How to Tell a Good Story

My best friend through pretty much all of my school years was a guy named Chip. One day, when we were high school seniors, I think, he says to me, “Did I ever tell you the story of Mesmer?”

I said, “No.”

He said, “There was this guy who invented hypnotism. His name was Mesmer. He called it Mesmerism.”

We sat in silence for a moment, then we laughed at how pointless the story was, and how badly he’d told it. (To his credit, he laughed at himself harder than I laughed at him.)

As terrible as the story was, of all the stories I’ve ever been told, it’s the one I’ve retold the most.


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