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Rehearsal dinner toast and repayment...
Some of you may be wondering, "John Green, why are you holding a Pretty Pony case?' Well, I'll tell ya. Alright, get comfortable, 'cause this is gonna take a while, but uh, I'd like to begin by reading the entirety of my diary entry from August 11, 1984. Uh, this was written when I was eight. Quote: "Today was a great day. My brother got sick." Thus ends the diary entry. Obviously, I didn't always like Hank as much as I like him now. So, for the rest of this toast, I'm going to try to channel that eight year old that's still inside of me. For a person who's basically a Communist, Hank sure loves money. We've heard about how cheap he is, uh, but it's not just that he's cheap, it's also that he... he loves money. He craves it, he looks at it, he stares at it, he thinks about it. This is one of the endearing paradoxes of his life. He has tried over the years to seek out non-lucrative careers, chemist, environmentalist, graduate student, blogger, writer. This never bothered my parents, of course, because they're endlessly supportive, but it always worried me a little. I mean, I often find myself wondering: who's going to send my kids to college if not Uncle Hank? I certainly can't be counted upon to do it; I'm terrible with money. But fortunately for me, and unfortunately for Hank, his secret love of money always trumps his fundamental dislike of all careers that involve money. The poor guy just can't help but make money. And I just can't help but steal it from him. It's my nature... throughout our childhood, Hank acquired the money, and then I used it to purchase goods or services. Even today, Hank sometimes does something for which I promise to pay him, but then I never actually do pay him, because why should I? It's not like he's going to spend it on anything. All he ever does with money is keep it and look at it sometimes while he eats Ramen noodles from a pot that he got at Eckerd College that he found in an Eckerd College dumpster in 1999. I can't tell you how many times as a child I'd walk into Hank's room and find him playing with his massive collection of change. Some families might have worried about a boy who obsessively counted and stared at his loose change, but when you consider that his other favorite toys were My Little Ponies, frankly, we were delighted whenever he pulled out his bottles full of pennies. So, Hank, I'm going to make a confession to you tonight. I have taken a lot of your money. You used to take your soccer trophies and unscrew them and then roll up one dollar bills and insert them into the hollow places in the trophies. I took that money. You sometimes hid money in the very bottom of your crowded middle desk drawer. I vividly remember a five dollar bill cleverly hidden inside of a Walkman. I found that five dollar bill. You created my first website, and I said that I'd pay you $200. That was in 2002. You agreed to save my skin by writing a quarter of a book for mental_floss for which I promised you $500. First, I should have paid you more, because your work was the best stuff in the book, and second, I should have paid you, which I didn't. Now, stealing money from Hank has never bothered me, for the reason cited above. It still doesn't bother me, because Hank can't be trusted with money, because he never does anything with it. But starting tomorrow, I will also have stolen from Katherine. And that is unacceptable to me. Certainly, Katherine does not understand as much about spending money as I do, but at least she's not foreign to the concept. So, uh, over the last couple of weeks, I counted up all of the money that I owe Hank. And by my calculations, it is $992. And I brought that money to Montana. But it seemed like a waste of $992 to just write a check, because Hank would deposit it and then forget about it. So I at least wanted to give him something to play with. So, Hank, [unzips My Little Pony bag] there are two gifts for you inside of here. The first is 992 one dollar bills [shows audience]. It's a lot. It was weird, carrying them on the plane. Thank God nobody asked me about it. "Uh, why you got so many ones?" Uh, the second present is a My Little Pony Bride. I know, I know how much you love your real bride, but I thought you might be able to love this one, too. Um, so yeah, I promise you that this is legitimately 992 one dollar bills; the federal bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, has already counted it, but I'm quite sure that you will enjoy counting it again. So here's to the bride and groom, may they always have money to count and each other to count on. Cheers.