The man looked listlessly out of the window of his corner office window. Nobody had warned him when he became a literary agent of international renown that he would have days as dull as this one.
“Dolores!” he shouted to his secretary through the intercom. “Let’s play emails! I want you to find me some pathetic little blogger in Australia so I can fuck with her mind!“
A few hours later on the other side of the world, a small-time blogger ever-so-lightly battered in kid snot, checked her email.
“Ooo-Ooo-Oooh!” she called out to her husband. “A literary agent of international renown has contacted me. He wants to help turn my blog into a book. A BOOK! WITH ACTUAL PAGES! … Maybe even with a photo on the back cover of me looking off into the middle distance with my forefinger finger placed poignantly on my cheek!”
“Uh, is this one asking for your credit card details?” her husband gently asked.
“No, no. Not this time,” the blogger replied. “Although I should add that the daughter of the Late Sheriff Kindimbu is totally going to get back to me about that book deal. I just know it.”
The blogger replied to the literary agent of international renown’s email in short polite sentences that attempted to mask her excitement.
The secretary duly printed out the response and brought it into her boss.
“The pathetic little blogger has replied,” she told him.
“How desperate does she sound?” the literary agent asked.
“She’s trying to play it cool.”
“She’ll crumble,” the agent mused. “Mark my words, Dolores. She’ll be like so much feta over minted pea and chili soup.”
He turned back to looking out the window, his mood somewhat lightened by the prospect.
Two weeks later, the blogger was still waiting for a reply from the literary agent of international renown. She’d spent the entire time waiting for car horn outside her home signaling the arrival of the agent’s company limo, replete with a chilled magnum of Moet in the back and first-class tickets to New York. But the limo never came.
Feeling a little disappointed, she spoke to her friend L, who was knowledgeable in the mysterious workings of the publishing world.
“Time moves differently for these people,” L assured the blogger. “Two weeks would be considered a knee-jerk instantaneous response. Give it time.”
Still, the blogger sent another email from her other email account. You know, ‘just in case’ the first email had been banished to the agent’s Spam box because of the unfortunate and entirely accidental inclusion of the words ‘enlarged penis’ in its subject title. Or ‘just in case’ the agent’s cat had pissed on his keyboard and short-circuited the whole computer, destroying the email forever. Or even ‘just in case’ his mail server had been repossessed by Level 3 Operating Thetan aliens.
The weeks rolled by and turned into months. The blogger’s hope slowly turned brown around the edges and began to stink of despondency. It got to the point that if the limo turned up, she’d probably have given the chauffeur the finger but still drunk the champagne, straight from the bottle. And then ended up, completely pissed, signing a contract with the literary agent anyway.
Finally, after two months of waiting, she decided – on the advice of her friends – to send a follow-up email. She tried to keep it light and casual but she knew, in her heart of hearts, it was the email equivalent of standing outside the agent’s window with a karaoke machine, singing ‘I Want To Know What Love Is!’ by Foreigner.
“Oh, yes,” the agent murmured, when his secretary read out the email. “She’s my bitch now…”
And he told his secretary to write back to the blogger saying he’d decided “not to pursue the project but wished her all the best in the future.” Yes, that would do the job nicely.
Those words were like itty-bitty knives in the blogger’s broken heart. “But he came to me…” she whispered to nobody in particular.
As chance would have it, however, the telephone rang a few minutes later. It was the Australian Tax Office ringing to remind the blogger that if her freelance earnings as a writer exceeded $75,000 within one financial year, she would need to register for GST. She was a mere $74,700 away from that amount.
“At least the Australian Tax Office have faith in me,” she philosophised. In fact, as her friend SeraphimSP went on to suggest, the ATO were probably about to offer a book deal. Yes, that must be it. Now she just had to wait for their email. Oh, and the ATO limo.