It seems as though THE DEAL is out of print. How sad. You know that tired analogy where authors say they can’t choose which of their own books is their favorite because it would be like choosing which of their own children is their favorite? At least children don’t go out of print.
Father: It’s late. Why isn’t Jimmy home yet?
Mother: (looking up from paperwork) I’m not sure. Bobby, where’s your brother?
Bobby: (staring rapt at television, mumbles incoherently)
Mother: Young man, I asked you a question.
Bobby: I just saw him at Billy McGinty’s house an hour ago.
Father: (dialing telephone) I’ll call the McGinty’s. Dinner’s almost done. Bobby, set the table.
Bobby: It’s Jimmy’s turn!
Mother: (distracted) Now where on earth is the Anderson file?
Father: McGinty? Hi, it’s Jack Farthing. Is Jimmy still there? What? He is? Well…damn it…that’s just…no, I understand. These things happen. Have a good evening.
Mother: (searching briefcase for missing file) Is he on his way home?
Father: Our son just went out of print.
Mother: (dropping briefcase) What?
Father: Out of print. Not available.
Mother: But he had excellent reviews! Everyone he encountered loved him. I got letters!
Father: So did I. But he didn’t sell well, I guess.
Mother: Bobby, set the table!
Bobby: But, Mom!
Mother: You heard me. Now!
Bobby: (complies, complaining under his breath)
Father: I just can’t believe this. What do we do now?
Mother: We can write and ask that our son be printed again. If he’s not printed again in nine months time, then the rights revert back to us. Someone could decide to make a movie about our son in that time, and he could be back in print again.
Father: I don’t think our son was movie material.
Mother: Jack! What an awful thing to say.
Father: Nine months…we could write another son in that time.
Mother: Or a daughter.
Father: Only if she’s precocious, extremely bright, and solves mysteries.