Do Not Read This Post! Last Warning!
You’ve decided to read the post anyway. That’s to be expected, human curiosity being what it is. The art of persuasion is a fairly potent one, when combined with the power of human curiosity. But from here on out, you probably shouldn’t read further.
I get it – you’re curious. But trust me, this post has nothing of interest to you. There is no point in reading it whatsoever, so please, don’t waste your time with it.
That prior admonishment may have been subtle persuasion, in the form of reverse psychology. In other words, I may have wanted you to continue, and relied on the items in the first paragraph to persuade you to read further. And even though I told you about them, you read on anyway. After this bit of breaking of the fourth wall, though, there isn’t much of value.
Perhaps my credibility is at issue? That might be the case. But reflect back on what I’ve said so far – have I lied to you yet in this post? Right. There is always the possibility that I might be setting you up, that I might be stringing you along with a series of truth-laden observations and thoughts, only to come along and POW! Hit you over the head with a sudden left turn. I have been known to do that – but haven’t I also been known to keep it straight all the way through? Dozens of times. I can assure you that this is one of the latter. There is no left turn coming. So you should click on something interesting, and leave this post.
Still reading? That might be because I wanted you to. Are you starting to feel manipulated and controlled? Or are you telling yourself that you wanted to keep reading? Have you resolved to read this all the way through to the end, regardless of what I say or how true it is? Fine. There’s something to be said about setting a goal and sticking to it. But if it gets you nothing, is that a worthy goal to pursue? What reason would you have to pursue an unworthy goal? Aside from something you ingest, a self-administered medicine, if you will – the answer is obvious. I am manipulating you not only to perform a task, but to actually believe that performing this task is your idea. And now that I’ve told you this is what is happening, you would do well to stop reading now, and break the hold I apparently have over you.
It’s not easy, is it? Strong persuasion, reverse psychology, human curiosity, and the need to watch when something bizarre or deadly happens – these are all difficult to overcome individually, but all together? Nearly impossible. Especially for you. You, who have read this far, despite repeated warnings and despite my telegraphing the ending to you. No, not telegraphing – I’ve virtually printed out the end and put it in front of you, and still you cannot resist the temptation to read this all the way through, on the off chance that I might insert something humorous or shocking or surreal or bizarre or silly. The chance of that is zero, as I’ve told you previously. The only way to prove your strength now is to stop reading, and click on something else, maybe something light and humorous.
You just can’t do it. It’s like you’re in blog post quicksand, slowly sinking into my words, slowly going under, all while convinced that this is what you want. I can tell you now that this post has nearly reached the end, and so far there are no signs that I am anywhere near including a surprise. Ah, but some of you desperately grasping at that metaphorical branch are saying, isn’t the very nature of a surprise that it remain undetected until the proper moment? True, and very lucid of you. Capitalize on this lucidity and stop reading now. Grab the branch, pull yourself out of the mire, and escape this fate.
Well, I see that you have all decided to read all the way through. To reward you for being so dedicated, I offer you this: nothing. I said there would be no surprises, and in fact, there are not. I can sense some of you about to object on the basis that the lack of a surprise IS the surprise, but how can that be? I told you there would be no surprises long ago. You came all this way for no reason – other than I wanted you to, I persuaded you to, I manipulated you to.
How does it feel?