Sit, child. Let me tell you a story, a true story of how the world you know began…
Before everything that was, before the birds and the dinosaurs and the trees and the rocks and Joe Biden’s political career, before even the universe, there was something else: a kingdom. No, a resort. No, wait, maybe it was just a kingdom with a high percentage of its GDP based on tourism? Or a resort that just happened to have a monarchy, a significant bureaucracy, and a sophisticated legal system. It was one of those things.
Anyway, there was a king of this resort-kingdom (I seem to recall he was named Lenny. Or Lemmy. He could have been named Lemmy. But I think his name was Lenny.) Yes, King Lenny XXXIV (for all of the kings of the resort were named Lenny. Or Lemmy) ruled over a sedate and peaceable kingdom. He was a man of few rules: all citizens were obligated to salute the palace and shout “ALL HAIL KING LENN(mm)Y!” at precisely nine every morning, there was to be no service at any establishments without upper apparel and pedal protection (although the lower garment was considered optional), and there was to be absolutely no running in the pool area. And all offenses of his three rules were punished by either death or SuperDeath™.
Now, King Lenny was popular, but not universally beloved. He had mortal enemies in the kingdom’s neighbors: the Republic of Ejtofz. See, these neighbors also had a resort, but as a democratic republic, they felt an obligation to spread their system of governance to lands beyond. (Plus, due to lower royal upkeep, as Lenny was a rather frugal king, Lenny’s resort was offering upwards of 20% lower prices on select vacation packages than the Ejtofzians.) The Ejtofzians knew that they had to do something to fight these unbeatable market prices, so they decided to do something truly despicable: they printed a newspaper. It was surprisingly entertaining, mixing satire with real news, but bearing a pronounced anti-King-Lenny bias. They distributed it far and wide across King Lenny’s resort kingdom, and soon enough, not a soul was crying “ALL HAIL KING LENNY!” at the designated morning time. Instead, the king woke every morning to his constituents screaming “KING LENNY MUST GO!”
Well, the Ejtofzians were never ones to let an opportunity such as this pass them by. Finally, they had all of the people from both kingdoms on their side! The Ejtofzians took their finest assassin, gave him a very special cloak and even special-er dagger, then sent him to assassinate King Lenny.
The assassin found King Lenny in the palace and killed him straight away. A quick special dagger to his heart, and Lemmy was gone. The populace rejoiced and threw a festival for their new government. At this time, the Ejtofzians were about to move in, in order to complete this hostile takeover, but the Department of Justice, which regulated corporate mergers at the time, decided that the Ejtofzians now possessed a resort monopoly that had to be broken up. You see, a technician had made a mistake during the break-up process, accidentally killing everyone involved, and creating the universe along the way.
King Lenny and the Ejtofzians are now remembered only in the minds of renowned journalists and gibbering lunatics, but their influence remains. Why, in my youth, a pack of school chums and I founded a news outlet in homage to this incident. We called it the Weekly CAD, after the Cloak and the Dagger that the assassin was equipped with, and we made sure to print all the news in the old Ejtofzian style. Wait, what has your mother been saying about me? Of course I’m not senile! If I were senile, could I really print a newspaper? Wait, I could? Hmm…
Anyway, that’s how we started the CAD. Cool story, right? Wait, you hate me? Oh, ok...
Professor Emeritus of Nothing