What do you do if someone submits a question that is too complicated to understand or too convoluted to answer?
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Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in a wall.
The boy was very much like other boys his age. He went to school; he played with his friends; he enjoyed cartoons; he hated artichokes; and he had never actually eaten artichokes.
In fact, the only thing that was particularly different about the boy was the fact that he lived in a wall. It wasn’t a little wall. The wall was very thick and had plenty of room for all of his toys and a nice comfortable place to sleep. It wasn’t a dirty wall. The boy worked very hard to make sure his wall was also very nice and clean. It wasn’t a load-bearing wall. He had checked once just to be sure in case he decided to renovate.
The boy was happy with his wall. His family had lived in that wall for generations. Every few years, a new member of the family would come along and stay in the wall for a while before moving on. His parents had moved on. His siblings had moved on. Many aunts, uncles, cousins and third cousins twice removed had moved on, but the boy remained.
Occasionally, he would get lonely. Sometimes he would go for months without a family member stopping by his wall. Luckily, he had friends to keep him company. Friends like Gilbert.
Gilbert was a girl who hated her parents. And who could blame her after they named her Gilbert? Gilbert first met the boy who lived in a wall after school one day.
She was walking home that afternoon using a different route than she normally would have. She wasn’t entirely sure why she decided to take that route that day; something about the park simply appealed to her. As she was passing between the swings and the slide, Gilbert saw the wall. While the wall was really a very ordinary wall that marked the boundary between the park and the dangers and the outside world, something about it grabbed Gilbert’s attention and refused to let go.
She went over to the wall and softly tapped on its bricks.
The boy who lived in the wall was in the middle of reenacting a heated battle between a flying triceratops and the combined forces of the Luxembourgian military and the Vienna Boys’ Choir using mostly sporks and pigeon feathers when he heard a soft tapping on the bricks outside. Normally he would have ignored such tapping. Things bumped into the wall all the time. That day, however, something about the tapping grabbed the boy’s attention and refused to let go.
He went outside the wall to find the person who tapped on its bricks.
In that first moment when Gilbert and the boy saw each other, several thoughts passed through each of their minds. Gilbert thought about how strange it was for a boy to come out of a wall. The boy thought about how strange it was for a girl to tap on a wall and be surprised when someone responds. Gilbert thought about how nice the boy looked in his shorts, t-shirt, and bowtie. The boy thought about how odd the girl looked wearing a nametag that said “Gilbert”. Gilbert thought about how cool it was that she could see straight through the boy. The boy thought about how cool it was that someone could actually see him.
“Hi,” said Gilbert.
“Hi,” said the boy.
“Would you like to be friends?” asked Gilbert.
“Sure,” replied the boy.
And from then on, Gilbert and the boy who lived in a wall were friends. And they lived happily ever after. The end.
The moral of the story? If you don’t like the question, answer it like a politician. Skirt around the point and lead people on a wild goose chase, talking about what you wanted to discuss in the first place. Even if that happens to be a girl named Gilbert and a boy who lived in a wall.