Harry Potter

2005-07-03

My dear little sister's insatiate longing for overachievement has once more taken its toll on my family, but to far greater consequence than the last time it struck.

Never one to rest on her laurels, my sister's dissatisfaction with summer break's lack of deadlines and distorted grading policies launched her to action. Were there no more unit tests for which she could create daily study programs? No teachers with whom she could schedule early morning appointments to better understand coursework? No equally eager fellow students with a ravenous need for developing group projects for presentation before their peers? Sadly, her investigatory work reported the answers to these questions as "heavens, no." She set her sights half a degree lower into the morally misguided world of scholastic mimicry, and finally found satisfaction with the "Why I Love Reading Harry Potter" Essay Contest.

Much to the chagrin of my eardrums, she was selected as one of the ten winners. Shrieks of joy were emitted, high fives distributed, and every known family member (living and otherwise) alerted immediately. More amazing than being selected from over eight thousand fellow entrants are the prizes she won for her literary brilliance. Listed in ascending order of awesomeness, she receives a free copy of Harry's latest magical adventure, an appearance on the Today Show, a four-day expenses-paid vacation in London, and a complimentary barfbag from the return flight.

Unfortunately, the prize only provides for my mother and sister to go. Being very physically fragile, I won't risk FedExing myself; overhead compartments are just too uncomfortable for me to stow away; and the British government refused to grant me refugee status. So by process of elimination, I finally determined the best chance I have to join my sister with the other contest winners: creating my own contest submission, as heartwarmingly touching as any of the rest. Here's an excerpt.

Why I Love Harry Potter, by Mark Twain: "...I didn't immediately know what to think, but as I read the title page, I knew I was holding something truly magical. What I had found was a hundred times better than any of the pulp fiction trash I wrote... Harry Potter has helped me deal with my death in ways I hardly thought possible..."

I'm bothered by a sinking suspicion that I won't be selected to go to London, but it may be best if I don't. Considering I'll be staying home alone with the car for six days straight, I figure I'm the real winner here.

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