Here is an anecdote about a very small and seemingly irrelevant occurrence that happened way back in like, 2009. It doesn’t involve anyone you’ve ever heard of and it’s honestly not that interesting. But trust me, once you make it to the end of this thing, it’ll all make total sense, and you’ll feel as though everything—literally every question you’ve ever had about the world—has suddenly clicked into place. You’ll experience a sense of satisfaction few human beings have ever known. Seriously, trust me. It’s gonna be great.

All you have to do is read the rest of these 18,564 words.

Oh, hello. I’m sorry, I should have introduced myself. I just wanted to give you a little taste of the storytelling to come. I’m the very important longread that everyone’s talking about, the one that every single person you know has already read. That’s right, I’m an incredibly verbose piece of journalism that your boss, your coworkers, and your most Twitter-annoying friend have already spread all over social media with the comment “This.” Welcome.

First off, I’m glad you’re here. It shows you’ve finally experienced enough intellectual guilt to take this truly gargantuan bull by its needlessly wordy horns. I’m honored that it only required approximately fourteen conversations in which people asked if you’d finished me yet, and then you replied in a faux-ashamed tone, “Ugh, nooo, sorry, it’s been on my list!” for you to actually get around to doing it.

Probably the best thing about me is that I combine in-depth political research, investigations into extremely confusing litigation procedures within a large but boring organization, lots of charts about data or some shit, and one really long section about how all of this affects the economy. Just wait ‘til you get to the part where we try out some experimental formatting because we bullied our design team into working late for a week. You’ll beg for death.

I’m so long, dude.

Right now you’re probably juggling your options. You’re thinking, “Okay, I can just skim over the numbers-y part and move on to the more interesting bits and I’ll still get the general takeaway, right?” Wrong. In fact, without combing through every single word of the super long and absolutely necessary economic effects section, you won’t have the faintest clue what the second half of this thing is even talking about.

Also, I should warn you: There aren’t really that many interesting bits in the first place.

Look around your office. Everyone else has read me already. See those people over there by the shitty little coffee maker? They’re having a really intellectually juicy conversation about me. One of them is super important. I bet the other one is making a great impression on the important one. I bet she’ll get a big promotion soon because of how smart she sounds right now. That could’ve been you, if you’d just gotten this over with last week like you said you would. 😞

And now we’re getting to the part of the article that’s a reeeeal slog to get through. Oh man, this is sucking for you hard. Just a total massacre of whatever amount of concentration you thought you had left. Now would be a pretty good time to check Instagram, huh? You’re totally doing it right now, aren’t you? Yep. I knew you were too lazy to finish this joyless, colossal work of literature.

Did you think I forgot about the legal stuff? That’s gonna go on for the next nine pages, so buckle up, girlfriend. Just when you think you’re going to turn the page and finally figure out what racketeering is, you won’t, because there are still going to be eight more pages of this. At this point, you’re not even sure whether racketeering is even good or bad. All you’d need is one extremely subtle context clue and you’d be set, but will we give that to you? Haahahhaha. Nope.

Honestly, you’re kidding yourself. Just skip to the end already.

Don’t even bother with this part. I deviate into a whole separate topic and introduce new people into the mix and—yeah, don’t even worry about it.

Actually, not this one either.

Seriously, it’s fine. You’re not even gonna understand the next few grafs. (Sorry, “graf” is short for “paragraph.” You’d know that if you knew anything about journalism.)

Christ. This is becoming embarrassing for the both of us. Just skip to the end already. Do it. I’ll pretend like I’m not looking.

Congratulations. You have made it to the final paragraph of this ferociously enormous jumble of letters. Just kidding. I know you skimmed it, you pathetic worm, except for that one part near the middle that you thought was a photo essay but was really a series of ads for Target. But it’s okay, because all the actual smart people in your life have already moved on to my cousin, the Incredibly Polarizing Hot Take That You’re Way Too Emotionally Exhausted to Deal With Right Now. Just go back to reading Viral Buzz Panda or whatever content sweatshop your Dorito-crusted fingers are currently scrolling through.

And not that you care, but my last line is actually a beautifully constructed conclusion to an earlier anecdote. Most people cried when they read it. It’s fine, though.