3rd place in Derby #233: Things That Start With The Letter A, with 608 votes!
“Seriously, I can hardly keep the thing afloat with all those leather bound volumes!”
This was Martin Welpley, the billionaire CEO of a successful company that sold suspiciously delicious low calorie frozen meals. He was discussing his new yacht on a talk show.
Worried that his position and socioeconomic standing would paint him to be some heartless, cutthroat business man incapable of any thought that did not lead to a profit, Martin had taken great efforts to establish himself as a lover of literature. This new yacht was, by far, the greatest and most expensive of these efforts.
It held, within its hull, a rather size-able library of first edition novels. Their genres varied, as well as their obscurity – some were canonical, while others were never-heard-of self-published manuscripts – but all were highly valuable and well-regarded by literature professors and book critics alike.
But none of this is to imply that this was just a big publicity stunt. The library truly was Martin’s favorite place in the world. He often spent whole Saturdays in there reading alone, the boat still in the harbor. He, his wife, and his three daughters even appeared in it on their Christmas card (which “accidentally” found its way into the hands of the press), each one sitting on a comfy vintage chair, smiling and holding a book.
So it seemed strange enough when that the boat sank. Sure, Martin and his family managed to find their way to safety, but how had he let this happen? Certainly sinking a yacht on a clear night takes a particular amount of clumsiness; how had Martin allowed this kind of clumsiness to occur? No one knew, not even Martin.
The situation only got stranger when the boat was pulled out of the water. Things seemed, for the most part, to be present and intact (if not a bit waterlogged) except in the library. The furniture all remained, but shelves had been emptied. Not a single book remained.
When he spoke to the reporter from the newspaper about what had happened, Martin had to force himself not to cry. He wished now that he was the kind of heartless, cutthroat business man that he had always fought so hard against becoming. He tried his hardest to appear calm. He even tried to make a few jokes.
“Someone down there’s building one heck of a collection,” he said to the reporter. Then he laughed half-heartedly.
What he didn’t know was that he was right.
Wear this shirt: if you’ve got the need, the need to read.
Don’t wear this shirt: when you go to visit the Challenger Deep. It may seem appropriate, but no one will see it.
This shirt tells the world: “I light my own way.”
We call this color: The Royal Blue, like we’re not referring to “just blue”; we’re referring to “all of blue.”
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