Poems and stories by Bruce Levine, Duane Anderson, Ivan de Monbrison, Ivanka Fear, Jane Ellen Glasser, John Grey, Nolo Segundo, Steve Slavin

Poems and stories by Bruce Levine, Duane Anderson, Ivan de Monbrison, Ivanka Fear, Jane Ellen Glasser, John Grey, Nolo Segundo, Steve Slavin

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The Agent

Steve Slavin

Michael had three things going for him. He hosted

great parties. He loved introducing people. And his

parents, who had been killed in an automobile

accident, left him a four-story townhouse on Fifth

Avenue, just a few blocks from the Metropolitan


But Michael also had three things going against him.

Although an Ivy League graduate in his late twenties,

he had never held a full-time job. He slept most of the

day, and was up most of the night. He made friends

very easily, but he had trouble hanging on to them.


As his inheritance was rapidly being depleting, it

looked as if he would soon have to sell his townhouse

for a few million dollars, and try to live off the

proceeds for as long as he could. Meanwhile, the

economy was sinking into a deep recession, and

President Richard Nixon, who had taken office a few

months before, didn’t seem to have a clue about how to

restore our prosperity.

The one thing that Michael could still look forward to,

at least in the immediate future, were his parties. If

only he could figure out a way of turning them into

money-makers, he could at least put off having to

actually find a nine-to-five job.

There was a middle-aged woman who occasionally

attended his parties who always brought a sketch pad

and surreptitiously drew portraits of unsuspecting

attendees. Michael sometimes sneaked peeks and was

always impressed. One evening, he engaged the

woman in conversation, telling her that he greatly

admired her work.

She smiled.

“Do you ever sell your sketches?”

“Very rarely. They’re just a hobby. I’ve got a day job

and would probably starve if I ever tried to do this fulltime.”

At that very moment the wheels began turning in

Michael’s brain. Soon he was beaming at her.

“What?” she asked. Now she was smiling too.

“This might sound very crazy, but I have an idea that

could make us rich.”

“Does it involve robbing a bank?”

“Not at all! It involves selling your sketches to my

friends. Most of them are very rich.”

“You want me to sketch your friends and sell them the


“Actually, I’ve noticed that you’ve already done some

of their sketches. If you let me be your agent, I think

we will soon find out that we have a very lucrative


“Where do I sign up?”

“I can have a contract for you on Monday.”

When they next got together, Michael handed Yvonne

a single sheet of paper. He would get one third of the

selling price of each drawing and one-half for their


“How come your cut is larger for the reproductions?”

“It’s simple. I’ll be arranging and paying for making

the reproductions.”

“That’s fine with me.”

“I’ll be your exclusive agent. Our agreement can be

abrogated by either party with three months’ notice.”

“May I take on commissions on my own sales?”


“Yes, but not with any clients you met through me.

And you can even make reproductions on your own.

So, if I’m not involved, then I don’t get a commission.”

“I can live with that,” said Yvonne.

“So can I! Now, let me tell you what I’ll be doing to

earn my commission.”

“You’ll be introducing me to potential customers.”

“Exactly. By the way, do you happen to have five or

six charcoals that I can hang in my ballroom?”

“Of course!”

“I’ll have them framed and reproduced. Then we’ll be

in business.”

“Sounds good to me!”

Founder’s Favourites | December 2021—Issue 17 | 9

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