By Ox Drover
When we were kids most of us have heard the story of the Emperor’s new clothes, in which a very narcissistic emperor who wanted the most beautiful and wonderful clothes in his kingdom. Here is just a little bit of a different version.
Once upon a time there was a very narcissistic emperor who was very dumpy, unattractive, and had a very large nose, but he thought that if he had the most beautiful clothes in the kingdom that he would be very attractive to the ladies of the court. Even though he was a married man, he loved to have the ladies of the court admire his new clothes and tell him how handsome he was.
One day a couple of psychopathic con men were in a tavern trying to figure out a way to con someone who would be vulnerable to their scam and had lots of money. They finally came to the conclusion they would try to con the emperor.
They went to the palace one day when cloth vendors were invited to show their wares. There were people with bolts of lovely velvet material with gold stitching who showed their wares to the king, who admired it very much. Other vendors had cloth woven of spun gold and silver threads.
When the con men, who had a background as street mimes, came up to the emperor, they pretended to hold bolts of cloth in their empty hands. They explained to the emperor and the courtiers that this was magical cloth that only the honest and pure of heart could see and that would be invisible to anyone whose heart was not pure.
Of course, no one actually saw this wonderful and imaginary “cloth,” but each person didn’t want to be perceived as dishonest or not pure of heart, so everyone in the room was afraid and felt that if they were honest and said they did not see the cloth, that they would be in trouble, so they lied and exclaimed, “Oh, how beautiful!!”
The emperor, of course, did not see this imaginary cloth either, but he did not want to be perceived as dishonest or not pure of heart in front of his subjects, so he accepted what the psychopaths said as truth. He also lied and exclaimed, “How beautiful!”
The emperor sent all the honest cloth merchants away, and as they left the palace they were shaking their heads at what just happened. They admitted to each other that the emperor had been conned by the psychopaths, but were also afraid to speak up since it would make it appear they were demonstrating jealousy of the con men for getting the contract to make the emperor’s new clothes.
The psychopathic con men then agreed with the emperor to make him a unique and beautiful outfit like no one had ever seen before.
The emperor decided to have a parade the day his new suit was finished. The people were told that the emperor would be modeling his wonderful new suit of clothes and the day of the parade the streets of the capital city were lined with the peasants.
As the emperor pranced down the street with his crown perched merrily on his head, his shoes on his feet and his body entirely naked, the people of the city gasped in horror at the naked monarch they saw with their eyes, but were afraid to let anyone know they could not see the emperor’s clothes.
From the back of the crowd a small boy poked his head through the legs of the people in front and laughed out loud, “The emperor is naked!” The courtiers gasped at such an affront to the king’s dignity.
Since no one would admit that they saw the emperor naked, and the small child would not quit shrieking, “The emperor is naked!” the captain of the guard arrested the child and his parents and threw them into a dungeon.
When the child and his parents were brought before the emperor who sat naked upon his throne, the parents vowed that they could see the emperor’s lovely clothing and they didn’t know what they could do with their crazy child who continued to claim the emperor was naked.
The emperor decided that the child should be confined in a mental hospital because he was obviously crazy.
As the weather changed in the fall, the emperor called for the psychopathic tailors to create an outfit that would keep him warmer for the winter. Unfortunately no one could find them, they simply seemed to have left town.