A NUTSHELL IN INDIA

Are you capable of new ways of thinking? If not, please don't read any further. I don't want to upset you. Thank you so much and may you have a nice day, wealth, health, happiness, worldly success and many children--all in addition to this smiley-face (I know how you love them), : ) --as you leave my site, never to return and never to send me hate mail or IM's saying "What do you mean by--?" Or "How dare you--?," etc. etc, ad nauseum, thank you very much and goodbye now please!

And for you regulars who know what I'm talking about and aren't so easily offended, God bless your brilliantly sane and worthy hearts; this story is for you.

We all know the tale of the Russian lady who went to a play on a cold winter's night--the theater was warm and friendly, she settled into her seat and waved to people she knew as the lights went down. It was that magic moment just before the play begins. The lady's heart thrilled with expectation as the music set a mood, and the curtain slowly went up...

The play was wonderful. It gave her everything she had come for. It gave her a real sense of self-worth; it gave her a feeling of broadening intellect and the sharing in other lives aside from her own; and it gave her a sense of how good, and how important, humans are, far above the lower animals as the Bible tells us. But best of all it was a tragic play and it allowed her to cry real tears which is always a pleasure.

After the curtain went down and the applause died away, our lady dried her eyes, waved goodbye to friends in the audience and left the theater with a light step and a sense of accomplishment. She felt very good about herself because tonight she'd learned that it is better to see the glass as half full instead of half empty.

Then when she went outside she discovered that her coachman had frozen to death.

I was thinking about that story, and how unintentionally cruel people are while admonishing each other to "Be nice" all the time and I thought--You're wasting your breath when you lecture students to "Be good; think of others" because most people just can't hear you. It's not their fault. Their ears are sealed shut by inner pressures beyond their conscious control. Now, this may be a grotesque phenomenon but if our "educators" only knew it they could save themselves an enormous amount of jaw movement.

Oh, by the way: my name is Sophie Krzynski and I live in Lubbock, Texas where I come from a large, extended family. Many of us are quite snotty to each other (as so many people are; drop in at an Internet chatroom some time if you don't believe me)--in any case, that story about the Russian lady gave me an interesting idea and I thought I'd give it a try. So here is how it worked out.

A meaningless phrase, "A nutshell in India," happened to pop into my head one night for no reason at all so I decided to use it in a little experiment. At the next family party my cousins were feeling overjoyed because a friend of theirs had been jilted at the altar by a man named Terry whom I also knew, so I said: "That's no surprise to me. Terry's word has never been worth a nutshell in India."

It was a silly thing to say, but just for the fun of it I said it again and again at various gatherings. Then as the months wore on, I began hearing the expression everywhere; it seemed to be catching on in a big way. Pretty soon everyone was saying things like--"What, that old fool? Why he isn't worth a nutshell in India."

Then one day I was visiting my sister Hazel in Connecticut. We were watching a soap opera on TV and a woman happened to scream at Susan Lucci who was playing the heroine's mother, "You aren't worth a nutshell in India, you bitch!"

By that time everyone was using the expression all over the place so I laughed to my sister, "A nutshelI in India...I made that up, you know!"

"Of course you didn't," she said angrily.

"But you know, Hazel," I said, "someone makes up those funny expressions. They don't just drop down out of the blue--"

"Well it certainly wasn't you," Hazel said with withering scorn as she got up to refill our coffee cups.

The end.
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