There once lived an Old Man in Mexico. He lived an ordinary life, in an ordinary house, and in an ordinary village. He went to work each day, ate his supper, and went to bed. But every night before he closed his eyes, he would open up his book about Paris.

For thirty-two years he opened the book and admired the beautiful photographs, the exquisite cuisine, the chicly dressed women, and the historical scenery. It was breathtaking. It was all he could think about day and night. His beloved Paris.

Every day he saved his money in a jar by the side of his bed in hopes of one day going to Paris. When the jar became full, he deposited the money into the bank and started again. He kept a ledger of the money nightly. 

"Ah, I only have two more weeks until I will have enough money to go to Paris," The old man said. He went to sleep with a smile on his face. He was so close to his dream being realized.

Two weeks later, he bid farewell to his family and friends. They threw a big party for him the night before his departure. He received gifts of money, clothes, a new coat, and several other items he might need for such a journey.

The next day, the Old Man made his way to the train station and purchased his ticket, one of many, on his way to Paris. Then, after his train stopped, he got off and made his way to the airport, where he purchased his second ticket, directly taking him to Paris.

"I'm on my way," The Old Man said. He opened his book while on the airplane and admired the pictures of Paris. He dreamt of the food he would eat and the people he would meet. Perhaps he'd even meet his wife there. The possibilities seemed endless. 

The plane landed in Paris and the Old Man could hardly contain his excitement.

Then, the most peculiar of things occurred. A small gnat started flying around him. It was tiny, smaller than the head of a pen, but it was bothersome. It kept pestering him. Landing on his eye. Landing on his nose. Landing on his forehead. Landing on his cheek. 

He swatted the gnat but it only continued to follow him. The old man tried to ignore it, but soon, the gnat became so bothersome that the Old Man became angry. He swatted at it and accidentally hit a woman standing by him. 

"Sorry, ma'am," The old man said. But it was too late. The woman's husband became angry and shoved him.

The Old Man wanted to say sorry, but, unfortunately, the gnat flew up his nose and tickled it. He swatted at his own face and became so distracted with the gnat once again he hit another lady.  A small crowd started to surround the Old Man and watched his bizarre behavior. And, unfortunately, the police took notice.

They walked over to the Old man and asked him, "Sir, you must stop this at once or you will be forced to leave Paris."

"No, No, you don't understand.  This isn't my fault. It's this terrible, horrible, gnat that keeps pestering me. It's not my fault, it's the gnat's fault," The Old Man said.

The police officers looked at each other and were not amused, for they saw no such gnat. It was too tiny for them to see.

"Surely, this man is crazy," One of the police officers said to the other one.

"I agree," Said the other police officer. "We cannot let such people enter Paris. We are responsible to protect it."

"No, I'm safe. I promise," The Old Man said. "Please let me come to Paris, I've come so far. I've traveled by train and airplane. I've dreamed about this day my whole life. Please have mercy on me. I'm a few steps away from my dream happening."

But, just then, the gnat started to pester the Old Man again and this time, the Old Man's hand flipped and flopped and flipped and flopped until he accidentally slapped one of the Police Officers on his face.

"That's it!" The Police Officer said. "You must return to Mexico. We will not allow you to enter Paris!"

They escorted the Old Man back to the airplane where they handcuffed him and directed the security guard to make sure he was returned back to Mexico, never to return again. Ever.

And, the Gnat?

Oh, he enjoyed all of Paris that day. He flew around the Eiffel Tower, sipped on some cappuccino, took a nibble of the most delicious buttered pastry, circled the Arc De Triomphe, viewed all of the artistry in the Louvre, and fell asleep on the Notre Dame Cathedral.

And the Old Man, until his dying day was heard mumbling, "It was all because of the gnat.”