A long time ago in a galaxy very very near, there lived a small rotund creature named Ernie.
As you can see, Ernie was a saccharine mix of innocent, playful, and roundly cute. Ernie loved to frolic in the woods with all the birds and the bees (not in that way) and in general his days were full of joy and slightly annoying laughter.
One dark day though, Ernie came across a puzzling creature in the forest: “Bernie”.
Ernie was at a bit of a loss at this odd treatment but chose to interpret it as one would the darker passages of Wagner’s Ring Cycle (which on his planet was known as the Rinse Cycle). Being a creature of perpetual sweetness and light, Ernie decided to overlook this omen and engage Bernie in friendship.
Despite Bernie’s strange social skills and beanie, Ernie was intrigued by his new friend and sought to cultivate the relationship.
He offered strolls…
Even the building blocks of life were met with derision.
Anyway, this went on for a while. As he continued to spend time with Bernie, Ernie noticed something strange was happening. He started to find himself a little less full of sweetness and light.
In fact, Ernie was also becoming noticeably less rotund, while Bernie, conversely, seemed overly inflated..
He couldn’t quite put his paw on it, but Ernie knew that something was amiss.
One memorable day though, Ernie had a lot of coffee and wine at the same time and experienced an epiphany!
At this very moment, Ernie realized that he had let Bernie become the authoritative downer on how his time should be experienced. With that realization, Ernie’s joie de vivre instantly expanded to its former rotund proportions – he was free of the tyranny!
Years later, when Ernie was asked about this dark period in his life, he was fond of paraphrasing Bertrand Russell. With a knowing air, Ernie would straighten up and proudly pronounce:
“The person who says he has many dislikes and is disinterested in so many things has given themselves less opportunity to enjoy life. Conversely, those with many interests have given themselves just that many more opportunities for joy”.
And he lived happily ever after.