05/22/2013 12:39 pm ET Updated Jul 21, 2013

The Meaning of Life

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This story is taken from my upcoming book of surreal anecdotes and very short fairy tales for adults called The Mundane Uses of Magical Objects

It wasn't something he expected to happen on such a dreary drizzly day, but he did, in fact, come to understand the meaning of life. And it wasn't one of those drunken enlightenments. It wasn't some intellectual compromise with the untiring forces that just like to beat you down. No, this was the real thing. The lock and the key. The meaning of life!

And now that he knew it, he wasn't sure what to do with it. Sure, the knowledge should make his miserable life much easier to take. But what good is one content monkey in a zoo of torment? So he thought maybe he should spread the good thing around, let the others in on the path to peace. He tried writing it all down and publish as a book, but it was just too short for any serious publisher to be interested. Then he tried to get some television producers interested in the concept, but it just wasn't the right season for this kind of thing as the hottest shows had the hottest women debating with sharks or eating each other with and without forks. Then he considered just going out to tell people what he knew right on the streets. But this idea he abandoned right away since he was bound to be ignored as one of those doomsday cranks you see shouting on corners.

What was left for him to do? The world was not well set up for spreading the meaning of it all. The world was too entrenched in supporting all the distractions that make it all just a bit more bearable.

So he went back to the source of his newfound knowledge. The white frog he saw sitting on his toilet in the afternoon. The frog that was almost blending in with the alabaster majesty of the toilet seat. "What good is this meaning of life?" he asked the frog, which made a chuckle-like sound, having heard this question one too many times. Shortly thereafter, the frog proceeded to declare -- "Obviously, as it always seems to happen with your kind, you have already forgotten the meaning of life!" The man grew indignant -- "No, I have not!" Frog -- "Yes, you have!"

And this went on for two hours after which the white frog disappeared and our man began to doubt himself and came to think that maybe he did in fact forget the meaning of life. Maybe he shouldn't have spent so much time trying to let others in on it. What a sad mistake! And so he sighed and went back to the humdrum misery of existence, where the white frogs come to speak to you only once, and you better listen carefully to what they are croaking...