Once there was a zebra – a normal zebra, just your savanna-variety black-and-white-striped equine home boy. He had a name, but it doesn’t matter.

He had stripes, and that does.

Some of his stripes were white – bright white, if there’s such a thing; pure white, holy white, sexy-yet-tastefully-chaste white. Cool white. Awesome white. Ambrosial total Quetzalcoatl white. In other words, these stripes were the bomb. Urrbody wanted them. And this zebra had them. Like, probably exactly half his stripes were this perfect white.

But some of his stripes were black. Deep intestine-blood shit black. No fun black. Blow your brains out at night black. Nicolas Cage black. Overextended ended unfriended black. In other words, these stripes sucked. Nurrbody wanted them. But this zebra had them. Like, probably exactly half his stripes were this imperfect black.

One day, a mono blanco – a white Spanish monkey, who if you think too hard didn’t have any business being around a zebra’s habitat and shouldn’t be white at all – came pimpin’ by. He had four arm-legs each with five fingers. He was wearing pantaloons, but that has nothing to do with the story. What does have to do with the story is what the monkey noticed about and then said the zebra:

“Yo Zeebs,” quoth the mono – “Yinz white with black stripes or black with white stripes?”

“Bruh,” quoth the zebra, “Dun neva thought bout it like that before. Guess I be white with black stripes half da tizzime, black with white stripes half da tizzime.”

These two listened to a lot of rap.

The mono thought about this for a moment, then replied:

“Guess it depends on how much space you gots between each. If you gots mo’ space between black, den you white. If you gots mo’ space between white, den you black.”

But the zebra didn’t have a looking glass, and the unhelpful mono forgot his tape measure, so it was impossible to tell whether there was more space between the white stripes or the black stripes.

“Shee-it,” quoth the zebra, ready to give up.

“Hold on,” quoth the mono, struck by a moment of clarity (at least he acted like it was moment of clarity, but in all honesty he had been thinking this all along): “Yinz ever think that if yo’ stripes was close enough togetha’ you’d just look gray?”

“Shee-it,” quoth the zebra – “Dun neva thought bout it like that before. Guess if’n mah strizzipes were real damn close togetha I would just look gray.”

Quoth el mono: “Yinz ever wonder wut it be if yo’ stripes were on top of eachotha?”

“Shee-it.” You guessed it, the zebra had never thought about it that way. “Thanks mono, you dun opened my eyes.”

“Ain’t no thing,” quoth the mono – “You got it now.” The mono then turned to look at you, right in your face, and asked: “That make tha botha ya?”

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