Latte this

So X* calls up the other day, in a bad mood. Deal he's been working on since Grant died still hasn't been pulled together.

"I told my agent two weeks ago to nail it down," he said. Being a fiction writer, he used more colorful terms, but that's all I can without burning the pornography filters.

"Sucks," I said. "Deals are taking a lot longer now because everyone's afraid. I myself - "

"That's not it. He hasn't even called the editor."

"Sucks," I said. "But how do you know?"

He knows.

"He hasn't gotten to it," said X. "Because he's busy. You know what he's busy with?"

"Doing that six-figure deal for Y?"

"I only wish. [Actually, he hates Y, but that's another story.] No, he's been drinking lattes."

"Give me a break."

"Go on Facebook and check it out..."

It turns out that X's agent has been drinking lattes, and quite often. A partial transcript from Facebook showed that, at the very time X called him and got his voice mail, said agent was:

- 'enjoying a latte'
- thinking about getting a latte
- 'imbibing a Classic Coke'
- researching the caffeine content of a double latte
- 'thinking about going to the movies'
- 'bored with cheesecake'
- 'sharpening his pencils on an old-style pencil sharpener'
- 'cutting my toenails'

The type of cheesecake was unspecified. The posts also reveal that the agent "works" from roughly 10:30 to 10:45 a.m., when he heads out for lunch, and 2:15 to 3-ish, whereupon he goes to pick up his kid from Angel School, whatever that is.

"I'm impressed that you have an agent who uses the word 'imbibing'," I told X. "But cutting your toenails in the office - kinda gross."

"It may not have been the office," said X. "He gets his email on an iPhone now. He's mobile."

"Arguably worse."

"No kidding. Why do people waste their time posting this crap? To let you know they're not working?"

"At least he's not saying what he thinks of you."

"Who cares what he thinks of me - I want him to get the deal done. Or at least answer my phone."

"Maybe you should start writing that on your Facebook log thing. Like 10:50 - Thinking of my agent and the deal he hasn't done . . . 10:51 - Researching methods of offing my agent . . . 10:52 - Settling on an axe as the best method . . ."

There was silence on the line for a moment.

"Gotta go," said X finally.

I wished him luck. Asking him why he had an agent who drank lattes would have to wait for another time.

* Name and a few details omitted to protect the guilty.

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