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  • Paul Davidson

Words For <i>Your</i> Enjoyment: Speed Reading

You know that pair of pants that you feel so comfortable in? That pair that you wash and then it gets tight and it take a bunch of dips and crunches before it returns to that comfortable feel? I sort of feel the same way about “Words For Your Enjoyment” — back to its original form after last week’s “Who Is Pauly D” stunt.

This week, Amy asks, “What’s the value of speed reading?”

Historians haven’t spent much time, Amy, singing the praises of speed reading and there’s an obvious reason for such ignorance. Speed reading, has, much like Scientology — been an unexplained and confusing concept. The two have an allure about them that is both mysterious and fascinating. For, just as Scientology remains a secretive religion whose praises are sung regularly by famous movie stars… Just as Scientology has helped thousands without the public seeing such results… Speed reading has too, affected the world in ways you would never imagine.

For example — do you remember Pearl Harbor? When the Japanese attacked the quaint Hawaiian outpost, destroying battleships and ruining lives forever? Were you aware that the guy sitting at the tele-type machine was a speed reader? In fact, his ability to speed read allowed him to read the message that warned of the attack, saving some lives by getting the word out .35 seconds quicker than a normal, slow reader kind of person?

Are you aware that speed reading has been utilized by the “60 Second Shakespeare Company” in Ashland, Oregon? Utilizing techniques that allow them to perform a 2 1/2 hour stage play in 45 seconds, the “60 Second Shakespeare Company” both introduces their characters and kills them off, all within the first 22.3 seconds. And for a society such as ours, always in a rush, what better way to be cultured and experience some of the world’s best writing — in the time it takes to go to the bathroom?

There are the obvious uses for speed reading. One of those obvious uses is, well, the ability to read books really really fast. Some people have used speed reading to read magazines, really really fast. There are others who use speed reading to read prescriptions, poems, bumper stickers, flashing highway signs, sky-writing and the scrolling information bar at the bottom of cable news channels. Those are, of course, just some of the obvious uses. What about the hidden, secretive uses for speed reading?

Here are just some of those uses:

Birthday Party Greeting Card Reader: How many times have you had to sit around the room, waiting for the birthday boy or girl to slowly send around the cards that they’ve received so everyone can read the “sweet notes” written inside of them? Now, with the skill of speed reading inside of you — you can set yourself up right next to them, and quicky and rapidly read off all the notes without any delay!

Braile Speed Reading: Oh, those poor blind people. Takes them forever to read everything by touch. For a speed reader who also can read braile — it’s obvious what you’d be able to do here. Sit down a group of blind friends and read them the story quickly and without incident! You’ll be the hit of the day, that’s for sure!

Bedtime Stories for Ungrateful Children: Read me a story, read me a story they’ll probably whine. There are some nights that, well, reading the same children’s bedtime story could get tiresome. And to read the whole thing — it would take forever!? Now, punish your children in a subtle passive-agressive way by reading the entire story in 10 seconds flat. Boy, you sure will show them.

Speed reading is a privilege. Not a right. If you have the ability to read words faster than mere mortals, then you must always remember to use your talents for good speed reading and not evil speed reading.

Because evil speed reading is bad.

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