ABOUT

Let me cut right to the chase, if I may.
Go ahead.
Ok. Just one more second...
Bring it on, man. Do your worst. Show me what you got.
Hey, easy on the tough guy talk.
You got it. Sorry.
Ok. I'm going to ask you about this Groundwork book.
Shoot.
What's the point? What's it meant to do? Wouldn't the world be a better place without it?
Why don't I answer these one at a time, all right.
Actually, now that I think about it, the first two are pretty much the same question.
I guess you're right. Ok then. Groundwork is a textbook. Textbooks are supposed to teach people things.
Does this one?
I'm pretty sure it does.
Then how come my client didn't learn a thing?
Is your client by any chance a fat lazy moron with no work ethic?
Yes, but that's beside the point here.
See, that's where you're wrong.
Explain.
This is a two-way street we're talking about here.
How so?
Well, this book does have a lot to offer. But at the same time it asks a lot of the reader.
Like what?
Like that you actually read it and think about what it says and try hard to remember what you read.
I see. Does it say that anywhere in the book?
It's a given.
My client begs to differ.
Then your client shouldn't have bought the book.
Well, he did.
I didn't hold a gun to his head, did I? Although I wish I did now.
Anyway, isn't it enough that he paid for the book? Is he expected to put in some work on top of that?
Sorry to break it to you, but that's how learning generally works.
I see.
Listen, you sound like a reasonable person, unlike that waste of space you're representing.
It's awfully nice of you to say that. The first part, I mean. So I wonder if maybe you have a recommendation? How is my client going to improve his English?
He isn't.
Would you mind expanding on that?
Happily. It's pretty obvious that your client is a good-for-nothing slob with no ambition other than being a pain in the ass, someone who would rather make excuses for himself than buckle down, hit the books and get some work done.
Wow. You really nailed it. That pretty much sums the guy up.
It does, doesn't it?
Yeah. Also, suing an English teacher? What kind of a dick move is that?
You can say that again.
Anyway, could you repeat what you just called him one more time so I can write it down?
Sure. Does this mean you're dropping the lawsuit?
Oh yeah, for sure. My heart was never in it anyway.
I could tell. Wanna grab a beer later?
Why the hell not.

BY

So who wrote this thing anyway?
A guy.
What guy? What's his name? What's he like? Does he dye his hair? Does he HAVE hair? Does he know how to replace a flat tire? Didn't he used to date my cousin?
Stop already. Does any of that really matter? I mean, what difference does it make if he's getting a bald spot or he hasn't gone grocery shopping in fifteen years? It has nothing to do with what's in the book.
I guess. Still, I wonder who's behind all of this.
Maybe you're better off not knowing.
What do you mean?
What if the guy's a jerk? What if he did date your cousin, the ugly one with the lisp? What if he married her and never told you? What if he kidnaps little children and makes them read his books?
Oh my God. I never thought of that. Makes you wonder, huh.
Sure does.
I hate that guy now. I wish he was dead. I should never have bought his book.
Well, at least you learned a lesson.
I guess I did. What's the lesson again?
I don't really know. Don't trust anybody in their early 40s?
Oh, right.

©

Hey, do you think this book's copyrighted?
Why are you asking me that?
I was thinking that maybe we could steal it.
You mean like the whole thing? Like, just reprint it?
Yeah. I mean, what's the worst that can happen?
Well, we could get sued.
By who? This guy's a nobody. He wouldn't dare mess with us.
Apparently not.
Besides, unless he has copyright, we're off the hook.
I guess. What's copyright anyway?
It means there's a piece of paper that says, This here is mine, I'm the one who created this and whoever tries to cheat me out of money is gonna hear from my lawyer.
Oh, I'd hate to hear from anybody's lawyer.
So would I. But the thing is, getting that piece of paper is kind of expensive.
Oh. Well, the guy who wrote this, he sounds kind of cheap.
He sure does. I don't think he could afford a lawyer. Also, who cares?
That's a good point. All this legal stuff goes way over my head anyway.
Hey, don't blame me. You're the one that brought it up.
Fair enough. So you're not worried that we could get in trouble?
Hell no. This is a win-win situation.
Not for the guy, it isn't.
Right. Forgot about him. But mark my words, this book is going to make us filthy rich.
What if no one buys it, though? I mean, it's a grammar textbook.
It is? I haven't read it.
You haven't?
No. I assumed it was one of those vampire books.
Whatever gave you that idea? It says Grammar right here on the cover.
Oh, give me a break. I'm too busy making money to read stuff.
Including the stuff that's supposed to make you all that money?
Huh?
You know what, forget about it. Wanna shoot some pool?
Sounds great.
Ok. So just to be sure, the book thing's off, right?
What book thing?
Never mind. Line up the balls, will you?

D.O.A.

Hey bro, how many of these are you thinking of printing?
What do you think would be a good first run?
Depends on how many readers there are out there.
Let me think. Uh, right now... there... are... none.
You're a real smartass, you know that?
I do. What was the question again?
Once the book's out, how many buyers will there be, you think?
Not many. A couple dozen? A couple? Half of a couple?
Oh. Well then, here's an idea. Don't print it. Just save yourself the trouble.
Financially speaking, that makes total sense and I appreciate it. Except...
Why do I even bother giving you advice?
Look, I just can't not print it. It'd kill me. This book deserves to exist.
Even if no one gives a rat's ass about it?
Especially then.
Seriously, man. Would anyone care if this book didn't exist?
Not that I know of.
Sounds like a no-brainer to me, sorry.
I know. I'm still going to go through with it, though.
Well, consider yourself warned.
I will. Hey, can I borrow a grand?
You have got to be kidding me.
No, really. I'm broke. And the book wants out.
You got a hell of a nerve, man.
I know. I get that from Dad.
Of course you do. Let me get my wallet.

And that pretty much covers everything you really need to know about this book.