbuth took out an ad in the Rigdal 9 Dark Times.
  • Johnny Lee really wanted a baby, but his wife Carol did not. Carol had a recurring nightmare in which she was forced to wear baby-sized outfits that suffocated her, and this led her to develop a phobia of baby clothes. The best way to avoid baby clothes, she thought, was simply to avoid babies, which meant having one of her own was out of the question. Johnny Lee, desperate to change her mind, decided to get Carol over her phobia through exposure therapy, so he bought thousands of baby clothes and then arranged them all over the house in the dead of night while Carol was asleep. When Carol awoke to find herself surrounded by the miniature outfits, she went into a frenzy and wound up forcing a duck-covered onesie down Johnny Lee’s throat, suffocating him to death. Since Johnny Lee had spent all of their savings on the massive collection of baby clothes, Carol didn’t have any cash on hand to hire a top-notch defense attorney for her murder trial. Thus, she was forced to face her fear after all, selling each terrifyingly tiny item of clothing, starting with a pair of shoes.
  • Shelby bought a pair of aquamarine shoes even though little Davy’s eyes are cerulean blue. It’s not like there aren’t a thousand pictures of Davy’s eyes, each tagged with #babyceruleans, that Shelby could have looked at on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or even on Stormfront, because, let’s face it, they appreciate a good cerulean eye. But no, Shelby didn’t look at any pictures to see if the shoes would complement his eyes or clash with them, and no, she didn’t look at the baby registry either, because why would you look at the list of everything Davy’s actual mother wants for him when you can just let your complete lack of experience guide you in picking out a hideous pair of shoes? Seriously, the ad should have read, “For sale: Shelby’s brain, never used.” Aquamarine. Jesus Christ, Shelby.

 

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