Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Story 76: Reader Rewarded



            “Done!  Gosh, that was a tiresome read.”
            “Oh?  So why didn’t you give up?”
            “I can’t give up; I have to read the entire book without skimming, no matter how boring or painful it is.”
            “Oh, really?”
            “Why do you sound so sinister?”
            “I have a challenge for you – don’t go anywhere.”
            “OK.”
            Time Passes….
            “There you are.  I’m glad I went somewhere – it’s been three weeks!”
            “Yeah, I had to leave the country for this.”  Slams a massive tome onto the table.
            “What is this?”
            “This is the most mind-numbing, convoluted, dense, indecipherable text ever written.  There is no record of a human being ever having finished reading it all the way through to the end.”
            “What’s it called?  ‘The Measurements of the County Land Markings in Accordance With the Taxation of the’…. Did I just fall asleep reading the title?”
            “It gets worse: there’s a longer subtitle inside.”
            “Oh, wow.”
            “I challenge you to read the entire thing, page by never-ending page, from cover to cover.”
            “It’s 5,000 pages long!  And 300 pages of that are end notes, appendices, and indices!”
            “All right, you don’t have to read those parts.  Just where the main body of the work ends on page… 4,692.”
            “All right.  I have to do it now that it’s in front of me.  You sure know how to exploit my compulsion.”
            Time Passes….
            “So, how’s the read-a-thon going?”
            “Well, I almost gave up on page 7, but I soldiered on.  Something very odd happened by page 650, though: all of a sudden, the author started talking about local folklore, and then went off on this epic fantasy saga about warriors, and magic, and time travel, and blue diamonds, and enchanted trees, and so on all the way through the rest of the book.  So many questions were unanswered: did the author drive himself mad while writing about taxes?  Did he see a vision that he felt compelled to document?  Did someone else actually take over and this is really two separate books, bound together forever in error?  All I know is, this is the best book I’ve ever read and I’d actually read it again.  It changed my life.”
            “Really?  Page 650, you say?”
            “Yeah – I guess everyone else just gave up too early.”

4 comments:

  1. HA! Very true, you will finish until the end!

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  2. It always pays to finish the book; you never know. (holds true for movies)

    ReplyDelete