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    Once a praying mantis excelled at conducting grief-and-victim interviews on TV.
    Both quick and aggressive by nature, the mantis benefited from a highly developed instinct for detecting any vulnerability in those it preyed upon and for turning that weakness to account without a moment’s thought or hesitation. Once targeted by the mantis, any recipient of its attention might expect the inevitable. 
    “I understand how excruciatingly painful this must be for you,” the mantis would typically begin an interview in emotive tones, folding its clasped hands before its mouth with a rapt gaze, “but could you tell our audience, up close and personal, you know, just how excruciatingly painful it is for you right now?”
    “I really don’t feel like talking about it.”
    “Of course you don’t, and I certainly wouldn’t want to increase your suffering in the slightest way, so just between you and me then, how would you describe that suffering, in detail?”
    “What good would that do?”
    “It might not seem like a lot at the moment, I agree, but in the long run it could help you and our audience draw an inspirational lesson from your heartrending ordeal.”
    “What does my ordeal have to do with any of them?”
    “Certainly not as much as it has to do with you and your private agonies, of course, but helping us to see what a wrenching experience like the one you’re going through has meant personally will surely help everybody at some point.”
    “By providing an unforgettable illustration of something very, very important. Wouldn’t it help you put the whole thing in perspective and feel better to know others found in your devastating pain the strength to feel less devastated by whatever pain they endure?”	
    “Anytime. Wouldn’t that be worth something?”
    “Why, worth having had to suffer through everything in silence up till now. Hasn’t that been worse than anything else? Not sharing your misery on prime time television? Well, here’s the chance to take the next minute or two and tell your heartrending story to millions of complete strangers listening and watching.”
    “The largest audience in the history of grief-and-victim programming, we estimate.”
    “Everywhere we’re being seen and heard at this very moment. Living rooms, neighborhood bars, discount electronics stories, treadmill rooms at fitness clubs, airport waiting lounges, the Times Square JumboTron, you name it. After this interview you and your appalling ordeal are sure to become household words, true beacons of inspiration and hope. All you have to do is tell the world out there about the terrible, terrible thing you’re going through and how much it’s tested your faith in yourself but then ultimately made it stronger and how much you now realize the importance of the little things we all take for granted in life and how much you’ve grown because of your heartrending tragedy but you couldn’t make it without the support of loved ones and how going public like this with one’s private agony is such a big, big part of the healing process today for everybody and—”