I know it may be hard to believe, but the things that happen in this story happen in real life, all the time. It probably happened to you. But you have to look beyond the actual words. Sometimes to understand anything, you have to look at the deeper meaning of everything.
Makshmillian Dorothy lives on the planet of Htrae. Now, what type of name is Makshmillian Dorothy? Well, where he lives, it is perfectly normal. Dorothy is a normal last name for a male, where he is from. But those who know him well, don’t call him Makshmillian. He goes by Bill. He has neatly combed brown hair, and has clear blue eyes. Those eyes are covered by spectacles with circular lenses, about one and a half inch all around. He is in his early thirties. He is 5 foot 11 and is skinny.
Now let me tell you a bit about his planet. Htrae is quite like Earth, yet also much different. They, too, have water, food, animals, and humans, but if I told you the customs of the people of Htrae, you would think I’m making this up. Likewise, if I told the people of Htrae your customs, they would think me a liar, too. So if Bill goes on his ways, using awkward ways, don’t blame him. He was born on Htrae. Bill is an average person on his planet. Mental note: he never says “your”, on Htrae everyone says “joe’ instead of “your”(For instance “Your cookie fell” would be “Joe cookie fell”). This will clear up the title a bit, but not fully. Also this will come up later in the story.
Bill wakes up at 3:00 p.m. sharp. He eats toast and coffee for breakfast, but if that wasn’t available he will eat steak with a side of prunes. But he doesn’t put the food in his mouth. Just like everyone else he knows, he stuffs it in his nose. He goes to work with the usual 5 pm to 9 am grind. Everyone does it that way. He wears a white dress shirt with a gray tie, everyday. He works at a sophisticated office, and gets scolded by his boss exactly 4 times a day. Everyone is. He never is fired. No one is. Then one day everything changes.
One day Bill wakes up and nothing is normal (and if you care for the date, it was August 19th. I won’t tell you the year, because it will change your perspective on the story.) He goes to his refrigerator to grab a slice of bread. His nose is very hungry, and it starts to growl. Unfortunately, he is out of bread, and coffee, and steak, and even prunes! Who would steal his prunes? So he leaves the house to go to the local grocery store, which is named Regork. On his way he sees people eating hot dogs, which he calls cold cats. But the interesting thing is they are not putting them into their noses. They are putting them into the body part which you speak with. Bill thinks this awkward. Then when he reaches the store, he sees it completely changed! Instead of a store called Regork, there is a store called Kroger! Weird. Then it hits Bill. It is a slice of bread. Bill smiles, but that smile fades fast. This isn’t the bread he ate. This is the shape of a flat square, not a round ball. Where is the regular bread? He then sees a child spitting out a prune in disgust. “A child who doesn’t like prunes? Something quite strange is going on.”
Then another thing hits Bill. It is a thought. What if he isn’t on Htrae anymore? You might’ve guessed already. Bill is on Earth. But Bill doesn’t know about Earth. Much less know about how we do stuff here. He knows as much about Earth before this day, as you knew about Htrae before I told you.
A middle-age man, with short blonde hair and blue eyes must be seeing Bill looking confused. The man’s name is Rodney. He is the type of person that would come first into your mind when you think of someone who is American. He is wearing a three-button polo with sunglasses hanging from the collar. He is wearing shorts, or what appear to be khakis, cut from the knees. He is wearing sandals and appears to be enjoying a day-off, sipping a drink under an outdoor table with an umbrella sprouting from the center. When he sees Bill looking confused, Rodney approaches Bill. “Hello there! Are you lost?”
“ You can talk?” Bill replies.
“ Um...yeah. You looked confused so I came to help.”
“ Well, I could use some, but I’d first like to know joe name.” (Of course, like I said, he means “your name”.) Rodney understands what he means when he says “joe”. Many people on Earth speak like that, too.
“ My name is Rodney James, but you can call me Rod or Rodney.”
“ Ha! Do you take me for a buffoon?”
“ Um, excuse me, sir?”
“ We all know that Rodney James is a made up name. No sane person could name their child Rodney!”
“ All right then.” says Rodney, who is quite offended, “What’s your name?”
“ Makshmillian Jessicarpet Dorothy the fifth, but please, call me Bill.”
Rodney, who normally has good manners, laughs so hard, half a Starbucks frappuccino squirts from his nose. It splatters all over Bill’s freshly ironed shirt. Bill acts as if this is normal and says “ That’s more like it.”
“ What?” Rodney replies quite confused and embarrassed.
