June 12th, 2012 / 12:45 pm

ToBS R4: ‘everybody has a story’ vs. Daily facebook updates of what you ate

[matchup #58 in Tournament of Bookshit]

Well, I really wanted this one to go the other way. I know I’m meant to be impartial, but really: everybody has a story? Um, no they don’t. (See, you can’t even talk about it without getting into the whole pronoun thing.) Everybody has a skull, sure, and a pet fish, but a story? Most people have neither beginning, middle, nor end. They just sort of float out there waiting to get stabbed.

Whereas, daily Facebook updates of what you ate? Yum! More please. You had kale? You pig, you did not! Bonus points if you braised something, because I don’t know what that means. But it sounds delish.

But the internet doesn’t lie. That’s why it was invented. So that reactionary “everybody has a story” bullshit wins this round. But it’s not a total wash, because a man can dream.

In my dream, everybody really does have a story, and they post it to Yahoo! Answers, and everyone is enthralled. Because that’s what a true story does: it answers an incredibly stupid question. “Which washcloth do you like best of these three?” has an answer, and that answer takes the form of an epic quest. An assistant pig-keeper rises to become the head pig-keeper. A young princess bonks her head on a canister and can’t remember where she put something. (It was in something else.) That’s the wonder of stories: that’s why we read. That’s why we spend half the day talking to idiots. So while it is not strictly speaking true that everybody has a story, it is true that there is a story in which everybody does. And the name of that story is “Bitter Robocall” or “You Got Nothin’ Comin’,” and when I am finished writing it I will clasp the asp to my breast.

Michael Robbins

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WINNER: ‘everybody has a story’

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