“Okay fellas, what’s the snapshot?” I asked.
“The what?” They said in unison.
“C’mon guys, the snapshot, the highlights, the summary,” I explained.
Bob said,”Oh, you mean the brief.”
Doug looked at Bob in disgust. “We aren’t supposed to say “brief”, this is not a legal issue, it’s a “public relations” matter.
“Oh yeah, I forgot” said Bob. He continued, “Okay Mr. Robison, the short story is that Mr. Larsen has printed at his blog…website…you know..his internet thingy; that we had to pay 13 million dollars for copyright infringement of some songs used by an IBO in the course of his business, PLUS he is saying that we are preventing an ex-IBO from operating another MLM business, he’s quoting a perjurer, he’s reporting on an arbitration process like he was actually there and he is falsely saying things about a competitor, not really being a competitor…and…and…”
“Calm down Bob, breathe; it’s gonna be okay” I could tell Bob was about to get emotional, his Ray-Bans had started to slip down his nose from the perspiration brought on by the Alabama heat on his Michigan frame. I saw his eyes glisten. He took a deep breath and adjusted his glasses and began to speak again.
“We just…” his voice broke again. “We are just tired of the constant harassment. We know we have problems. We really are trying. Doug here, he doesn’t sleep at night, he worries.”
“Wait a second, I said, You mean his name REALLY is Doug?”
Doug said, “Mr. Robison, you just got lucky…the point is we just can’t sue everybody for everything, and when we do resort to legal tactics, the internet critics just turn it against us.”
“Well, actually,” I said, “they are not Internet critics; they are Quixtar critics.”
Bob was getting excited again, “That’s what I’m talking about! We can’t win. Even when we conduct ourselves in a private closed door session, with gag orders, and guards, and everyone ‘pinky-swears’ that it’ll go no further, the information still gets out. And some of the info is just wrong!”
Doug spoke again, “So you see Mr. Robison, you are our only hope.”
I sat back in my chair, and pulled my pack of Marlboros from my shirt pocket, I withdrew a cigarette and placed it in my mouth and flicked my Bic lighter. The sound of the lighter startled Bob for some reason I can’t explain, and his body shook and his eyes darted back and forth towards Doug. I inhaled deeply and exhaled the smoke. Blue billows filled the room and caught the sunlight flowing through the blinds.
Bob and Doug still stood at my desk and waited patiently for me to speak. I had them in the palm of my hands. Soon, I would give them the answer to their problems and they would gladly pay me with crisp and cold cans of XS and let’s not forget the promised photograph.
END OF CHAPTER 2