Why Are Styrofaom Pieces Called Peanuts?

Answering life’s most impossible questions through the power of storytelling.

Long ago in the medieval era, there was a sorcerer (who just so happens to be the same sorcerer as the one from our last story) who needed to send his mother a gift for her birthday. He had used his magic to put together a very nice sculpture of a couple of horses (because his mother loved horses), but he had made the sculpture out of clay and was worried it would break on the way.

The sorcerer searched his whole house for a way to solve his predicament, but could find nothing soft and cushioned to place around the sculpture when he shipped it in its box. He didn’t want to use his clothes because he needed them to wear, he didn’t want to use blankets because he needed them for the coming winter, and he didn’t want to use his pillows and cushions because he quite liked them.

A little girl (who was the daughter of the town’s nut farmer) knocked on the door of the sorcerer’s house and entered when the door swung open (with the help of some of the sorcerer’s magic). She walked into the kitchen of the house, only to find the sorcerer sitting at the table and staring at a sculpture inside an otherwise empty box.

The girl, confused, asked the sorcerer what he was doing. The sorcerer sighed and explained his predicament, how he had nothing soft and cushioned to pack inside the box around the sculpture. The girl frowned and asked why he would not use his blankets and pillows to wrap the box, to which the sorcerer responded with the former explanation (along with a very meaningful death glare).

The girl thought for a moment, then snapped her fingers. She reminded the sorcerer that he was, in fact, a sorcerer, and therefore had magic (to which the sorcerer responded with a very obvious “duh”). The girl then pulled a handful of peanuts from one of her apron pockets (as she had come to the sorcerer’s home to deliver her father’s peanuts) and set them on the table.

The little girl pointed at the peanuts and told he sorcerer to turn them into something useful. The sorcerer looked at the girl like she was crazy, but complied all the same. He used his magic to puff the peanuts out and soften them into something useful. The result was a pile of puffy foam pieces.

The sorcerer was ecstatic. He immediately packed his sculpture and sent it to his mother on a dragon (the only way to send a package when you’re a sorcerer), all while thanking the little girl. The little girl just rolled her eyes and told him she wanted a pile of those foam pieces to sell. The sorcerer agreed and turned all the peanuts she was carrying into foam pieces.

The little girl started a major company based on selling what she called “foam packing peanuts.” The sorcerer came in every Tuesday (because was busy with “wizardy” stuff every other day) and turned piles of peanuts into the packing peanuts. The sorcerer and the little girl split the profits and became rich through their packing peanut company.

And the sorcerer’s mother loved her sculpture, though she was more than a little upset that her son didn’t take the time to visit.

Why Don’t Pigs Fly?

Answering life’s most impossible questions through the power of storytelling.

Years ago, when magic was still a part of everyday life, dogs flew. They filled the skies with their long, feathery wings and howling (which could get annoying, but oh well). It was a wonderful site, and a basic commonality of everyday life. Not to mention, the dogs were kind souls, so everyone was happy that they were the ones to receive the gift of flight.

Or so everyone thought. One day, the pigs decided that they deserved the gift of flight far more than those mangey mutts (excuse me for the language). They wanted wings for themselves. So they went to the birds (who did not have wings yet, of course) and asked them for help. The birds refused to help the pigs because they knew the dogs were good animals. So the pigs stormed off and decided to trick the dogs on their own.

The pigs went to a sorcerer (who was very powerful, but a bit ignorant and new to the job) and told him that the dogs were having trouble with their wings. They said the wings weren’t working quite right, but they couldn’t figure out what was wrong while they were on the dogs’ bodies. The sorcerer was troubled by this, and agreed to cast a spell to remove the wings of all the dogs so that they could take a look at them.

When the dogs landed on the ground to settle in for the night, the sorcerer cast his spell, and all of the dogs’ wings fell off. The dogs howled and barked in surprise and fear as their wings (which were no longer their wings; the sorcerer didn’t realize, but the wings could not be reattached) were magically whisked away. They chased their wings to the sorcerer’s house and the lead dog (what type of dog was he? A labrador, of course. A labrador with a coat of gold, because he was basically the king) entered on the behalf of all the dogs in the world.

The dog asked what was going on and the sorcerer explained. The lead dog told the sorcerer that the dogs’ wings had been working fine. It dawned on them what had happened, and they turned to the lead pig (yes, there’s also a lead pig; he’s bright pink, which is where the stereotype of what color pigs are comes from), who was trying to attach the wings to his own body (which was possible because they needed a new owner and could not go back to the dogs, but it could not be done without magic, so the pig wasn’t getting anywhere).

The pig realized that his plan had failed and tried to defend himself, but the sorcerer would have none of it. He cast a spell on the pig (a very powerful spell that he was certain he knew everything about) that made it so that no pig would ever be able to fly (at least, not on their own). The pig screeched in anger and rampaged around the house, but the sorcerer cast him out and far away (to a farm, to be precise, which is why pigs are now known as farm animals).

With the pig gone, the lead dog was able to properly mourn for his lost wings. The sorcerer apologized, for there was nothing he could do to help him. As they sat in their mourning, a bird (there’s no lead bird, they only have a Council) hopped in, breathing heavily from the exhaustion of walking so far on its little feet. It told the sorcerer and lead dog about how the pigs tried to get the help of the birds (how the pigs thought the birds could help, the world may never know) and how the birds were sorry they hadn’t made it in time to warn them. If only they could move faster…

The sorcerer and dog looked at each other and grinned. The lead dog turned to the bird and offered to give all of birdkind (blackbirds, hummingbirds, geese, and all the rest) their lost wings. The bird was shocked and wouldn’t accept the gift at first, but (upon hearing that the dogs could not have their wings back and there was no one else they wanted to give them to) ended up accepting.

