Nathan and his Inability to Fathom

- Today we have a shorter one, but I think you'll enjoy it!

Nathan approached an elderly gentleman doing the strangest of things. As he came near he asked, “Sir, what are you doing?”

“Why I’m watering this stack of books my boy!”

“But… why?”

“Oh! You meant to ask, ‘Sir, why are you doing that?’”

“Well… fine! Why are you doing that?”

“Well my boy, it won’t do itself.”

Nathan took a deep breath. Did he really care enough to pursue this? I mean he could just walk away. But he couldn’t bring himself to do it, he had to know more. “But why does it need doing at all?”

“Why does it need doing…” the gentleman trailed off, still holding the hose, haphazardly soaking the already completely water logged books and whatever ants and other unlucky insects happened to be inhabiting his yard. “Well my boy, a long time ago, the ancient Egyptians invented papyrus. This was quite the development as it meant they no longer needed to grab a chisel and beat the hell out of a pillar when they wanted to pass along information.”

Nathan stared… blankly.

“Not so long after, or maybe it was before, I don’t think anyone is quite sure, the Chinese invented fireworks and they used them to shoot fire into the sky!”

Nathan let out a huge sigh, “my god man! The books, why are you pouring water on the books!”

“Well, once could argue they’re basically trees, and trees need water.”

“No one would argue that! They’re books! They’re not alive, they’re dead, water is ruining them not making them better! What are you doing!”

“Why I’m watering this stack of books my boy!”

Originally Posted to r/WritingPrompts on Reddit.

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