Sunday, September 25, 2011

Respect the Fairy

Sometimes Facebook is a never ending vortex of wasted time. Other times it is a wealth of inspirational material for writers like me. One such instance of the latter has led me to this story of infinite wonderment and fantastical contemplation.

I was sitting on my front porch enjoying a tasty alcoholic libation after a long day at work. The drink was sufficiently refreshing, and the status I read on my friend Erin’s Facebook wall was equally as entertaining. It was in regards to an open house at the school where she is a guidance counselor. The interaction went like this:

Erin, “Hi, I’m Erin.”
Parent, “Erin? OH! You’re the Respect Fairy!”
Erin, “Yes. Yes, I am.”

My immediate response was to ask for details, but I quickly changed my mind. I closed the program and let my imagination create the details of what kind of open house this was, and what kind of school employs reverent pixies.

Erin was born and raised in the United States, but after completing school, she moved to the United Kingdom (she only goes places that claim to be united). She has spent some time roaming the countryside in England and Ireland. Ireland is known for a few things. Drinking, potato famines, drinking, boiled food, Caucasian terrorism, and fairies. I couldn’t help but wonder if she had been bitten by a radioactive fairy during one of her jaunts through the Irish meadows, and unbeknownst to her or anyone around her, she was slowly turned into one herself. Instead of gaining the ability to fly or shoot webs of dust from her wrists (like a whimsical Spiderman), she would gain the power to enlighten those around her to be more respectful.

Erin and her guild of fairy-teachers and counselors refer to their annual congregation in the fairy realm as an “Open House.” That is where the children (and their parents) are treated to fanciful stories and capricious lessons. Just like the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future; the fairies each have their specialty. The Respect Fairy opened the occasion by reciting a limerick of deference and understanding.

“Each day we must pay close attention.
To the things that challenge our abstention.
And practice self-control,
or risk suffering the toll,
of that which could be our detention.”

The parents and children shivered from the strong words of advice the Respect Fairy had bestowed upon them. And after a quick bout of self-reflection, they were ushered to another room where the next fairy was there waiting.

The diligence fairy was known to promote hard work and steadfast effort to achieve one's goals in life. She preached the virtue of conscientiousness rather than the sin of sloth. Her lesson would go as such:

“Persistence is the virtue to which I preach.
And ethics are the topics that I teach.
I've seen the lethargy of the masses,
That which keeps them on their asses,
Please pardon the crudeness of my speech.”

The kids would have a harder time digesting the message at first, because of the words such a beautiful fairy chose. The parents, who had much worse in their lifetimes would immediately feel the depth and breadth of the intended lesson. And just as before, the group was forced to expeditiously relocate to another room where yet another member of the realm was waiting.

As they entered the next room, they felt a warmth in their stomachs and a pain in their corneas. The voice of the Kindness Fairy provided the tummy warmth, and the white hot spotlight pointed at the entry way caused the eye pain. She was a bit melodramatic about her virtuosity, but you can't be mad at the Kindness Fairy. She had an assortment of large fluffy pillows on which her possibly tired guests could take a load off, and offered refreshments to everyone before she began her recital. Once they had gotten comfortable and were no longer parched, she started.

“May humanity be struck sober by my kindness.
And those full of envy be cured of their blindness.
As integrity holds onto compassion,
And cruelty recruits the weak to its faction,
So the strong shall be encouraged when they find this.”

As the people in the room wept and wiped their noses, they were pulled by their arms from a seated position toward the exit. It was their turn to be greeted and enlightened by the fourth of seven virtuous fairies. It was also due to the fast approaching group of parents and children that were in the doorway shielding their eyes and covering their ears. There was a flow that must be maintained and a schedule that must be kept.

The children felt full of themselves, and the parents were so proud that they had made the decision to attend this gregarious gathering. Just as they started to pat each other on the back for their accomplishments, they were quickly brought down to earth by the next presenter. She rushed them in and sat them down on the simple, yet strangely welcoming arrangements, and meekly commenced.

“Humility can bring one to a pause.
Pride and ego are some common flaws.
Bravery is worth a note,
And altruism gets my vote,
But modesty is the ultimate cause.”

This time they were given a moment to bask in the simplicity of the words, but not quite enough time to fully plan for the grandiose nature of being truly humble. They slowly stood up and each waddled toward the next corridor; taking their id with them as they left the room.

The Charity Fairy waited in the next room to bestow her message, and she did so with the patience of one her her fellow pixies. As the group entered her roomy realm, she greeted them soulfully. She offered refreshments and healthy snacks. They imbibed the spring water and munched on the sugary noshes. As they finished, she started to whisper.

“Be open handed to all that you meet.
And benevolent to all that you greet.
Keep away from those of a pitiless sort,
Who laugh and jeer as if it were sport,
And your contentment shall be complete.”

The audience had their bellies full of sweetness and simple liquids. They were also approaching a fullness of platitudes. Yet still, they yearned for more. Luckily, the Patience Fairy awaited. She stood quietly as the group made their way in. As they made themselves comfortable, she stared in anticipation, waiting for a nod or a sign that it was time to begin. And when she received it from the last entrant, she did.

“Your wrath and your ire stir up dissension.
Your haste and your hurry, bring forth desolation.
Let stillness and fortitude guide your hand,
For tolerance and serenity be your command,
And peace shall ever be your constellation.”

They had always thought of themselves as patient and understanding, but the words of the pixie in front of them caused them to question that assumption. It was an earth shattering realization with which they were dealing. How could they ever expect to move on and learn more? Well, the Chastity Fairy was about to show them how.

As they entered his realm, they couldn't help but pull in the musky scents of mahogany and leather. The drab surroundings kept them alert for stimulation, and the anticipation for what was to come left them with a wistful yearning for a happy ending. They knew this was the seventh fairy of the day, and they could only imagine the best would be saved for last. When they first caught eyes with the Chastity Fairy, they realized all their hopes were about to come true. He didn't meet their expectation of beauty, but with a wink and a glint, he introduced them to their lesson in purity.

“Our higher being tells us to be chaste.
But I don't think that applies to ass.
So pucker your sweet lip,
Then we'll play just the tip,
Now get the hell out of my class.”

They wondered if he was inebriated, or just one of those generally saucy types of people. You have to believe at least one in seven fairies has to be the black sheep of the realm. Thankfully, the group recycled back to the Respect Fairy before they left. Erin explained to the parents and their children to not mind the Chastity Fairy, “He is a silly chap, and shan’t be held to account for his actions. He's still coming to grips with his assigned virtue.” Luckily, the rest of the ladies are there to see him through it. He should be better by the time next year's “Open House” comes around.

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