Richard scowled at the framed poster displayed on an easel at the entrance to the gift store. “What a sham!” he nearly shouted.
Startled by Richard’s outburst, a passerby named Peter asked, “What is?”
“This poster, it’s an utter sham!” Richard replied. “These big gift store chains think they can dupe the public into buying overpriced junk by making ridiculous claims for their merchandise. I mean, look at this thing; it’s just a mess of recurring jagged lines in shades of blue and they want $30 for it. It’s not even original art. It’s a poster for crying out loud! I’m a realist and if I buy a poster, I want it to actually look like something. I have a framed poster of the fjords of Norway that’s gorgeous and I only paid $15 for that one. What are they trying to pull?”
“Well,” Peter began, “the caption at the bottom says, ‘Stalkers of the Deep.’ Perhaps all that blue and wavy lines is supposed to represent water or something.”
“Oh boy, I guess there really is one born every minute!” retorted Richard. “It can’t be water, the lines are jagged, not wavy, and the patterns repeat at specific intervals. Besides, even if it is supposed to be water, why would someone pay $30 for a print of a bad abstract of water when they could get an actual photo of the ocean for $15?”
Peter, now feeling a bit patronized and quite a bit curious said, “Alright then, if it bothers you so much, why don’t you just confront the manager of the store? Maybe he can explain what makes this poster so special. There must be some reason they think it’s worth that much.”
“Puh, go in there? I don’t think so.” responded Richard in disdain. “I don’t need their cock and bull explanation. I’ve got two eyes and I can see what’s going on. Besides, that little flunky in there won’t be able to do anything about it anyway. I’m going to blog about it to warn others against these big conglomerates and the way they manipulate the public.”
Peter stood for a second looking at Richard and then at the store. He said, “Well, now I’m curious, so I’m going to ask.”
“Suit yourself.” Spat Richard as Peter entered the store.
Moments later Peter returned holding a piece of paper.
“What’s that?” Richard asked suspiciously.
“It’s a leaflet about the poster. It says it’s a 3-D sea life scene which was generated by a computer.”
“Really?” Richard quipped. “How gullible do they think we are? 3-D? Maybe I’m nuts but it looks pretty 2-D to me. And sea life…where? Show me! It’s not there. I have eyes, you know.”
“I don’t see it either.” Peter admitted. “The leaflet says you have to look at it the right way and that sometimes it takes a long time before some people can see it.”
Grabbing his head, Richard yelled, “Now they’re blaming me because I can’t see it! Well isn’t that convenient! I suppose they’re selling a beautiful suit inside which only the wisest people can see. Can’t you see what they’re doing? You can’t win with these people!”
“I don’t know,” replied Peter, “this is a reputable company and the people inside seem nice enough. Maybe it’s like when you see a dragon in the clouds or your rug looks like an angry face. I’m sure they are sincere.”
Crossing his arms and turning from the poster, Richard responded flatly, “That’s up to you. Feel free to join the impressionable hoard. I’ll go the way of reason and common sense. Let me ask you just one more question: Would you put that thing on your wall?”
“Well, no.” Peter answered sheepishly.
Richard began, “Okay, then, I rest my ca_”
“Oh, wow!” A voice from behind Richard interrupted him in his moment of triumph. He spun around to see a young woman looking at the poster and pointing.
“Look at those sharks! It’s like they’re coming right at me. How much is this poster, $30? What a steal! I’m so putting this up in my room!” the young woman exclaimed. With that, she took the poster inside and bought it.
As she walked out of the store with the poster under arm, Peter called out, “Did you really see all of that in that poster?”
“Of course.” the girl replied, “Didn’t you?”
“Uh, yeah, it was great.” was Peter’s tentative response.
Richard muttered under his breath, “Delusional. So sad.”