KEEP THEM SAFE
Darrel D. Miller
Darrel D. Miller on Smashwords
Keep Them Safe
Copyright © 2015 by Darrel D. Miller
Smashwords Edition Notes
I like to wander: around town and topics. Wander with me.
Gold, Gems, Goats, Oil, Women. Throughout the history of the world we have had to protect our valuables. While what we value has changed a bit (hint: Goats are at the bottom of the list), the way we protect those things has changed a lot.
At first we just put more people around our valuables. But they can’t always be trusted. So we came up with a new system: burying it. Which led to a boom in the treasure map industry. While that is probably the most secure system in the world it has one flaw: you have to remember where it is at, forget that, and well, you have just lost all your valuables. How squirrels remember this stuff without a map is beyond me.
Next we came up with the idea to put our valuables in containers. The containers started off rather small and easy to move. When we lost our valuables to our relatives and their hammers, the containers got bigger. And thicker. These bigger containers were called vaults. Eventually a bunch of people who wanted to keep all their valuable safe in a safe wanted a safe place. So they created Banks. Which is just a building around a vault. This worked for awhile until the invisible hand of the market stole those valuables.
Then folks resorted to mattresses as a form of protection. They figured, “I am sleeping on this, who could possibly take it.” The flaw in this form of protection was sleep: they weren’t always doing it. Since this didn’t work out so folks went back to banks after some rules were established. But Banks are not the only way that people have protected their valuables.
Alarms have always been popular. From a screaming servant in your house to an annoying buzzer that tells everyone you have just been robbed. These let people know something is happening but do nothing to intervene. Which is why we invented weapons. With these in hand, if we, or our servants, are present we can at least try to stop those taking our valuables. Or we can go get them later. You can’t kill someone with an alarm.
And then there is the problem of moving our valuables. Because at some point you will want to take them somewhere else. This has always been a problem. It is very easy to take someone’s valuables when they are moved. So we had to start over because you can’t move a building very quickly. So the containers got smaller, and we put them on trains. Eventually we created armored vans. These moving vaults protect our valuables while we moved them.
All of this asks one question that has an obvious answer: Why do we protect our valuables? Because someone else wants them. Other people will steal them because they want them and we have them. It’s the sole reason we created any of that stuff I mentioned previously. We must protect our valuables.
But what is a valuable? Of course something can have value to us personally, and to no one else. Well for those things you do not need any protection. No one is going to steal it if they don’t value it also. I was reminded of this on the way to work one morning.
Currently I drive about thirty miles to work everyday. It is a long stretch of road and very little scenery. So I have a lot to time do nothing. So I fiddle with the radio but it only provides so much entertainment. So I watch. The cars, trucks, and semi’s that pass me. Hey I admit it, I drive slow, and right next to the I-80 interstate, they should be driving faster than I am on a local highway. Even though everyone on the highway seems to think they are also on the interstate. At any rate. I see a large variety of vehicles. One day I saw what can only be described as an armored van but it wasn’t. It was a large white van thing. A giant box, imagine a Humvee and a tank had a baby. And then add about three inches of armored steel and metal wheels. This mommy was serious. It was an Armored Mommy Van. And I know it was a woman at the wheel because I could see her, and I knew she was a mother because I saw a couple of kids bouncing around in the back seat. No need for seat belts, nothing is stopping this thing, or stealing those children.
And that lady thinks someone is trying to steal her children. At a minimum she considers those children very valuable. And SHE should. But no one else does. There is not one person that is thinking about stealing her children from her. Okay, maybe pedophiles, and even kidnappers. In the first case the person is not well. They have a problem. Hopeful we can all agree that they are sick. In the second case those people do not take those children to keep. They want a ransom. What they really want is your money, and they have figured out a seemingly less violent way to get it from you.
So this lady has invested in an armored van to protect her children. Sounds like poor investment to me. Want proof: No on in the history of the world has ever sent this ransom note to anyone anywhere ever.
“Dear Betty MacArthur
We have your money. If you ever want to see it again you will deliver your children, washed and cleaned to the bridge on 43^rd^ street. Come alone. Do not call the cops or you will never see your money again.
Alright. You history buffs nailed me. There was ONE person that has wanted your child as a repayment for a debt you owe: Rumpelstiltskin. And it is certainly one hell of a yarn. It has to be, cause no one will believe it.
Rumpelstiltskin is a German, and do I really need to add, goblin? He appeared to a young woman whose father had lied about her abilities. The father told the king that his daughter could turn straw into gold. It seems in fairy tales they also believe in fairy tales. The king liked this and demanded the girl spin him some gold. She couldn’t. Rumpelstiltskin appeared to turn the straw to gold, for a price. The first price was the girl’s necklace. The king was greedy and wanted more gold. This time Rumpelstiltskin wanted the girls ring. Finally the king wanted one more giant pile of gold. Here is the twist: for the final pile of gold Rumpelstiltskin wanted the girl’s first born child. She agreed. Eventually she had a kid, and no longer agreed. So Rumples made a deal, “You guess my name, and I’ll let you out of the deal.” Well the girl found out his name, told him, and he got mad and flew away on a ladle.
Obviously there are a couple of variations to this story, but that is the basic plot.
This allows us to make a couple of observations about German fairy tales. First, Germans suck at telling fairy tales. Seriously straw to gold, children as repayment for debt, and flying away on a ladle. I would ask what they were smoking, but that is the problem, they were not smoking anything. Flying out a window is a spatulas job, not a ladle’s. Secondly seriously Germans suuuuuckkk at fairy tales. Thirdly, it’s a GERMAN fairytale. That is the definition of oxymoron. Because the only fairy tale Germans have ever believed in was their own ethnic superiority.
In fact the two most well know Germans folklorists, not to be confused with florists, but not that far from it either, the Brothers Grimm, spent their entire life trying to collect better fairy tales. They traveled all over to find them. The Brothers hoped to bring back to Germans clear examples of very good fairy tales. But that did not work and the brothers turned their attention to something the Germans are good at: creating words.
The Brothers Grimm spent their remaining years putting together the definitive German dictionary. They would have completed it had it not been for the unfortunate accident. See they had gotten to volume two hundred and fifty of their dictionary. Or as it was known “A through B”. It was about to go to press. They were so excited they danced. Which Germans should never do. Well they forgot the other two hundred and forty nine volumes were stacked around their house. Mostly in very tall stacks, they lived in a tiny German house. Well this caused the book stacks to sway, then wobble, and finally topple. On top of them, crushing them. There were broken spines, of books and brothers, everywhere. Everyone agreed it was a very grim death. And it also put to death another fairy tale: “Words can never hurt me.”
This leads us to the moral of this story: German’s suck at fairy tales but at least don’t put children in armored cars, or banks. They put them in ovens, a recurring theme for them.
NOTE TO THE READER:
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From the most ancient of times we people have safe guard our valuables. From holes in the ground to banks to armored cars we keep these things from being stolen. While how we protect our stuff has changed a bit, what we consider valuable has changed a lot. Now we consider children so valuable we hall them around in their own armored cars.