Ms Inthus Tubble, email

ONCE upon a time there was a man named Benny.

Benny was a simple man with simple talents and simple desires. He was a quiet fellow who loved to walk the beach when he had some time to spare. He was the kind of guy you wouldn’t mind having a drink with, but anything more might be tedious. One day, as Benny was walking the beach, he stumbled over a small black jar-shaped object. He curiously picked it up and began to brush off the sand.

Suddenly, there was rush of wind, and Benny winced as sand flew into his eyes, blinding him temporarily. By the time he opened his eyes, a shadow had been cast over him. He looked up to see a genie towering above him.

“I am the genie of the urn,” said the genie. “You have released me. Tell me your one true desire, and I will grant it.”

Benny could hardly believe what he was seeing.

He thought for a moment and said: “Well, I’ve always wanted a magnificent beard. I’ve always had a hard time with the ladies, and I hear girls are really attracted to a great beard.”

“Very well,” replied the genie. “You may have your beard. However, I must warn you that this beard comes at a price: You must never shave it off.”

Benny thought for a moment before agreeing to the genie’s conditions. In a flash, a luxuriant beard sprouted from Benny’s chin and grew until finally it reached his belly. This was fantastic! Surely he would be a ladies’ man now!

So years passed by, and Benny had become an icon of beard lovers everywhere. He won contest after contest, and women found him irresistible.

Then one day, he met the woman of his dreams.

They went on several dates together before she revealed to him that she really wanted to see him without his beard. Benny loved his beard, but he loved this woman much more, so he agreed to shave it off.

So the next morning, Benny grabbed his razor and started to shave his beard. In a flash, he was teleported into a round, black room.

“W-where am I,” he stammered, terrified.

“You have disobeyed the one rule, Benny,” a voice roared. It was the genie.

“B-but it’s only a beard!” Benny protested. “Why are you doing this to me?”

“When my rules are broken, you must be punished,” the genie boomed. “So you will remain here in my urn for all eternity, and the world will know your faults.”

And from that day forth, Benny’s fate has taught all other Bennys of the world the most important lesson of all: A Benny shaved is a Benny urned.