The Cosmic Balancing Act

by Adam Acidophilus

There was once a poor little orphan girl who had neither father nor mother, and was forced to live with a cruel and benevolent aunt. She ate alone, she played alone, she lived a lonely life, and walked alone each day to the village school.

“Although your life is awful — ” remarked the girl who sat beside her — “you must remember that your misery is finite: for everything will even out in the end. In the future you may be sure of boundless joy and happiness; I call it ‘The Cosmic Balancing Act’ . . .

“For every thing you lack today — every toy, every sweet, every parent — you shall be repaid a hundredfold tomorrow. For every slap, every tear, every moment of unkindness — every terrifying threat in the guise of religious wisdom — you may expect the opposite tomorrow.”


“Oh yes.”

“A hundredfold?”

“Oh yes.”


“Figuratively speaking.”

Encouraged by these sentiments the orphan girl endured a dark and gothic childhood and, when her old aunt finally died, she was generously put to work in a factory.

There she was maltreated, for the work was dirty and exhausting. The hours were long; the pay went straight to her benefactors. Twelve hours a day, six days a week, for weeks and months and years — and only the Sundays off to go to worship.

“At least you have your dignity,” her old school friend assured her — sitting in the church pew beside her. “For remember, everything evens out in the end. Consider how skilled and useful you are, the status you hold amongst your colleagues. The independence! The blessing of the work ethic! The harmonious symmetry of the Cosmic Balancing Act! It’s better than eating cakes all week, or fussing with your dresses and your lapdog.”

And so the orphan girl laboured on, inhaling silicates and cotton fibres, lead, asbestos and radioactive paint — for the factory where she worked made fucking everything.

And soon enough she was taken to the paupers’ infirmary, weakened and poisoned and doomed, where her old school friend — a volunteer counsellor and hospital visitor — offered her the balm of timeless wisdom.

“Have I never told you,” the friend began, “that everything will even out in the end? For some, an early peace — for others, an eternity of tea parties and obesity.

“No doubt the hardships of your life have been duly noted in that great and wondrous ledger. You may expect some recompense at last; again we see at work the Cosmic Balancing Act.”

And so the sickly orphan girl expired from sheer annoyance and, a few weeks later, a rabid chihuahua ripped out her school friend’s throat.

Moral: Everything evens out in the end. (In fables.)


© Adam Acidophilus 2018