Once upon a time, there was this guy named Bob. Bob was a complete loser, with no life at all. He worked at a shoe factory, where he attached the soles of shoes 8 hours a day. His only redeeming quality/talent was he could play the piano really well. But since his entire life had been letdowns, he never even bothered to try to make something out of his incredible piano talent, thus no one ever knew he had such a talent.
One day, while he is at work he begins to think back over his entire lifetime and is feeling really down since he realizes that he has done nothing with his life. Suddenly, the thought pops into his mind: “I think I’ll become a monk!”, which is a natural thought that everyone has at least once in their lifetime...
So Bob gathers up some gusto and walks into his bosses office and declares “I quit! I am going to be a monk!” and walks out. His boss just shrugs and goes back to reading his paper.
So Bob goes down to the local monastery and walks up to the desk and joyfully says “Hi! I want to become a monk!”.
The guy behind the desk hands him a brown hooded robe and instructs him to put it on and never talk again.
Bob dons the hooded robe and stops speaking, and life goes pretty good for a few weeks; at which point Bob starts to get bored with the life of a monk. In his daily walks he noticed a huge library in the monastery, and he decides that since he has so much spare time on his hands now, that he will read through every book in the library.
Bob sets out on this awesome feat and reads every book on the first floor in seven years. Then he starts on the second floor, and finishes in about five years. Naturally, Bob is becoming a better and faster reader at this point.
Now the third floor is full of scientific books, and about one year into reading the books, Bob comes across this one book which has a segment on “The lever which shuts the world off”. The lever has never been found apparently, so there was no scientific proof of it, but it made Bob begin to think.
“Hmm... a lever which would shut the world off. Man, I sure could have used that several years ago. That sure would have shown my boss! Actually, my life isn’t much better now either, is it? I mean I have spent the last 13 years reading straight, and still have not made anything of myself. I am going to find that switch and make something of myself. I am going to shut down the world!”
First though, Bob realizes that he must get out of the monastery in order to go on his trek around the world to find the switch. So he walks back up to the front desk and says “Hi”.
The man behind the desk admonishes him, “You are not supposed to talk!”
“I know. I do not want to be a monk anymore.” With that said, he returns the robe and leaves.
Bob sets out on his trek to find the switch that will shut the world off. It takes several years, and a long journey through the Sahara desert to finally find the switch. Bob was out of food and water, and quickly becoming dehydrated in the middle of the desert when he finally saw it. It was just ten feet in front of him. Putting all his energy into it, he slowly crawled to the switch, and just as he reached up his arm to pull the switch and end it all, he collapsed; so weak he could not move.
“So this is it”, he thought “I made it this close and I am going to die”. Bob was prepared to die, with yet another failure to add to his pitiful existence. It was right about then he heard a muffled noise “mmhphhtmmm”
Bob opened his eyes “What was that?” He heard the noise louder this time “MMHPHHTMMM!”
Bob looked down and saw what looked like a snake’s tail under his leg. He slowly rolled over, and low and behold there was a snake he had fallen on apparently. This was an odd snake though. There he was with a little top hat on, and carrying a cane. Don’t ask me how he was carrying a cane, since snakes do not have arms, but he was carrying a cane.
“Who are you?” Bob muttered.
“I am Nate the tap-dancing snake.” the snake replied.
“Tap-dancing snake! You look terrible. Here, drink some water.”
Nate just so happened to have a lot of food and water with him, and ended up saving Bob’s life. Bob pretty much totally forgot about the switch as he continued to talk to the snake and they became friends. The journeyed out of the desert and back to Nate’s place.
Bob was still incredulous, though, and asked for a demonstration of his tap-dancing abilities.
“Alright” said Nate. He played a tape and did the most incredibly tap-dancing to the music which Bob had ever seen.
“Wow, that is incredible!” exclaimed Bob.
Bob suddenly got an idea. He noticed a piano in the corner. He went over and began to play a little ditty, to which Nate tap-danced. “This is awesome!” Bob said.
For the first time in his life, Bob felt like revealing his hidden talent to the world. They found a local talent show and signed up as “Bob and Nate, the tap-dancing snake”
Their time came, and they went out and did their little performance, and the crowd loved it. They got a standing ovation, and also several invitations to perform at local clubs.
“Wow, I had no idea it would be this popular” thought Bob.
So Bob and Nate continued to perform their show, and gained more and more fame each time. They were quickly the hottest local act.
They decided they might as well try out for the national talent search, since they were so popular locally, perhaps everyone would love them. The national talent show was much the same as their first one: everyone loved them. They quickly became national figures.
In fact, soon “Bob and Nate, the tap-dancing snake” became a household name. Marketing was everywhere. There was Bob and Nate the TV show, Bob and Nate the lunch box, Bob and Nate the action figures, Bob and Nate the flamethrower (kids loved that one).
In fact, they were so popular that they brought world peace. Everyone enjoyed them so much that they just sort of forgot about all the disagreements, struggles, and wars. They were the most famous man and snake on the planet.
One day, though, before a big TV appearance, Nate walked into Bob’s dressing room. “Bob, I do not want this to sound bad, I mean I really love working with you and all, but if you look at it honestly, I am the front man for our act. I have the bigger part of the talent in our little act, so I was wondering if we could change the name to ”Nate the tap-dancing snake and Bob.”
Bob was furious. They both erupted in a loud argument which ended with them going their separate ways to their dressing rooms. The show never aired, because both were too upset with each other. In fact, everything “Bob and Nate” went on hiatus.
Now by this time, an entire city (Bob-and-Nateville) had been formed centered right around where they had originally met: the switch to end the world. It was only appropriate. In fact, the switch was right in the middle of the main highway through the city. On either side of the highway was Bob’s huge mansion and Nate’s huge mansion.
They were both sitting in their respective mansions one afternoon, still stewing over the whole name issue.
Bob began to go over his life over the past several years, their rise to fame, etc. He then began to realize how trivial such a debate was. They had brought world peace, and everyone adored them, and here they were arguing over their name.
Meanwhile, in the other mansion, Nate was having similar thoughts. He decided he would go over to Bob’s and apologize and they could keep the name the same as it was. Both Bob and Nate walked out onto their porches at the same time. Nate began to slither across the highway.
“Nate! Wait, there’s a semi coming!”
Nate didn’t hear him and he continued to slither.
Bob waved his arms and yelled, but Nate didn’t notice. The semi didn’t notice until the last moment, and the driver had to make a split second decision. There was Nate, and then there was the lever; which would it be? It was too late to stop, and the semi ran over Nate the tap-dancing snake and killed him.
Bob was outraged. The trucker stopped and came back and apologized, but Bob was still in a rage. “Do you know what you have done?! You just killed my partner, Nate the tap-dancing snake!”
The trucker looked at Bob and said “Bob. Bob, settle down. Look, it was better Nate than lever!”