The Grand Vizier
“I know where you can find him,” she said. Her eyes lowered to the ground.
“Fantastic! Let us go at once and find him,” the intrepid explorer said with a grin.
“I…” she lifted her eyes from the ground. “I don’t know if… you’ll have to be sure that you really want to.”
“Of course I’m sure. I have made it my life’s work to find the grand vizier. I have dedicated a decade and a half to finding him. I have journeyed from one corner of the globe to the other. Why on earth would I stop now?”
A look of compassion flooded her eyes. She returned them to the ground.
“You’re sure? You want to find him no matter what? You wouldn’t maybe consider…” she trailed off.
The explorer stared at the young woman with a look of confusion. What horrifying secret could be so bad that she would want to deny him his life’s purpose?
“I am sure. I will find him wherever he is. Long and hard is the ro-”
“He’s over there,” she said as she pointed her finger.
“He’s right there. Standing there. In the corner.”
The explorer turned around. In the corner stood the grand vizier. The grand vizier stuck his tongue out.
The explorer turned back to the woman.
“I don’t understand,” he said.
“Well, here’s the thing,” she said. “I assumed that when you came here fifteen years ago and you were asking where the grand vizier was that you were either drunk or a lunatic. Because he was standing right there in the corner, where he always is. I assumed you either saw him and still asked, in which case you were a lunatic, or you didn’t see him and were just drunk or something, so I said in that weird voice, ‘Yes, you must search the world for him.’”
She cleared her throat.
“I didn’t know you were actually an explorer, and since he was standing right there, I didn’t know you’d actually go and search the world for a decade and a half. But when you came back, I realized that you weren’t drunk or crazy and actually did and I felt bad. Really, really bad. ‘Cuz you have spent fifteen years searching for a guy who has been standing in that corner pretty much the entire time.”
“But that’s absurd! Why would a grand vizier be hanging out in the corner of this room?”
She sighed as her arms fell to her sides. “Because he’s not a grand vizier.”
“What? I don’t underst-”
“Dude,” she exclaimed. “You are in a mental asylum. That’s why he’s standing in the corner. Who told you he was a grand vizier? Did he tell you that?”
The explorer’s cheeks flushed red.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought. You get a letter from a guy claiming to be a grand vizier and you go to the return address on the envelope and it’s a mental asylum. Then you talk to me, a patient in a mental asylum saying you’re an ‘explorer’ asking where to find the ‘grand vizier’ while holding up a picture of Larry with a pair of diapers on his head. Larry’s right there in the corner. Where he always is. That’s why I thought you were crazy.”
The explorer stared blankly.
“No, no, no,” he said as he wiped the sweat from his forehead and adjusted his Stetson hat. “That doesn’t check out at all. One can only conclude that the secret elite international organization the grand vizier informed me he was a member of planted that lookalike and has obviously gotten to you, forcing you to say…”