YOU: Listen, la femme Nikita, no doubt you have once more managed to blow all your cash on shopping for Christmas, your wedding anniversary, and your husband’s birthday.
ME (feigning wide-eyed innocence): Who, me?
YOU (ignoring my disingenuousness): Yes, you. And now you are desperate to refill the old cashbox, and all too ready to prostitute your time and what writing ability you have at the altar of the almighty buck.
ME: Hey, corporate capitalists deserve empathy and support, too.
YOU: As your friend, it is my duty to remind you that while pursuit of one’s career is a noble and high-minded thing, nevertheless, there are some things that are beyond even your ludicrous work fees. Such as your sanity, for instance.
ME: Oh, that old thing. I know I left it lying around here someplace.
YOU: I’m not saying you should turn all the projects down. Just take what you can actually do without risking insanity.
ME: Oh, come on. What’s a little insanity when the end result (i.e., money) can buy you really ritzy body lotion? And lots of books! And new toys for the iPod!
Please note that if you actually let me get that far into the conversation, you will have failed already, as I will then promptly go into rapturous vacuity imagining all the stuff I will be able to buy… at the bargain price of my mental health! You must be firm and unyielding, and self-sacrificing enough not to mind that I will probably revoke your Christmas present out of sheer pique at your having the nerve to be right.
Well, I’ve told you I’m not an easy friend to keep, haven’t I?