If Your Son Were One of Those… Those Dot-Commers, How Would You Feel?
– Who are you? Get out.
– But Dad…
– Don’t ‘But Dad’ me, Roger. You stopped being my son when you left five years ago, with all our money. Your mother and I were going to buy a house in Flordia with that, but you stole it.
– I didn’t steal it. I used it to start an Internet company.
– You don’t call that stealing?
– Well, it didn’t seem like it at the time.
– Bloody typical. And now we’re stuck in this blasted retirement community…
– Dad, be fair. My company got pretty big. We went public. At one point our stock sold for $100.
– $100? And those people who paid $100, what’s their stock worth now?
– Well it’s… 37 cents, give or take.
– Criminal. You should have bought drugs with it.
– With our money. You should have bought drugs with it. At least that would be semi-respectable. Something steady. ‘My son the drug kingpin.’ That I could live with. But ‘My son the dot-com kingpin.’ Bloody embarrassing.
– What’s with this ‘bloody’ stuff, Dad? You’re from Ohio.
– Sorry. Been hanging around the Dempseys. Nigel and Penelope. They don’t know about you, but we’re afraid people will find out. Your mother’s afraid to show her face at the Friday night ‘Music for Life’ now. They always let her play the tambourine, too.
– Look, Dad, it’s not embarrassing to work in the Internet. It’s still the future. Like our vertically integrated business-to-business exchange for the…
– Oh, don’t flash your drug kingpin terms around me.
– I am not a drug kingpin!
– I can dream, can’t I?
– Wha… I cannot believe you’d rather have me be a dope pusher…
– Shhh… Here comes Mrs. Dempsey … Hello, Penelope.
– Hello Edgar. Oh now don’t tell me, you must be Edgar’s son, Roger. Spitting image. I hope you’ll be staying with us a while.
– Well, actually I…
– No, Penelope. Roger’s just passing through. On his way to Colombia.
– On my way to where?
– Oh yes, the drug smuggling. How exciting. I say, Edgar, did you hear about Mrs. Koogle’s son?
– The gay gun runner?
– Ha! Or so she claimed. But it turns out he isn’t a gay gun runner at all. Turns out he was really in charge of one of those, well, those dot-coms. Yeehaw, or Yoohoo, or something. We saw it on the telly. Dreadful.
– It’s ‘Yahoo!’ And Tim Koogle is one of the most respected…
– Not now, Roger. Where is Mrs. Koogle now, Penelope?
– Margaret locked herself in the bingo closet straightaway. We’ve had to slip her medications under the door. She won’t take them, of course. And there’s no game tonight.
– Maybe I should go talk to her.
– Oh would you, Edgar? That would be a lovely gesture. Margaret always liked you. I’ve got to run off to the beauty parlour. Cheers.
* * * * *
– C’mon Roger. Follow me. Maybe you’ll learn something.
– But I was going to say hi to Mom.
– Your mother has enough problems. Now come on. And no talking.
* * * * *
– Margaret? Margaret it’s me, Edgar.
– Go away! Let me die.
– Margaret, look we heard about your boy, but that doesn’t…
– My boy! My boy! Where did I go wrong!
– Now Margaret, please, calm down. Children make mistakes. But that’s not necessarily a reflection on you.
– Oh how would you know, Edgar? Your son’s a drug kingpin. Life’s just peachy for you…
– Yes… well…
– Dad, does everybody think I’m a drug smuggler?
– Who is that with you, Edgar? I heard somebody.
– It’s no one, believe me, Margaret. No one.
– That’s your boy Roger, isn’t it? What? You bring him here to gloat?
– Margaret, no, it’s not like that at all. In fact, listen, Margaret, this is difficult for me to say, but I don’t want you to feel like you’re alone. My son here isn’t really a drug kingpin.
– Whaddya mean he’s not? What is he?
– Dad, don’t…
– Hush. Margaret, the truth is… Roger is really one of those, those Internet…
– You mean international, Dad. I’m an international, um… slave trader, Mrs. Koogle. International slave trader. I trade slaves, you know, internationally.
– Well that’s just great for you, isn’t it? Edgar, please take away Mr. Successful and let me die.
– Mrs Koogle? It’s me, Roger. Look, I think I understand your son, and maybe I can help.
– How? You could get my Timmy a job? A respectable job? As an international slave trader?
– Well, I… I’ll see what I can do, Mrs. Koogle.
– Good. Now step back from the door. I’ve got to go to the little girl’s room.
* * * * *
– Dad, look, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize.
– Well, you did a nice thing in there with Mrs. Koogle, son. But you made her a promise, and I expect you to keep it.
– What, you really want me to be an international slave trader? I don’t know the first thing about it.
– That hasn’t stopped you before.
– TouchÃ©, Dad. But look, it’s not that easy. I’ve still got employees.
– There’s your first sale.
– You want me to sell my employees into slavery?
– They won’t know the difference, son.
– Won’t know the difference? Are you crazy? As slaves they’ll have to work exhausting, grueling hours, seven days a week… for little or no… return… and they won’t be free to own their own… and… um… You make a good point.
– Make us proud, son. Make us proud.
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