Once there was a planet named earth, and everyone who lived there thought that they were very important. So important, it seems, that they spent a lot of time thinking about themselves and saying thing like: “That’s my toy”, “I want a shrubbery”, “Give me back my stick”, and such nonsense. Most folks thought they were the center of the universe until someone who spent a lot of time not thinking of himself looked through his telescope and discovered that they were not the center of the universe. This made people very gloomy, and they mostly decided not to hang around with that person anymore. Then someone suggested that maybe, just maybe, there was a reason for their existence. Many people liked this idea but no one could ever figure out what that reason was. This led to mass confusion until someone suggested that there really was no reason to begin with and everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief. While they were relaxing, someone who claimed to be God said that he was the reason for their existence, but this made people very uptight. After everyone calmed down, they began to think that maybe the whole “existing for a reason” thing wasn’t so bad after all. Reasons began popping up all over the earth, things like: Winning the biggest bear at the ring-toss game at the local amusement park; finding out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop, discovering why the chicken crossed the road, and various other intellectual pursuits. Still, others hated reasons, and preferred to hang around with monkeys and imagine that they were a lot alike. However, people believed in their own reasons and liked to club other people in the head with big sticks who didn’t agree with their reasons. This went on for many years. After a while, the earth decided it did not like people clubbing each other over the head and maniacally burst into a ball of flame. Silence filled the empty space where the earth once stood. The universe was quite happy that all the fighting had stopped and peacefully continued to expand while the stars continued to shine. However, after a million years passed, the universe found no reason to continue, became very depressed, and requested of God that he end the whole mess. So God turned on his celestial garbage disposal and the universe was no more. And so it was that nothing moved, or shined, or lived, or carried big sticks ever again.