Best-selling Necktie



Rob Northrup

Philosophy major Andrew Cyrus Galbraith penned a runaway best-seller that made him internationally known. Too bad he's not around to enjoy it.

An earlier collection of his essays had already garnered critical acclaim for his striking new perspectives on old philosophical problems. However, Galbraith's latest paper asked whether life had any meaning, and if not, then should you continue to live? His powerful thirty-page answer was no, life has no meaning outside of what we project on it, and no, we should not live through this absurdity. It was the most intelligent, convincing, solid argument ever written in favor of suicide. Simply titled "You Should Do It," the paper also served as his own suicide note. Andrew tightened his necktie, secured the thick end of it to the cross-braces on his dorm window, and flung himself out.

His death was a minor news story the next day. It only drew world-wide attention two days later, after someone circulated the paper on the internet, and thousands of readers began to agree with Galbraith's tightly reasoned arguments, and began taking their own lives...

Possibilities

1     The paper is cursed. Galbraith undertook the Unspeakable Oath to accomplish this. Weak-willed people can be susceptible to suicide attempts if they read it. The curse can be cancelled, making all copies powerless, but only by seeking out Galbraith's ghost and allowing it to rest in peace by completing "unfinished business". Whatever that may be.

2     The paper isn't really very convincing. It's actually a signal for members of a particular cult to start sacrificing themselves en masse around the world, or killing a lot of people in ways that look like suicide. The cult is using the sacrifices to summon something powerful - but what?

3     Galbraith's paper really is that convincing. Shortly before the paper is published, a psychic has a vision of thousands of readers inspired to kill themselves if the paper becomes widely read. It can only be a matter of time before a priest of Nyarlathotep or other fiend publishes it on the Internet.

Copyright (c) 2002 Rob Northrup