That’s literally it. No punchline.
After that, he decided to curl up at home with a good book. The Ethics, specifically. Or perhaps it was the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus. Well, whichever. The man just decided to stay home and study Spinoza. For six darn years. And no one really seemed to care.
It’s really no testament to the man’s work skills or general camaraderie that no one cared that he had vanished from the office for six years. No one raised a stink until he failed to show up to get a longevity award for keeping the same job for so long. Which, you know, is makes this a masterwork of irony.
Be that as it may, he was a civil servant, and government rarely has a sense of humor, so they took him to court to get back wages. He now has to pay back some $30,000.
On the other hand, he’s also said to have become an expert in Spinoza over those past six years.
So it’s a tradeoff, I guess.
If he’d gone to college to get a philosophy degree, in the U.S., anyway, it would have cost a lot more than $30,000. (Though it would probably have cost next to nothing in Spain. Socialism, who needs it, am I right?)
At any rate. Somewhere, Art Vandelay is proud.
And I promised my wife I would not follow in his footsteps.