The sorcerer cast his spell, and the wings attached themselves to all of birdkind. The bird who had entered flapped its wings in wonder, but didn’t know how to use them. It asked the dog, but the dog didn’t know. They never had to learn how to fly. They just knew from birth. So the bird hopped to the window and jumped out (why it thought that would be a good idea, the world may never know). The lead dog and sorcerer yelled in fear, but were stunned to see the bird flying like it had had wings its whole life (this is why birds hop out of trees without question when learning to fly).

From that day forward, all birds had wings, dogs lived on the ground (and as household pets, a tradition that the lead dog started with the sorcerer), and pigs were cursed to never fly on their own. This is why people say “when pigs fly” when they think something will never happen.


“Miracles are everywhere. Miracles are goodness — sometimes showing up in the strangest ways: through people who are just passing through our lives, to dear friends who are there for us no matter what. Miracles are love. Miracles are God — and God is forgiveness.”

– Christy Beam in Miracles from Heaven

The Endless Hospital

As well as a failed trip to somewhere and a fight for my life. (Recounted Dream)

A few nights ago, I had a really weird dream.

Understand, when I have a weird dream, it isn’t like other weird dreams where the randomest things happen. In my strangest dreams, not everything makes sense, but there is some order to everything.

So this dream started off in a hospital parking lot. Except, it wasn’t a normal hospital. This hospital had no end. It wasn’t very tall, but in either direction, it disappeared into the distance.

There were cars in the parking lot, but a large rectangular area the size of a football field was clear and my Color Guard was practicing on it. No band, just the Guard.

The really weird part about the Guard was that it wasn’t a mismatch of people like you normally see in a dream. I recognized each girl as a girl who was or had been in the same Guard as me in the past. I even recognized my main director, and he acted exactly as he would in real life.

So during a break, I grab two of my closest friends and we go for a walk. We end up in an area of the hospital that, thinking back on it, looked vagueally like a pure white version of the outside of my school.

We enter the hospital and find ourselves in the entryway of a large waiting room, which is entirely filled but mostly quiet. Some people in the room are injured, some are sick, some have crying babies, but all are just waiting. Doctors and nurses enter and exit, but the room never clears.

My friends and I don’t stay long. When we exit, I bring up how I’ll have to leave our Guard trip to Ecuador (or Florida, somewhere tropical) early so that I can meet my family in China.

I don’t know why the whole Guard was taking a trip to somewhere tropical, and I don’t know why my family was in China or why I had to meet them there, but that’s what was happening.

So my friends tell me I’ll have to let our director know, and I say something along the lines of, “Of course! Actually, we should go right now.”

We get to the part of the parking lot we had been practicing on, only to find everyone taking the last few things they need or packing their bags.

I go up to my director and let him know the situation, and he says it’s fine, but I’ll need to be careful because he’s in charge of me so long as we’re on the trip. I agree to be careful, and we get going.

I turn around, and suddenly we’re in the airport. Everything is noisy and chaotic. The Guard is running around in a million places at once, getting their luggage checked in and getting their tickets and finding their passports and going through security, and it’s just crazy.

And then I realize, I need to leave to meet my parents in China right away. Somehow, I guess I’m already through the gate because I start pushing back through security, yelling over my shoulder to my friends that I have to go.

Then I’m racing through the airport with no idea where to go, no ticket, and only my backpack because I left my luggage behind. Yet I keep running. I don’t stop until I realize I’ve lost my passport, and only then do I feel lost and defeated.

I turn around and find myself in the library of my high school. A different close friend of mine stands with me, looking upset. Other people sit randomly around the room, all with pale faces and sunken eyes.

My friend tells me they’re sick, all of them, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to help them. Fear for them starts to fill me, but I know I can’t give up on them.

I step forward towards someone sitting nearby, and suddenly I’m in the middle of some hollowed-out tree. I turn around and can see the outside world: clear skies, green grass, but it looks more like a painting than reality.

I turn back around. Around me are five paths. One wide one directly in front of me, two narrower ones on either side of it, and two narrower one to either side of the outside world/painting.

I choose to go down the narrow path to my left, the one next to the wide one. I head down a set of stairs and find myself in a room with three paintings like the ones in a Mario game I used to play, where the paintings led to the different worlds.

Then I heard a laugh and turned around to find this stage, and on the stage one of those platforming Mario games was playing. And standing in front of the stage was Bowser. He was the one who laughed.

Somehow, I know Bowser was the one who had caused the illness of all those people, and I knew he had to be stopped. But I was just me.

He started attacking me and I did my best to fight back, but unlike the usual thing that happens where you become some ulmighty, powerful hero in the face of danger, I was still just me. I had no powers or strength or speed. I had nothing.

It was a hopeless battle and I knew it, but I couldn’t stop. There was no point to stopping. If I stopped, I would get sick and die like everyone else. If I kept fighting, Bowser would kill me.

I knew I was going to die, so I just kept fighting. And then I woke up.

I don’t know how the fight ended exactly, but my guess is I lost.