Muss it up!

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“James, dude, are you like, even doing any of the reading?”

The question was fired at me from three spaces over. It caught me by surprise a little, but not for long. I fired back, fingers crossed behind my back:

“Of course! What do you mean?”

“Well, dude, your book is so clean. It doesn’t even look like you’ve opened it!”

I thought about this for a full half second before replying:

“Well yes, but yours was used when you got it – how do I know that you’ve ever opened yours?”

He looked at me, rather like a soppy dog looks at a newspaper.

“Ouch, dude, very ouch.”

I said: “You can’t judge a book by its cover, nor a reader by the state of his book.”

I opened the shiny pages for him, revealing highlighting and a few notes in the margin. He smiled.

“I’ve opened it,” I said. “Just not as much as I’d like.”

His thumb went up and his tongue popped out, slightly off to one side:

“Cool, dude. Cool. You’ve just got to muss it up a little.”

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