The Greatest Fool

The Greatest Fool (from TAN11: Then and Now (class) 00:04:05.10 - 00:05:45.10)

(download into iTunes)
Ken: There's an old story from medieval Europe of a king being entertained by his court jester. And after a particularly entertaining session, he throws his court jester a bag of gold and says, “You are the greatest fool in the world.”

And the court jester says, “Ah your majesty, there is one who is a greater fool than me.” Or "than I," if you want to be fussy about the English.

The King looks at him and says, “There is? Well! You’ll have to show him to me sometime.”

The jester says, “Now is not the time, sire, but I will do so.”

Many years pass and the king is taken ill and eventually it's clear that he is going to die. And the Jester appears by his bedside and says, “Remember, sire, you asked me to show you a greater fool than me?”

And the king goes, “Oh, yeah.”

“Well, sire, you've always known you were going to die, now you're dying, and you have done absolutely nothing to prepare for this. What greater fool is there than that?”

This is the kind of thing that you can get away with if you are the king’s jester. Not to be recommended otherwise.