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A court jester once told a king that an apology can sometimes be worse than the original offense. The king wondered how such a thing was possible, and the jester explained: "Let's say you're going up the stairs. I creep up behind you and suddenly pinch your bottom. You turn around, furious, and I, flustered, apologize, 'Pardon me, Your Majesty, I thought it was the queen.'"