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Tale of the Purple People Eater

Updated on July 12, 2014
Drawing produced for the story by artist Elena Grin
Drawing produced for the story by artist Elena Grin

Once upon a time

in the land of Benetton there lived people of many different colours. And they lived for a very long time because they used a very special cream on their skin called the St-Ives anti-ageing gel. Sometimes they even used this gel to brush their teeth, especially when they thought that they may soon be getting into a fight.

But the odd fight here and there was not a major problem for the many coloured people of Benetton. On the whole they had learned to live in peace and harmony. Then one day, a purple people eater showed up out of nowhere. He was a big fat purple ogre who loved to gorge out on the purple people of the United Peoples of Benetton. How he got into the country nobody knows. But there he was searching out the purple people for breakfast, lunch and supper.

This soon became a problem for the unity of the United Peoples of Benetton. Because the number of purple people diminished which affected the country’s population colour code statistics. Meaning that the lower number of purple people, with each passing generation, changed the hue and saturation of all the other colours of the United Peoples of Benetton. Their colours started to blend and they all started to look more alike.

To remedy this, the country’s authorities, the white people, who were now all a deep pearl colour, or even worse, some were starting to look pink, dark yellow and even olive green—you know, sickly looking—they decided to import more purple people from other countries. At first the white authorities were happy with this solution, and indeed, it seemed to be a real solution as the colour codes were beginning to revert back to their original pure spectrum.

But then, after a few generations, the purple people started sprouting teeny-weeny polka-dot bikinis on their skin. As soon as the white authorities noticed this they quickly quarantined the purple people to keep the polka-dots from spreading and contaminating the rest of the United Colours of Benetton.

Well, you can only imagine what a problem this created for the big fat purple people eater. He got so mad that he started to eat the white people. Then the white people got alarmed and had a very very long committee meeting around a giant egg shaped table where the three presidents sat at the pointy end.

One idea they had was to allow the purple people eater into the quarantine pen and let him eat the purple people there. But then they feared that after the supply of purple people ran out the purple people eater would turn around and eat from the other colours. So they decided to import more purple people from other countries, coaxing them into believing that a good life was waiting for them in the United Peoples of Benetton. And then, quickly, before they could mate and spread their polka-dots, they would be kidnapped and delivered to the quarantine’s cantina for the purple people eater’s dinner.

Well this worked for a while. But eventually the purple people eater also sprouted a green polka-dot bikini on his skin and became very ill. The rest of the population outside the quarantine was beginning to mix colours again and look like a dirty cream of celery soup.

Code name for agent orange gas used in Vietnam?
Code name for agent orange gas used in Vietnam? | Source

Well this worked for a while.

But eventually the Purple People Eater also sprouted a green polka-dot bikini on his skin and became very ill. The rest of the population outside the quarantine was beginning to mix colours again and look like a dirty cream of celery soup.

So another committee meeting around the egg shaped table was called with the three presidents presiding at the pointy end. They had to figure out how to purify their population and also heal the Purple People Eater. The key seemed to lie in curing the green polka-dots. They needed a vaccine. But first they had to figure out if the disease was viral or bacterial. So they called in a famous expert named Hippocrates who was also, as luck would have it, purple.

They gave Hippocrates his own research lab and he quickly set himself to the task. A year later the great doctor presented the egg-shaped committee with an anti-viral vaccine named Ex-Thrax. They quickly tested it on a statistically relevant population sample and — Eureka! It worked like a charm. They eradicated the polka-dot virus, healed the Purple People Eater and set him free to eat the infinite supply of pre-vaccinated purple people that could now be imported into the country.

Only, later a new complication emerged. The Ex-Thrax vaccine, it turned out had some side-effects. It neutralised the effects of the St-Ives Anti-Ageing Gel. Remember the anti-ageing gel? And we all know what that meant. Since, the anti-ageing gel was calibrated differently for each colour group guaranteeing an equally long life for everyone. Without the gel, the United Peoples of Benetton, were left to age according to their colour group’s organic code. Some aged quickly and died early, before they even had a chance to mate and pass on the colour of their genes. Others, despite the gel’s name, lived even longer without it and mated for several generations over.

You could imagine the problems that this caused! Yes, indeed. The whole colour population spectrum scrambled as never before — some colour groups merged into ugly mongrel tones, others separated into new irritatingly dark shades. But worst of all, since pure purple no longer existed, the Purple People Eater became confused and mad and started eating from many of the other neighbouring colours.


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