EDITOR’S NOTE: Mr. Selman is on holiday. Please enjoy one of his classic column… article… things. Seriously, don’t you know blogs don’t have editors? That’s why they’re all so great.
Anyway, by now we all know of the tragedy that has befallen Professor Dumbledore. No, not the gay thing. That he DIED. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released in July, 2005. But that fall, I was a little behind on my reading, and had no idea what terrible fate lay in store for Albus. (Seriously, that he died is much worse.) Truly, the manner in which Dumbledore’s death was revealed to me was most unpleasant. I saw this t-shirt:
So here is the ACTUAL LETTER I wrote over two years ago, in response to that traumatic incident.
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE FAT GUY IN THE HARRY POTTER SPOILER T-SHIRT:
Hey you — fatso! Your t-shirt just spoiled Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince! Right there in the yellow, lightning bolt Harry Potter font, your t-shirt blurted out the tragic plot twist that happens on page 596! I’m not going to repeat the spoiler here, but trust me: your spoiler shirt just spoiled the book, you oozing sack of goo!
Why would you — or anyone — want to ruin Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince? Your shirt attempts to answer this in a most disingenuous fashion. For underneath the phrase about what happens on Page 596, also in enticing, yellow, lightning bolt Harry Potter font, is written “I JUST SAVED YOU FOUR HOURS AND $30”. Your t-shirt just spilled the book’s biggest plot twist — and then had the gall to act like it was doing me a favor.
Fact: this was not a favor. This shirt does not care about saving me time or money. It wanted to ruin the book, pure and simple. And now that you, your sarcastic hate-shirt, and your duplicitous hate-font have done this to me, what are my options?
1.) Fight you. This is problematic. I am now at home writing an open letter, so I don’t know where you are. Also, I’ve never been in a fight before, and you are a tall, fat man who must be somewhat strong from lugging all that fat around, if not good at fighting per se.
2.) Insult you. I could point out — in an open letter — that you are fat. Well, you are fat… but you were hanging out with some cute girls in Manga t-shirts and a guy with dreadlocks in one of those cool dreadlock hats. So you don’t seem like that much of a loser. Also, you aren’t really that fat. Barrel-chested, more like it. Also, you might never read this open letter — even if you did, you might not know that you were the slightly fat guy it was referring to.
3.) Spoil something for you. I could make a t-shirt with a spoiler written in the font of a franchise you like, return to the mall in Chinatown where I encountered you, and wait. The problem with this is that I don’t know any spoilers. Also, I don’t want to ruin other franchises for innocent t-shirt-readers in a friendly-fire scenario, and possibly engender hateful open letters aimed at me.
To give you the benefit of the doubt, maybe you thought your spoiler would bring more mirth than displeasure. Maybe you calculated that in the three months since the book was released, most fans would have read — and have been pleased by the plot twists of — Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. So when they saw the shirt, they would smile and feel relieved. “That shirt didn’t spoil anything for me, thank goodness,” would be the attitude. “I sure dodged a bullet.” And with that relief would come cool, healing laughter.
But I haven’t read the book, chubby! And, frankly, I don’t think you deserve the benefit of the doubt. I bet you wish you got the spoiler shirt the day the book came out, so you could have spoiled as many spoiler-free minds as possible with the spoilers on your sort-of-fat belly. But who is to say? Perhaps now it is I who is being unkind.
Maybe the best revenge is to buy the book and read it right away. You didn’t save me four hours and thirty dollars. You GAVE me many hours of Harry Potter magic, fun and adventure. And I will still enjoy the book, despite knowing the one big thing that’s going to happen. It’s not the destination that is the sublime joy of reading, it’s the journey… you colossal tub of sweating blubbery crap.