Crump the Grump from Joyville

Once upon time, there was an old tailor named Crump. Crump lived in a village called Joyville. He was born and raised there, and when his father and mother passed, he took over his father’s business. He was an older man, having just turned 63. He lived in Southwest Joyville, in the last cottage on the street at the end of the road. No other cottages were close, and its placement under huge, dark, droopy trees made his cottage look small, skittish, and a little haunted. 

He managed to have the same routine for 40 years. He would get up at 7 AM, make toast with a little butter, change into his button down shirt, brush his little gray hairs, scrub his teeth with toothpaste, and take his small car to work in downtown Joyville. 

While doing all that, and even through his whole day, the small little tailor did not show any positive emotion. His eyebrows drooped down to the point where they almost touched his eyes. His shoulders slouched forward, and his bottom lip poked out just a little bit. He was known in the town as “Crump the Grump.” His business was popular though, since he was the only tailor within a 100 mile radius. 

Joyville was quite small, with a population of 5,000 people. Each and every person who lived in Joyville never stopped being nice and always showed happy emotion – except for Crump. When people cried, they smiled, when people were mad, they smiled, when they were asleep, they smiled, and even when people were scared, they still smiled. There were no laws, and no bans on emotions. Everyone in that town was just wired to always be happy. They couldn’t show any other emotion. 

Although there was no penalty for not being happy, there was another universe that knew if there was a person in Joyville who was unhappy, that person would be granted a fairy. This other universe was just a bunch of busy bee-like fairies who worked all day to ensure every person in Joyville never stopped smiling. If every person smiled, their world would always be lit up and filled with joy. Each smile produced light, water, and electricity. They knew someone wasn’t happy if a light would go out, or if they were just short on water. 

One day while Fairy Shirley was showering, her water stopped. She panicked, and she knew she had to immediately find out who was interrupting her shower.  She gathered all her belongings and went straight to work. As she walked into the building, she heard light chitter chatter among her co-workers about how one person’s night light blew out, another lady’s stove didn’t turn on, and another man’s phone didn’t charge overnight.

She went into her supervisor’s room, and he told her to shut the curtains and lock the door.  

“Shirley, you must know what is happening, that’s why you’re here. You’re my best fairy. I am granting you to Crump Wilson. He lives on 123 Smiles Drive. He hasn’t smiled in 63 years. The system didn’t pick him up until now. We are 63 years behind Shirley; I need you to help this company so the corporation doesn’t shut us down.” 

Shirley didn’t hesitate; she made her way to Crump as soon as she could. Meanwhile Crump was busy at work. He was helping five loud, chattery groomsmen fit into tuxes. He had a short temper, so his mother called him Snappy and Snap for short. In fact, Snap is what his mom called him until the day she passed away. The five groomsmen were loud and touching everything, and kept trying to joke with Crump while he was trying to do his job.

All it took was for one of the men to tell Crump to snap out of it and to have some fun. His face turned bright red, and steam started to come out of his ears and nose. His fist clenched and his eyes disappeared because his eyebrows took over them. 

The small, angered, grumpy tailor then hopped up onto the coffee table in the middle of where the men were sitting and yelled, “GET! GET OUT! GET OUT OF MY STORE AND NEVER RETURN!” 

He exploded and the men smiled and walked out the door, no questions asked. As he settled down he roughly put everything away while he mumbled and groaned to himself. As it all unfolded Shirley watched it all from the corner. 

“Mr. Wilson?” She muttered. She came out of the dark corner and slowly approached him. 

“What do you want?” He wasn’t confused by the fairy that randomly appeared in his store.

“I am here to help you overcome your anger.” She spun around and a glow appeared to come off her wings and body. 

No questions asked, he responded with, “No.” 

Shirely was taken aback by the response. She didn’t want to accept that he denied happiness. 

“Oh! You must not have heard me, I said I am going to help you smile.”

“And you must not have heard me, I said no! Now scram!” Shirley whirled around him and started to break into song. Before she got to the second verse, he turned around and stomped his foot and screamed again, “No! NO! NO!! STOP IT!” 

Shirley was surprised, she had never met someone so angry. She tried once more to be nice. “Mr. Wilson, I see your potential and want to help you find that potential. It’s my job, and I am willing to help you.” 

Crump ignored her. He tidied up everything and he sat back behind his desk and opened up the morning newspaper. She wandered around the room and poked at things and looked at everything closely on the shelves. 

She turned to Crump and said, “Well I am Shirley. Since you won’t talk, I will talk to you. I like rainbows and puppies, I love the way my laundry smells once I take it out of the dryer, I love mint tea, I enjoy watching the seasons change and I like…

“Don’t care.” Crump responded. 

Shirley proceeded to wander around the small shop and poke at smaller things until she encountered a small dusty radio. She wiped the dust off and examined every button. She stood there for a little until Crump noticed what she was looking at. 

He moved the paper down a little and said, “Don’t touch that.” 

Shirley smirked and pressed down on each button until Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley started playing. 

Shirley started to sway side-to-side and close her eyes. Crump then slowly put the paper down and placed it on his lap. His eyes started to water, and slowly but surely, his frown started to form into a different shape. Soon enough Crump seemed to be crying tears of Joy. He smiled, laughed and cried; he felt all of the emotions right then and there. 

He started weeping and laughing louder, so loud Shirley stopped the music and went over to hug him. She even got a hug in return. She pulled away from the tender moment, looked Crump in the eyes, and asked if he was okay. 

“My mother and I always sang that song together. I miss my mother so much. She died ten years ago. It was just me and her against the world, I always asked for a sign from her. This was her for sure.” 

Shirley wiped the small tear she shed, patted Crump on the shoulder, and said, “My work here is done.” Crump then lived happily after all. 

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