Goldilocks and the Forebears

Once upon a time there was a girl named Goldilocks because she was born late on a Friday night and the new shipment of normal names comes in Saturday mornings. Goldilocks was very curious, like another famous character with a name beginning with a ‘G’, albeit a much more normal one. One day she was walking through the woods and came upon a cottage. She knocked on the door but no one answered. There was a sign on the cottage that said “Genealogical Centre”.

Goldilocks decided that waiting for the employees to come back was for chumps. Not considering herself to be of that particular demographic, she used a rock to disengage some annoying glass from the door, reached through, and unlocked it.

Once inside, she flicked on the light. She saw three machines on a table, each with a roll of film loaded on the spools. She sat down to look at the first machine. The display had records from hundreds of years in the past. “This film is too old,” she said.

Goldilocks moved over to the next machine. It was displaying records from hundreds of years in the future. “This film is too new,” she said.

She moved over to the third machine and looked at the display. It was showing the archives relevant to her family history. “This film is just right,” she said.

Goldilocks was looking at her grandparents’ records when the Centre’s director returned from his lunch at El Porridge Loco. She spun around as he entered. He scowled at the broken glass and demanded, “Did you do this breaking in here?”

Goldilocks thought hard. She explained, “I saw aliens breaking in and followed them inside to stop them from marauding! I just chased them off!”

The director raised a skeptical eyebrow. Actually, the rest of him was skeptical as well. But only the eyebrow was raised.

Goldilocks realized that story was too far-fetched. She said, “Did I say aliens? Breaking in? And that I chased them? I meant to say that I broke the glass and unlocked the door to get in.”

The director got angry, “I’ll call the magistrate to report your crime!”

Oops, Goldilocks thought. That story was too near-fetched. She quickly cleared her throat and said, “Sorry, I had something in my throat that may have caused you to misunderstand. I saw that the glass was broken when I walked by, so I came in to see if there was a problem.”

That story was just right. The director was mollified. He let Goldilocks finish doing her genealogical research.

Goldilocks figured it was time to head home. She bade the director farewell and walked towards the door. She looked outside and just barely had time to dodge back before a radioactive alien laser bio-missile shot past, into the Centre. The detonation tore through the cottage, destroying it. Fortunately, the radioactive bio-explosive alien laser blast spliced into Goldilocks’s genes, giving her superpowers before she was obliterated. She flew all around the world, blowing aliens up and saving humanity.

On second thought, that ending was too exciting. Goldilocks actually just left the genealogical Centre and went home, did her homework, ate barley soup for dinner, and went to bed.

Sorry, that one wasn’t exciting enough. What really happened was this: Goldilocks started walking home along the forest path. When she was halfway to her destination, a wolf stepped out in front of her. It growled and prepared to spring for her throat.

Goldilocks looked around for a weapon. She saw three objects to the side of the path: a spoon, an aircraft carrier, and a sword. She began reaching for the spoon, but caught herself. She wondered, why do I always go for the first two suboptimal choices? Why not just go for the third thing every time? Is that even allowed?

Feeling slightly guilty, she ignored the spoon and aircraft carrier, and grabbed the sword. It felt just right in her hand. She swung at the wolf as it leapt at her, and chopped off its head.

She continued home, amazed at what she had done. Life would be so much simpler if she just went for the third item every time! She lived happily ever after except for one unpleasant day when, on her lunch break on her first day as a subway engineer, she chose a rail to sit on while she ate.

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