They did a study and found people enjoy stories more when they know it will be a happy ending, so they can relax and absorb the story more deeply.
You should know this has an unhappy ending.
You’re still with me. Do you want an unhappy ending? Is that what you’re saying staying here? Or, are you a such an optimist hoping I am just playing with you, my favorite reader, testing your resolve as we go through this story together, hoping to get me to have a change of heart and mind? There is a monster at the end of this story.
Once upon a time there was a man named Hamid. Hamid loved cookies. As soon as Hamid got money as a child, he would spend it on cookies. Hamid’s favorite thing about being an adult is the freedom to eat cookies any where any time. Hamid was never without a box of cookies. His friends and colleagues called him, ‘The Cookie Monster,’ a moniker Hamid wore with pride.
Now, you’d expect Hamid to be really fat and out of shape, after a lifetime diet of chocolate chip cookies, oreos, macaroons, but, Hamid looked and sounded to be in great shape. Hamid attributed it to good genes, exercise, and a body that needed cookies. His body had grown accustomed to being fed a steady diet of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, (his favorite) or, oatmeal, or even biscotti, if he was looking to go Italian.
Until one day Hamid went blind. Blindness struck him suddenly as he was walking down the street. One second he was checking out the ass of the lady in front of him, the next second he was walking straight into a lamp post. The first thing to strike him after the lamp post was the pain, and the thought that this was karma for checking out the lady’s ass. He thought that knocking his forehead against the post had caused a temporary blindness that would go away in second or so. But after seconds became minutes Hamid became scared that he was really blind.
Though he had smacked his head and fallen down on a busy city street in front of dozens of people, no one came to his help. Hamid sat on the sidewalk, legs sprawled out, people walking all around him. After a half an hour Hamid was too embarrassed to cry out for help. He felt around the sidewalk till he found the base of the lamp post. He pulled himself up then realized it was impossible to get home without assistance.
“Help.” Hamid mumbled. The woman walking by, the only one to hear Hamid’s mumble for help, figured it was a pathetic pickup line and kept walking. “Help.” Hamid said a little louder, but not loud enough to get anyone’s attention. “Help! Help!” People thought he was crazy and avoided him. “Please help me!”
The ‘please’ got Kate to approach the man and ask, “Are you alright? Can I help you?”
Hamid faced the direction of the voice. “Oh, thank you! Yes! I am blind can you get me to a hospital?”
“Maybe I could put you in a taxi and you could get there that way?” Kate offered. And one minute later, Kate was helping Hamid into the cab, though she did not get in herself.
“Bye! I told the driver to take you to the nearest hospital. You can pay him when you get there!” Kate said before slamming the door.
“We’re here,” The taxi driver announced, pulling up to the hospital doors, “ten bucks.”
Hamid handed the driver a bill pulled from his wallet. “Is that enough?”
It was a twenty. “Yeah, ten bucks spot on,” the driver said through his teeth.
“I want to give you a tip, but, could you help me get checked in, please?”
“Sure, pal.” The driver killed the engine.
The doctor did not have happy news. First he informed Hamid that the driver had stolen his pants and wallet and he would have to go home in a hospital robe. Then he told him he had type 136 diabetes, a new strand that the doctor had never seen before. The doctor thanked Hamid for introducing him to such a medical rarity. The doctor was on hour thirty-five of a thirty-six hour shift and had lost all sense of reality at hour twenty-nine.
“According to the internet, your average type of type 136 diabetes is immune to penicillin and strikes you dead minutes after striking you blind,” the doctor quoted from the wikipedia definition of type 136 diabetes.
“Was it caused by too many cookies?” Hamid wanted to know his killer. He was relieved when he found it wasn’t him.
“Cookies? Cookies doesn’t give you type 136 diabetes, no, you get it from praying to the wrong god.”
“What?” Hamid was sure he hadn’t heard the doctor right.
“What?” Hamid was confused, not knowing the doctor was offering an after dinner mint, something he did to all his patients receiving bad news. He thought the mint helped soften the blow. Sure, they were dying of something terminal, but at least their breath didn’t stink. They could kiss their loved ones good bye without fear of halitosis.
“I see you’re blind, are you deaf, too? Would you care for a mint?”
“Might make it easier to swallow.”
Hamid went home with another taxi, and sat in his living room waiting to die with really bad breath. When he did eventually get around to dying, forty-one years later of a heart attack, his last thought was regret that he hadn’t started living.