Can't We All Just Get Along?
I had to use personal time to get a billing problem straightened out with two doctor's offices. My new primary care physician (soon to be replaced) incorrectly made up a referral which later was rejected by a another's doctor's office, due to multiple entry errors, and I received a bill for close to $400.00. A friend went with me on the not-so-much-fun chore of returning to the primary doctor's office to get them to fix their mess. I wasn't thrilled with this little task, and I suppose some of my displeasure was showing, because while we were waiting in the reception area for the new paperwork, my friend picked up a children's book and said, "Let me read you a story."
He has this wonderful dulcet voice with calming tones, so I was game. The book must have measured about 5 x 5 inches and it was foam, covered in washable plastic, I suppose for those drool moments. My friend was squishing the pages of the book, then held it up to his chest on display and said, "What a great idea. Tactile and you can wipe up messes off of it. Why don't Hustler and Playboy print their magazines this way?" I choked back a nasty guffaw, while he opened the book and began to read.
The book was called The Rainbow Fish, and it is the story of a brightly scaled fish who has multi-colored glittery scales (holding up book to show you the picture), and one day a little, plainer fish swims up and asks Rainbow Fish if he might give up one of his pretty scales. Rainbow Fish refuses, and then all of the other little fish ignore him and he is lonely. Rainbow Fish goes to meet with the all- wise Octopus (holding up picture), and asks why he is so alone. I halted the reading at this point to say to my friend that I thought they had drawn the Octopus rather poorly, making him look like an elephant with eight trunks.
Where were we? Oh, yes. So the Octopus tells Rainbow Fish, "Give away your shining scales. You will not be as beautiful, but you will be happy." "See Rainbow Fish thinking about this?", my friend asked. I replied, "This story sucks." So Rainbow Fish swims off, and the next day a fish approaches him and asks for a pretty scale, and Rainbow Fish gives him one. In fact, Rainbow Fish gives away ALL of his scales until he has only one left. "Rainbow Fish wasn't as pretty as before, but now he had friends and swam off to play in the sea...the happiest fish." The End.
I looked at my friend, "Who wrote that garbage?" "Why this book was written by Marcus Pfister and translated into English by J. Alison James." "Translated into English? From what?" "This book was originally published by Nord-Sud Verlag AG, Gassau, Switzerland," he spoke in his still-reading-to-little-children voice, "It is a soft little book with it's message about sharing, and it is perfect for bath time, bed time, beach time, any time!," he said, reading from the back cover. Then he added, in the same tones, "What do I care if you take these hidden Nazi treasure scales from me? Just don't touch my numbered bank accounts." He sighed and added, "Those peace-loving Swiss."