“But he hasn’t got anything on,” a little child said, when the parade to show off the Emperor’s new power suit passed by.
“Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?” said the father of the child.
“Nothing innocent about that,” said her uncle. “You send her to that public school where they outlaw prayer and spit on the flag and pledge allegiance to Antifa, whaddaya expect?”
“Unpatriotic,” said her cousin, who had been home-schooled. He was two years older than his smart-mouth girl cousin, and had learned that in order to avoid punches and kicks and slaps from his dad he needed to be an ideological chip off the old block.
“She hates our country” said the parents of her friend next door. They had profited handsomely from the policies put in place over the last several years. Those policies made it easier than ever to set up tax shelters on the money they made from investments in complicated derivatives, hedge funds, rental housing, private prisons and meat-processing plants. So, they had an incentive to take the Emperor at his word when he told them, at a reception for top-tier donors to his Make The Emperor Greatly Dressed Again Victory Fund, “…just remember, what you are seeing and what you are reading is not what’s happening.” They assumed that this was the case with the non-existent power suit the Emperor was wearing for the procession.
The little girl, though, had just learned about the scientific method in second grade. Her teacher said that observation was the first step of the method and that unless we were honest about what we observed, we would never be able to understand how things really work.
So, she persisted:
“BUT HE HASN’T GOT ANYTHING ON!!!!” And again she said it, attempting to break through by varying the emphasis. “HE HASN’T GOT ANYTHING ON!!!!”
Throughout the crowd, folks were cleaning their glasses, shaking their heads to try to restore the proper functioning of their optic nerves, or whispering questions to each other about whether what they were seeing was really what they were seeing. But many of them had been hearing for months on AM Radio about how fabulous the Emperor’s new power suit was going to be. So they stayed quiet. After all, it was still just one little girl who was saying what they themselves were seeing. This whole big crowd couldn’t be so deluded that they really believed that these tighty whities were the actual power suit, right?!
“Lock her up!” a small group of spectators started chanting.
“She’s an anarchist!” a man called out, and soon that chant was taken up as well.
Still, she persisted. By now desperate to get through to all those who seemed to have decided to be blind, the little girl tried again and again, louder and louder, then started varying and embellishing the simple case she was making in favor of reality:
“FINE, THEN, LOCK ME UP…BUT LOCKING ME UP WON’T PUT A POWER SUIT ON THE DUDE! I MEAN, LOOK FOR YOURSELF AND YOU’LL SEE THAT HE HASN’T GOT ANYTHING ON!!!! OK, WELL, THANK GOD HE’S GOT HIS SKIVVIES ON… BUT THE GUT ON THE GUY HOLY MOLY! CHECK IT OUT, Y’ALL–AM I GOIN’ CRAZY OVER HERE OR WHAT?! I MEAN, YOU KNOW, LOOKS LIKE HE SPENT SO MUCH TIME GETTING HIS COIFFUHRER* TOGETHER THAT HE RAN OUT OF TIME TO DON HIS OUTFIT—I MEAN, QUEEN AMIDALA DOESN’T SPEND AS MUCH TIME RIGGIN’ UP HER DO AS THIS GUY DOES! SHEESH, WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? ARE YOU ALL AUDITIONING TO BE THE UMPIRE AT MY SOFTBALL GAMES OR WHAT? SOMEBODY WORK WITH ME HERE! YOU’RE JUST MESSIN’ WITH ME, RIGHT?”
“Lock her up!” a larger group of spectators chanted.
“Can’t ya shut your own kid up, Henry?” asked her uncle.
“Lock her up!” a still larger group of spectators chanted, brandishing their assault rifles, circling the little girl and her family.
AND…CHOOSE YOUR OWN ENDING :