Once in a blue moon a snooty student will ask me, "Why, professor Blue, sir, however in the world did it come about that you are, dare I say, majestically blue?" I know, it's an odd question to ask a person. It's like asking a mongoose why it's got hair, but it sure wins hands down (feet, too) from that other linguistic oddity: "Professor Blue, sir, what big ears you have." That's when I tell the inquisitive brown-nose admiring my late nineteenth-century mahogany desk to take a seat asap as I try to formulate an answer that somehow doesn't involve Bora Bora, reboots and Star Wars.
Here we go. It's time for a history lesson, and this one won't hurt a bit. Ahem...
"When my great-grandfather, the distinguished millionaire and amateur philosopher Bartholome White II, set foot on Bora Bora after his private ship had sunk to the bottom of the Bora Pacific in 1899, his skin was white as snow. This is a curious fact given that my skin is as blue as that cookie monster tap dancing on Broadway three nights a week. Anyway, all of my great-grandfather's fellow shippals had perished and, instead of a FedEx approved ball called Wilson, all he ever found on that Bora Shora to keep him company was a blue shoe.
Minor detail: not only was my great-grandfather white as virgin snow, and some would say aptly named, he was also very much butt-naked when The Bartholome went down. Why? I hear you ask. Well, because he happened to be taking a very long sea water themed bath with his rubber duck Boba when all of a sudden lightning struck three times and split his ship in half. It's a fact. I kid you not. But luckily he found a blue shoe and guess what.... it was a magic shoe. Yes, sir.
Now, when my great-grandfather found that ordinary-looking shoe, he didn't know it would turn his life upside down ─ as in completely. Let's be honest, it was ugly, it was stinky, and, worst of all, it was a size 8. My great-grandfather's feet very much preferred a manly size 10. Would you believe me if I told you that a whopping nineteen hundred and seventy days had passed when it finally occurred to him that talking to a shoe wasn't such a bad idea after all? So he did. He looked inside that shoe (sniff sniff) and poured his heart out: "Oh Shoe, I'm so lonely! I'm soooooooooooo lonely! Boo hoo hoo! Boo hoo hoo! (Imagine a very manly cry when he went boo hoo hoo.) Boo hoooooo! Now, if only I could somehow (sniff sniff) find my way home. I would do anything! ANYTHING! I would... I would.... boo hoo hooo!"
"Anything?" a minxy voice said.
My great-grandfather was boo hoo hooing so dramatically he didn't hear the voice.
"ANYTHING?" the voice asked again, a bit louder this time. It was Jenny, the voluptuous blue shoe genie.
My great-grandfather dropped his shoeful companion and his face turned whiter than the whitest snow you've ever seen. (That's saying a lot considering that he was really white from head to head to toe.) His heart raced. He couldn't think. He was going mad. He missed his rubber duck. This was it, people. This was the moment he'd been dreading for a whopping nineteen hundred and seventy days: Madness and his uncle Lunacy had snuck up on him and mercilessly and ever so cruelly struck him down, nay, struck him like a ball of lightning and nearly split him in half, too. He was going to sink. Philosopher Bartholome was going down.
To cut a long story short, because I know you want to check your Facebook messages, the blue shoe genie fell in love with my great-grandfather, told him she could teleport him to any place on the planet but he would have to kiss her 10,000 times. Long, sloppy kisses, too. Bartholome, of course, panicked.
"But, but I have a wife!" he pleaded. "I'm married!"
"It's the only way," the naughty genie whispered in his ear, pre-drooling at the thought of 10,000 long and sloppy kisses. I kid you not.
Such was the desperation of my great-grandfather that he, Bartholome II, was wondering if perhaps he had been sniffing that shoe for, well, way too long (1970 days!) and was now seeing things, horny blue genies to be precise. He closed his eyes. Oh c'mon! Horny genies don't exist, and I have never even read about voluptuous genies the size of my manly white legs or the color of ordinary-looking blue shoes. I must have been sniffing that shoe for way too long. But, alas, when he opened his eyes his longing genie was still winking at him and pouting her lips. She was real, all right. Better get to work then. May the kissing commence. A man's got to do what a man's got to do.
Now, here's the most curious part of my great-grandfather's ordeal. Somehow during those 10,000 long and sloppy kisses, all of the genie's blue hue was transferred to my great-grandfather. Call it punishment. Call it a twist of random fate.
"You're white!" he screamed.
"You're blue!" she yelled.
"I'm blue!" he screamed.
"I'm white!" she yelled.
"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" they both blared, and all the monkeys that had been hiding in the bushes, getting more and more excited on account of those passionate 10,000 long and sloppy kisses, shrieked in unison and fled the premises. Those shameless voyeurs!
To cut this non-Star Wars story about a man who started out solo then ended up with a genie even shorter, the now perfectly snow white shoe lady couldn't unblue her Bartholome, hard as she tried. That white guy could not be rebooted. No, Ma'am. I mean, there are only so many things a genie can do, right? (Some suspect that saucy minx had just plain lied to him and wanted to be white, is all, but there's no evidence to support that absurd non-PC claim.) What that drooling genie did do for sure was snap her voluptuous little fingers and, snap, just like that, she transported my great-grandfather and his shoe to that place he called home.
His wife, my great-grandmother Lily von Brown, this guy's sister, was so happy to see him (even though there was something odd about her brand new husband that she couldn't quite put her finger on) that they made lots of big fat babies and, lo and behold, they all came out blue. The horror! Did I mention my great-grandfather changed his name to Bartholome Blue to avoid mockery? He did.
When my great-grandmother asked him why he was blue, he said he had missed her so much that his heartbroken inside must have somehow become his outside. On other occasions he would simply blame the blue shoe, that stinky Wilson-wannabe which, the truth be told, made it possible for him to make many blue babies, babies who one day would make their own blue babies and one of them would have me, professor Blue. And the stinky shoe that had made all of us blue was given to me by my great-grandfather Bartholome's son, my grandfather El Scoobyvis I.
He said, "Son, this is a very important blue suede shoe. It's a family shoe. Protect it with your life. Guard it with your soul. Cherish it with your left foot." Little Blue was proud to have been bestowed such an important artefact, because an artefact it was. He asked a famous shoemaker called Grandmaster Hatt to make a matching blue shoe so he could wear his magic shoe with pride and not look like an idiot wearing only one shoe. But then a stupid kangaroo stole the magic shoe and it has been lost ever since. Yes, the horror! Needless to say, I've been blue on the inside as well as on the outside ever since. So that's why I am Blue. The end.
Now get out of my office and count pink rabbits."
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