A long, long time ago (March 13, 1888) a man by the name of C.J. Streets discovered a land called DeBeerios. In this land he found many beautiful things. Gold and silver and crystals abounded. When C.J. held a crystal up to the sun it would reflect all the colors of the rainbow. He also noticed that these pure, white, transparent, octahedral- shaped crystals were very hard; they could cut through anything. When C.J. showed others his crystals they were mesmerized and offered to pay great sums of money so they too could hold a crystal up to the light and see all the beautiful colors. Others wanted to have the crystals for the secret powers they supposedly possessed. Before long (1902) a fellow by the name of Sir Bernie Oppie Hammer (The Hammer for short) came along and took control of the magic crystals that C.J. had found. The Hammer also bought up crystals from others that were finding them because The Hammer loved to play a game called monopoly. The Hammer excelled at playing monopoly and soon there was no one to play with him. The Hammer did have one problem. By the 1930’s he had more crystals than clients, so in 1938 he decreed that anyone who had a crystal would live forever! It seemed like a far-fetched claim but people everywhere started buying them and giving them to the one person in their lives that they wanted to live with forever. The Hammer was happy, the people were happy and The Land of DeBeerios was happy too.
One day, however, a report was given to The Hammer that one day they might run out of crystals! The Hammer was furious at the possibility of losing his power. The magic crystals had allowed him to be the master of a game of monopoly! So The Hammer went away to his castle and refused to talk to anyone for a long, long time. Suddenly, The Hammer opened up the castle doors holding 93 Brown Boxes and asked all his best clients to visit. He told his clients that he would sell crystals only to 93 of them and those not chosen would just have to buy their crystals from his “inner circle” (the nickname given to the chosen 93 that each got their very own Brown Box). After the 93 were chosen The Hammer asked for payment in full for each box before any of the chosen would be allowed to open what they had purchased. Many of the 93 asked “How can we know if it’s a fair price if we can’t see into the Brown Box? To which The Hammer replied, “I promise you will find crystals in the Brown Boxes and if you are unhappy with your purchase you can return your Brown Box but you will never see me or receive crystals again from The Land of DeBeerios if you do so.”
Each of the 93 paid in full for their little Brown Boxes and departed. When they got home they opened their boxes to see what treasure they had. To their amazement & shock the boxes were filled with worthless rocks sprinkled with only a few beautiful white crystals. They took the worthless rocks that were of every color (but mostly brown) and stormed The Hammer’s castle.
When they got to the castle they demanded to know what they were supposed to do with the worthless rocks. The Hammer replied, “A crystal is a rock and a rock is a crystal. What it is to you and your customers is all perception! If when you look at the brown rocks (which are plentiful) and only see a brown rock, you will never be able to recoup your investment. But, if you see that brown worthless rock as a cognac crystal instead it will have value to those you sell it to. Also, worthless brown rocks can be put in ovens to be made white, yet brittle, but who would have to know that?”
Finally the “inner circle” all took their boxes of rocks & crystals home and agreed perception was everything! If they believed they could make others believe they had a box of crystals of many different colors! They would tell all the people that even the black crystals that didn’t sparkle would be a symbol of their love. The people believed and bought. The “inner circle” was happy. The people were happy. The Hammer was very, very happy and The Land of DeBeerios kept chugging along.
Then, one day The Hammer was given a report from the mines that while they had an unlimited amount of rocks they would one day soon be out of white crystals to sprinkle in with the rocks. The Hammer again retreated into his castle for a very long time. When he did emerge he had the biggest smile on his face because he had come up with the “revolving door” idea. He hired men to mingle with the people and out bid what anyone else would pay for the valuable white crystals and return them to him. By doing this he could forever keep sprinkling in white crystals with the rocks in the boxes and sell them. Just repeat the process over and over again. The Hammer would live happily ever after.
Is this a fairy tale?
I hope so.