“ Clearly this is not my planet. Where I come from, people drink and eat with their noses. I saw you earlier eating a cold cat with joe mouth!” Rodney starts to believe this guy is making a fool of him, or is just crazy. What in the world is a cold cat? Obviously this person is trying to make a scene. Maybe, Rodney is on a game show. No, what type of pointless game show is this? This guy is just a nut trying to embarrass him even more. All right, thinks Rodney, we’ll play that game. He still can’t get past the fact about his name. Rodney wants to prove that this man is lying. In fact a crowd is starting to gather. He continues his conversation, “ Alright what was your name again, Mr. Dorothy?”
The crowd snickers. “ Makshmillian, but call me Bill,” Bill replies. The crowd laughs. Rodney finally says, snorting with laughter, “ and...your nickname…is Bill! Ha!”
“ And joe nickname is a metal pole, like joe brain,” replies Bill. The whole crowd cheers! Well, half of the crowd does, the other half doesn’t understand what he said with all the “joe’s”.
Then Bill turns to the crowd “ and you, you guys are so dumb, you don’t even know how to clap! You don’t clap with joe hands, you clap with joe legs!”
Bill takes his shoes off and stands on his hands. He clashes the heels of his feet. It doesn’t make a sound. It becomes a very awkward moment. Everyone starts to boo. “Oh, boo you. You guys are just too lazy to stand on joe hands”
An angered woman approaches from the crowd. She is wearing a very fancy lace hat and sunglasses bigger than Bill’s glasses. Her purse is open and is full of makeup. Then she speaks.“Us? Lazy? You listen here, we are hard working people, who work from 9 am to 5 pm.”
Bill is not impressed, “Pshh! I work from 5 pm to 9 am!” Obviously no one believes him. Soon the crowd becomes huge. Soon, they are all chanting against him, “STOP ACTING LIKE AN ALIEN, CUZ YOU’RE NOT! STOP ACTING LIKE AN ALIEN, CUZ YOU’RE NOT!...” Poor Bill, he didn’t know he would get into this trouble. No one will even believe his story. It isn’t his fault he woke up on this planet. He is just doing it the “htrae-way”. The only way he knows. Wait, maybe Bill never woke up! Maybe Earth doesn’t exist...maybe it is all a dream. Bill slaps himself. Nothing. This is real. When they see Bill slapping himself, they think he is mad. “ Wow, he is really different and strange” says a bald man who is very muscular and wore a tight t-shirt with jeans.
“Different and strange?” says Bill “ I am perfectly normal. I am just joe average human.”
“ You mean ‘average joe’?” replies the man.
“ What do you mean?”
“ You said ‘joe average’, you mean ‘average joe’?”
“ No, I mean what I mean. You guys even mix up words. ‘Joe’ is a possessive adjective. You act like it is a noun or a name. What type of name is Joe? It’s ‘joe average’ and it will always be ‘joe average’!”
Later, the people of Earth understood that sometimes people are different and that’s that. People actually accepted Bill. Bill was stuck on Earth after many failed attempts of going back to Htrae, which, if you didn’t notice, is Earth spelt backwards to show that they are similar yet opposites. His attempts included jumping off a plane. Going into a coma. Even learning to speak every language and do karate. All this made Bill “the most interesting man in the world”. Okay, so maybe he didn’t do all that stuff. But, Bill was given a night shift at a fast-food restaurant. They told him it was a “sophisticated office”. Bill loved the job. He could flip hamburgers like they were bean bags. Later he even got used to the “Earth-way”. He started his own charity for young children and all that good stuff. So all in all it was a happy ending. Yet, many of the customers who ate from his fast-food restaurant, complained that their food had been in someone’s nose. Lastly, Bill even had a son later on. He named his son Joe Average.
I decided it would be neat to see people’s opinions on the story and what they thought the moral was. So we went on the streets of downtown and made people read it and tell us what they thought. I got a range of opinions. Someone said that the cup is half-full and not half-empty. I had no idea how that was related to this story. Someone said that the story didn’t make sense at all. I was quite offended and ran away. Someone even said that the plot reminded him of relish. I guess I can see that in a metaphorical way, but, judging by the man’s expression, he wasn’t thinking metaphorically. I was making no progress. It seemed like this story was terrible and I was about to throw it away. I decided to ask one more person. She said that “this shows that people, even on Earth, can be different, and sometimes you just have to accept them for who they are, and sometimes you may think the way you do things is the normal way, but there is more than one way to get stuff done in everything.” Personally I thought that made less sense than the comment about relish! Any interpretation can be the right interpretation. You just have to believe in it. I made this story so you can interpret it in many ways. Only your choice, is the right choice. Oops, I meant to say joe choice is the right choice!