Once upon a time, in a land far in the future, there lived a people unremarkable in nature. A few might disagree and say this tale doesn't take place too far in the future, but no one disagrees about the people who live there being unremarkable.

The name of the land was Musac. Some claim the name originated from irritating elevator music. It did not, but that's a story for later.

The Musacians (that's what they called those who lived in Musac) did nothing that stood out. Any time. Any where. Their children did not win or lose because games never had winners. Or losers. Games promoted participation. This was ironic because not very many Musac children participated. Irony was lost on the Musacians. They just didn't have the energy for it.

Nor did they have the smarts. Musacians were known far and wide for being under-achievers. It was said that this was because the Musacian education system wasn't very good. That would be true. Grades were eliminated so no one would ever fail. Or feel bad. Or feel good. Participation was encouraged, although nothing in Musac was encouraged very much.

Especially at work. Once a Musacian reached the age of personhood, they went to work. Where was determined by spinning a giant wheel with different jobs on it. Now a reasonable person might be shocked at this and ask why careers weren't chosen by education? Well, since going to school was much more about participation than education, learning was not a big priority. But don't forget the really important fact that no Musac children ever failed either.

Back to work. Like the rest of Musac, work places were most unremarkable. The rules regarding work were simple. Workers should show up each day. That was it. Show up. It didn't matter if they did their job or not because just being there was good enough. After all, if one worker did too much, it would disrupt the system and show up all the other workers. No one wanted that.

If something ever did happen to a worker though, there would be no reason to worry. The government of Musac was there to take care of everyone, a fact as you can imagine most felt good about. The government provided. It did not matter that Musacians lost their free will in the exchange. After all, no one missed free will. It took too much energy and far too much work. Letting the government provide was a much easier answer.

Until one sad day when Musac was overrun by aggressors from a foreign land. It wasn't a war because there really wasn't any fighting. Musacians had long ago lost the ability and the desire to fight.

Our fairy tale comes to a conclusion as a group of aggressors are lounging in what used to be the town square. A young aggressor asked one of the old and wise warriors where the name Musac came from. He was told that the now conquered land was once a proud place, full of overachievers and fierce warriors. However, a group known as the Few But Loud insisted on modifying everything. The Few But Loud convinced others to change the supreme laws of the land that Musacians lived by. The Few But Loud persuaded everyone that winning was a bad thing, because when someone won that meant someone lost.

"But that's how you get better, isn't it?" the puzzled aggressor asked.

The wise, old warrior just smiled. "They lost all paths to improvement. That's why and how we are standing here today."

"I see," said the young one. "But that does not explain the name."

"Oh, I almost forgot," the elder said. "This once great land of proud people listened more and more to the Few But Loud. They liked being comfortable. Being great meant working hard. So they modified everything. That is how they came up with the name. They took their original name and put an M to stand for "modified" in front and a C for "comfortable" in back. So instead of USA it became Musac. But do you know what it is called now, young one?"

"No, oh wise one, I do not."


And they laughed and laughed. And they, but not the Musacians, lived happily ever after.

The end.

Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Tuesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be reached at ttimmons@thepaper24-7.com.