After being oppressed so much by the people of his town, a man decided to forego the creature comforts the town afforded him and live a life of seclusion at a local monastery.
Upon meeting the Abbot, he is given the rules:
"You are allowed to say just two words now, and then must take a ten year vow of silence. This cycle will be repeated for as long as you stay here. Do you understand?"
"Then welcome. You may now speak your two words."
"Good. Now that that's out of the way, here's your mat and dinner. Your room's downstairs."
Wait. What? I haven't said anything, yet, unless he considered the Umm and OK words. Damn...
The guy hesitantly takes the weather-beaten mat and the bowl of cold gruel and goes downstairs to begin his new life.
Well, he eventually gets used to the routine, and before long ten years have passed, and he once again goes before the Abbot.
Thinking carefully this time, and remembering how he lost his last opportunity, he remains silent for several moments. Finally he replies, "Food cold."
"Noted," said the abbot. "Here's your new sleeping mat."
Unfortunately, the new mat was in poorer shape than the old one, but eventually the monk gets used to it, and another ten years go by.
"Bed hard," the monk replies.
The abbot gives him a new mat, and his bowl of gruel, as usual. The monk wanders off, disgust evident in his demeanor.
Time passes, and it's once again time to speak with the abbot.
Without missing a beat, the monk jumps up and shouts, "I QUIT!!!"
"I suspected as much," said the abbot. "You've done nothing but complain every since you got here..."
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