This idea probably could have been better handled. Maybe one day I’ll go back and fix it. Maybe I should have done that already. Maybe I don’t really care?

One perfectly normal day, quite by accident, Jeremy suddenly had an opinion.

He’d never had an opinion before. He’d heard about them, sure – seen them once or twice on the television maybe, but never really paid enough attention to really know what one looked like. So when he woke up and found it cradled in his arms it was something of a shock.

So pure and so clean, it seemed like the slightest pressure would crush it. Like it was made from glass, blown and spun with care and affection. Even before he fully understood what it was Jeremy felt an overwhelming desire to protect it. He had to keep it safe, even if he didn’t really know why. He had to protect it.

This desire only grew more intense when he realised that what he held before him was in many ways a part of himself. This opinion had been brought forth from his very essence, so it was only right that he should keep it safe and keep it secure.

Clutching it to his bosom as he went about his life he cast his beady eye over all who came near, seeing if they posed a threat to his baby. Most seemed content to ignore him, which was fine by him, but there were others who were not so easy-going.

There were those who kept trying to mess with his opinion. Trying to colour it with bits of their own or bits of fact and bits of the real world. Jeremy couldn’t stand the thought of his beautiful, perfect opinion being sullied so.

Some tried to point out that his opinion lacked a basis in real life, that it’s purity and its beauty stemmed from a complete detachment from reality. They said that while it might get a little muddy if he exposed it to some facts it would make it stronger and better and that could only be a good thing.

Jeremy did not wish to associate with such people and so shut them out, avoiding them where possible and simply ignoring them where not. Most soon gave up and left him be. This made Jeremy very happy indeed.

Worse by far though were people whose opinions clashed with his. He saw them now, and they were everywhere. Before they had probably passed him by with barely a whimper but now that he a shiny and beautiful opinion all his own, the fact they had ones that were opposed to his was unbearable.

It didn’t matter that they weren’t him or weren’t speaking to him and in most cases didn’t even notice him – that they existed at all was horrible. He had to do something about it. They had to be shown how awful they were for not sharing his opinion.

Thankfully it was the twenty-first century and so Jeremy had many available avenues for telling everyone else how wrong they were. Putting his opinion into a comfy, airtight container to keep it pristine and immaculate he took to the internet and started being deeply, deeply offensive to everyone who wasn’t him. It wasn’t ideal, but it was the only way to get his point across.

Besides, as he now understood, anyone with an opinion different from his wasn’t really human anyway, so he could do what he liked. His opinion was pure, so what else mattered?

So engaged was Jeremy in telling everyone else – in deeply, deeply hurtful terms – how wrong they were he failed to notice that his opinion was starting to suffer. Locking in its container, starved of air, it began to wither. Shriveling and tarnishing it quickly became unrecognisable, sinking into a sad heap in the very corner of its plush box as Jeremy made his feelings clear to all online.

Things got much worse when Jeremy finally noticed. Returning from the bathroom after a comfort break he spotted his opinion – now discoloured and pitted – and ran to it with a shriek of horror. Snatching it from the box and holding it to his chest he settled back into his seat and got down to doing the only thing that made sense – blaming everyone else for the problem.

This provided no nourishment for his opinion, however, and it continued to suffer. No matter how much vitriol he spewed or hate messages he sent or low-rent videos he produced his opinion did not recover. It remained rotten and foul, one day shattering in his hands as he cradled it close to his face. He had been whispering sweet nothings to it and kissing it softly when the moment finally came, and that had been the last straw.

Weeping as the shards of it fell through his fingers to the floor Jeremy bitterly swore he would never again expose his deepest, most heartfelt opinions to those who would do them harm. Look at what they had done to this one!

END

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