I was lost in the fiery city of Reality, where only a few dared to venture. I thought I was ready for it, but it was not long before I craved the comfort of my hometown, Oblivion. Walking through the unpaved, dusty streets, I saw an ice-cream parlour in the distance and hoped to rest my weary feet there.
“You’re only welcome if you’re going to buy” said the old man at the counter before I even stepped in “And I hope you don’t expect free tasters, I’m not here to waste time.”
Taken aback and annoyed I was, but I only mumbled, “That was a bit harsh…”
“Eh, I see you’re not from around here. Welcome to Reality, kid.”
“Thanks… I’ve lost my way, could you help?”
“Sure, kid. But tell me what you’d like to have first. Hot day, isn’t it?”
The man seemed quite adamant, so I gave in. “Alright… What’s today’s special, sir?”
“Today’s special is Moral Absolutism.”
“Moral Absolutism, kid.” The old man looked at me as if I were the crazy one there.
“I…I’m confused, sir. What’s that?”
“It’s a grainy base of irrationality incorporated with closed-mindedness and topped with refusal to accept that bad can come of good and good, of bad. It’s extremely popular here; the fundamentalist’s favourite. You might have met him on your way here if you stopped by at the church.”
“Not my cup of tea, sir.
“Would you prefer a Capitalism float, then? The small amount of rich ice-cream always remains on top and takes the cake when the cola at the bottom is actually making everything work.”
“I don’t fancy floats, sorry.”
“Hmm, how about a lovely scoop of Minorities then? Full of different flavours and textures that are just as good as the popular but not regarded equally.”
By this time I was thoroughly perplexed and determined to leave. I definitely wasn’t ready for this sort of complexity. I just wanted some regular ice-cream. “What about vanilla, sir? Might you sell that?”
He smirked and answered, “Out of stock, kid. It’s never available in Reality. Plain Vanilla is for those living in Oblivion. You must be from there.”
“Yes… As I said, I’ve lost my way…”
He opened a drawer and scrambled for what seemed to be a map.
“Here, kid. Take this and try not to return, it’s a tough world out here. Take this piece of advice from a man who’s been here longer than you’ve lived.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“But do remember, now that you’ve already seen Reality, it will always linger in your head. It’ll make you question every decision you make when in Oblivion. If you’re not careful, it will haunt you and infect your thoughts until you finally decide to permanently move here and become one of us. Get away as soon as you can and don’t ever look back, kid. Yours is the best world there is.”
I thanked him again and ran out of there, forgetting my weary feet.
Once I got back to Oblivion, I was thankful. I was extremely thankful for having made it.
Of course, I celebrated with a scoop of the finest Plain Vanilla available, the simplicity of it negating my need to ever venture into Reality again.