Once upon a time, in a land not so far away and not so different from ours, lived a lonely bottle of Zima. This bottle of Zima had no name, for bottles of Zima were not different enough to need names. Zima thought he had a good life, for a Zima, and couldn’t quite understand why he was so lonely. He was surrounded by friends, other similar bottles of Zima, and his friends all said they looked up to him. He took care of himself, making sure his bottle was always polished perfectly, so that the clean lines of his hard body were prominent. He really thought he was one of the more attractive bottles of Zima but he still felt empty, somehow.
One day the bottle of Zima was walking through the woods when one particular tree caught his eye. It was tall and gray. He thought it might have been a Birch but he really couldn’t be sure. He was a bottle of Zima, after all. The bottle of Zima walked up to the tree and studied it. It’s roots were firmly held in the ground, having spent countless generations lasting the inconsistent and fierce, and sometimes even baffling, weather. He was mesmerized by how strong the tree was despite the fact that it still seemed so delicate.
The bottle of Zima moved forward to touch the strong and powerful tree and as he did, a fairy burst from its smooth, sturdy bark. The fairy’s wings flapped quickly and effortlessly, shimmering in the sunbeam that had suddenly appeared in the forest. The fairy turned quickly, looking for the specimen that had brought her from the safety of her home in the hollow. The fairies of the wood were incredibly powerful but often misunderstood. They came in many shades and made their homes in many different habitats but all had the magical powers of compassion, empathy and justice and they all had the abilities to make the unimaginable imaginable. Because of this, they had been forced into hiding long ago, knowing that was the only way they’d be able to continue their work.
When the fairy’s gaze landed on the bottle of Zima, her head tilted and her eyes scanned over the figure in front of her. The bottle couldn’t move under her scrutiny, he could feel her assessing him, seeing deep down to his core.
The fairy jolted suddenly and flew in a circle around the bottle, glittery dust following in her wake, slowly dancing in the air. She returned to where she started, doing two swift flips before stopping and hovering in front of him.
“What is it that you seek?”
“I don’t think that I should be a bottle of Zima.”
“And why is that,” asked the fairy.
“I’m much stronger than the other bottles of Zima and much more attractive, everyone says so. And I should be, I spend a lot of time making sure I look good. I make all of the right choices and I think all the right thoughts.”
“You do,” asked the fairy.
“And you think this means that you aren’t supposed to be a bottle of Zima?”
“Yes, I’m better than that. I’m better than just being an anonymous bottle of Zima. And I’m tired of not having a first name. I want a name. I deserve a name. Two names, even!”
The fairy looked at the bottle and circled once more
Dipping and flipping and beginning to soar.
She glided around and sprinkled her gold
and paused at her subject before she foretold:
“Whatever I do, you will always be you.
Whether a bottle of Zima or something totally new.”
The bottle understood, that was fine with him.
He was too good to be Zima, this wasn’t a whim.
Once the fairy was sure it was the right thing to do,
she took out her wand and tapped his cap, one…two.
A bomb of tiny stars surrounded the bottle, swirling quickly and kicking up the wind around him. He could feel an immeasurable pressure before the sky changed around him and the wood was no longer a wood.
The nature had turned to stone and cement. The crisp, clear environment had turned thick with hot air. What was once his home, was now far away. He was in his new home. The home he had asked for. The home he felt he deserved.
And that, boys and girls, is the story of how Paul Ryan became Speaker of the House.