James, the Rational Man

Once upon a time, there was a man named James who believed that every apparent mystery has a rational explanation, but some we just haven’t figured out yet.  

“Every apparent mystery has a rational explanation,” James often said. “But some we just haven’t figured out yet.”

There was only one mystery in James’s life that he couldn’t figure out. Once, he’d been sound asleep and his bedside lamp had switched on out of nowhere in the middle of the night, waking him up.

It was weird, but he was sure there was a rational explanation. He just had to figure it out.

Years after that happened, James was going to sleep one night and he reached up to turn off his bedside lamp. But he had just put on a lot of moisturizer and so his hands were very slick and he couldn’t get a very good grip on the switch of the lamp, which was the kind that had to be twisted until it clicked. Because of his poor grip on the switch, when he twisted it, it didn’t click all the way into the off position. It just went far enough to turn the light off and then, a minute later, it slipped back and the light turned on again.

Does that make any sense at all? It did to James!

“Ah ha!” shouted James, getting out of bed and jumping up and down. “I knew it! I knew there was some explanation.”

“Everything, everything, has an explanation,” James murmured contentedly to himself, as he drifted off to sleep.

Later that night as James slept, a man with a gun broke into his apartment and shot James in the head for no reason at all.


  1. Hope EE says:

    I’ve been enjoying your fables intensely. Could you please write a story that uncovers the meaning of why everyone I know has the same birthday? What? You don’t take requests? Well EFF you.

    JK. We all miss you.


  2. Elizabeth says:

    Aw, thanks! I miss you guys, too.

    I think your friends are all faking it to annoy you. If you’d ever peeked at my license, you’d have seen I was actually born in January. 1964.


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