* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we yield to no one in our admiration for Ernest Hemingway, master of the short story. Or in this case, the really short story. Let's also take our hats off to Karl Lykken, who has found half a dozen ingenious new ways to interpret Papa's tiny masterpiece.

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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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where our devotion to the cause of orphans is beyond question. Unless you read this piece by Karl Lykken.

I Can’t Help Because I Care Too Much

By:
knlykken@gmail.com

No, I’m sorry, but I can’t help rebuild the Little Lambs Orphanage or go play with the orphans while they are living in the high school gymnasium. While I obviously support your efforts, being surrounded by constant reminders of the orphans’ plight would cause me more pain than any person can possibly be expected to bear. And really, it’s you who should be sorry for having even suggested that I should be subjected to such extreme emotional torture.

I don’t know why I should have to explain myself to you. If you follow my blog and social media postings, then it should be self-evident that I am not one of those heartless bigots who are too wrapped up in their own privileged lives to worry about the less fortunate. However, the fact that you would have the audacity to ask me to sacrifice even more than I already have proves that you don’t appreciate the suffering that my selfless labor causes me. Now you have forced me to take away time I had hoped to devote to spreading even more awareness of the orphans’ plight and instead spend that time educating you about what it means to truly care about others.

If you were capable of the type of empathy that I must bear every second of every day, you would know that for me, being around others who are in pain is just like being those unfortunate people, except even worse because I not only feel their pain, but also the pain of all the other people who are hurting in the world.

I wish I could take all of their pain away, but since there are just so many disadvantaged people faced with all sorts of dire plights — you should be aware of all of them if you follow my blog and social media accounts — I can’t save them all. And if I tried to just save a few, that would be terribly unfair to the others that I chose not to save, and I would then have to suffer through the additional pain of that injustice.

So I cannot in good conscience go to help these orphans and turn a blind eye to the rest of the world. Besides, I have already selflessly raised awareness of their plight among so many people via my blog and social media postings, despite the great emotional strain it put on me. So, really, I have already done more good for these children than you or your volunteers could possibly do. Honestly, it’s very unfair that you would even ask me to try to do more.

By the way, you may have seen my post from today about how I was unjustly asked to stomp on the pieces of my already broken heart. To be clear, this post was not aimed at you, even though it does describe exactly what you have done. But I am not so mean-spirited as to point out another human being’s shortcomings like that, so I just put that up as a general post, which happens to apply to you specifically.

Anyway, I hope you put in the time to reflect on just how cruel you have been to me, though you clearly aren’t in the habit of considering other people’s feelings since you asked me to do this in the first place. Also, make sure to tell the orphans to follow my blog, as it will help them to put their problems into perspective.

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