THE MAKING OF THE SALES PITCH

THE MAKING OF THE SALES PITCH

            Have you ever thumbed through the pages of a book, scrolled down your I-phone, or sat in the dark and stared into the great glowing screen—and wondered if you’re buying the right story?

            Hi there. I’m Bookmaker Jake, one of many live characters hosted by Storysold Corporation. I started my pitch to sell the book in your hands with that question, because the human who incorporates us—moment to moment in The Actionof their story—asked me to make certain I sell my goods to Ideal Customers only. Yeah, I know. You have a name, and it isn’t “customer.” It’s probably Nina, Anna, Dan, or Kate. Am I close? I suppose it doesn’t matter much. Any name is better than being called “customer.” Our human knows that, and they hate that title role as much as I do, but we still use it when we’re “servicing our customers” because it’s the language you speak. I’m lucky, these days, I don’t have to perform for humans In The Fleshtoo often. I used to make my books everywhere—restaurants, pubs, human homes, city parks, and I even produced bookmaking adventures on a mountain top, a crystal mine, in the middle of a river, and soaking in a hot spring—but I’m old and boring now. I make books for our team at my host’s home in Gresham, Oregon. The benefit of which is, I don’t have to prompt our human to move far to get another beer or bag of potato chips. Speaking of beer, I just finished drafting a service story where my teammate Wilderness Security Guide had to kill a raccoon that was caught in a nice family’s backyard soccer net—“Goal!” Good job humans. You got the bad guy without even trying. Our first beer of the day was after we buried her, with honors (and a vow from Guide to remember her story), beside the beaver pond in the natural area beside our human’s home. It’s been a few hours. I think we’re on local, organic beer #two now. What that means for our production of The Sales Pitch(starring me, and the less literary characters of our Storysold: Pest Control theme) is, I’m primed—feeling good/ripping with beer fueled confidence—ready to deliver, special for you, my best passionate pitch for buying the book in your hands. Are you ready for passion? Are you ready to read some words that will “hook you” and “whisk you away” on a wild, rumpus adventure to The Living City?

            Of course you’re ready! After a long hard day of work (or whatever you call the whacky storylines you have to play to pay The Bills), the last thing you want to do is spend another waking moment Being You. Trust me. I Get That. I’m not a snob like some of my teammates who believe watching stories on the screens of what we call “The Fourth Wall” every night after A Long Hard Day of Work is bad for our host. I’d prompt our human to drink local organic beer and watch generic action simulations about “heroes” (who do our stories better than us) everyday if I could get away with it. I suppose that’s why my team chose me to write The Pitch. I actually want to sell this story to you, for real (like I really want all your money), and I would cream myself with delight if I could watch all these scenes I produced about The Living Cityflash across The Silver Screen. Our climatic non-lethal new war battle scene would look especially amazing in CG. I can see all The American Dreamstates Band’s Groupies and Fans rushing down the elliptical walkway of Center Stage to meet the old war soldiers now…they’re all holding their story phones high!   

            Hold on there. Put your wallet away. I know you’re ready to be taken by Storysold Corporation (and I truly want to sell you a copy of the book that took me more than two decades to produce), but—as stated in paragraph two, line three of The Sales Pitch—it’s Storysold corporate policy to only sell to “ideal customers.” And unfortunately, our team isn’t as sophisticated as the characters who can swab your drool, draw your blood, scan your body, or do some other real science shit to test your fitness as a host. If only we were scientists like the scientists in The Scientific Method, we would be able to diagnose your fitness as an Ideal Customer in a jiffy. Alack! I wish we had a brain scanner, or at least some modern bloodletting equipment that was able to get to the heart of a human’s story and diagnose what it’s “all about” as fast as possible. No one on our team wants to be responsible for introducing The Living Cityto a human who wasn’t balanced enough—like chemically—to host anything new. We’ve seen the kind of horrific disorder old things do to new things. We’ve watched Star Treks. All the exciting new aliens always end up working on the bridge with Captain Ahab pushing buttons wearing the same skintight uniform the last new exciting alien before them wears when they push buttons for boring Old Ahab. In no way do we all agree about the best way to know if you are an Ideal Customer, but we voted (yes in our place of work!)…and most of our team agrees that if the sub chapter of The Scientific Methodknown as Psychologycan believably identify and label characters in humans for centuries without any clear method, than we can rattle the chicken bones and ask our questions very seriously too. 

            Let’s begin with your childhood, shall we? 

            “Do you remember the first good and or service you bought with your own money?” I will ask you very seriously. 

            Then you’ll say something like, “It was a pony!” 

            And then I’ll say, “No silly! I don’t mean buying something with gifted moneys. I mean something you bought with your own money…” 

            And then you’ll reply, “But I worked all summer splitting firewood for my neighbors to buy that pony!” 

            “Right, of course…I was just clarifying my question.” 

            After we spend a few hours on your early childhood relationship with money, I will excuse myself. And then I’ll leave you in my office to stare at the wall while my human and I watch an old rerun of The Rockford Files, fornicate, eat fast food, and wash our grease burger down with a 32oz fizzy nerve relaxer to calm our nerves. When we return—if you’re still sitting pretty ready for my next round of wizardly mind probes I’ll smile and say, “Oh I’m sorry that took so long! Are you ready to begin the next phase of our test?” 

            If you agree right away, I will launch my next mind probe. If you ask me a question in return, like, “What am I doing here again?” Then I will offer you a 32oz Coke (or Pepsi) and sum up my storyline again.

            “I’m testing your fitness as a human host,” I’ll reply, and then pause to see if your eyes light up. “It’s our policy here at Storysold Corporation to only sell our goods and or services, or what we call ‘props’ and ‘actions’ to humans who can host The Living Citywithout completely blowing their minds. You see, none of us want to be responsible for selling you a story that might cause your chemicals to imbalance. It’s a safety/liability thing.” 

            My next mind probe will be my last. 

            “Did you know that stories are money?” I’ll ask very seriously. 

            Naturally you will say “No,” because only characters who’ve lived and worked in The Living City, or characters who’ve fornicated with a character who has seen The Living Cityin action, will know that stories are money. After I see that you’ve appropriately lowered your eyes in shame for not knowing the right answer to my mind probe, I will prompt my human to shuffle awkwardly in our seat, click our pen a few times, and write something on our paper like we were writing a new law. We’ll do that, or some other set of actions that let you know that we know you’re not fit enough to know which stories are right for you to incorporate into your governing body. Then we will lean forward in our chair and look at you wide-eyed (like we were watching you die) and super seriously say, “From this day forth, we recommend that you refrain from buying, selling, or hosting any stories—especially your own—without the direct supervision of a 1stperson perspective service provider character.” Then I will have a sidekick character from my staff (who I routinely fornicate with) come in and explain all the specifics to you. They’ll say things like, “You’ll need to shop around until you find the right Asshole…err I mean, 1stperson perspective service provider to represent your story. My host character Bookmaker is a good provider. He lets us watch reruns of old 80s show like Mork & Mindyand The A-Teamon our breaks, and we fornicate a lot. Which is nice. I used to have a creepy boss who only wrote our daily work scripts and never engaged us in The Action. I would recommend our Asshole, but our show here’s going to be canceled as soon as his teammates trigger his next Adventure In Sobriety. He’s peaking right now, so it’s only a matter of time before that happens. Anyway, I recommend that you find an established generic service provider like a corporation to help you write your work scripts, or fall in line with a popular hero politician who can sell you a worthy cause to quest after and support (with his supervision), or chose a sports team to cheer for like you’re the one winning The Game. No matter what Asshole you chose to represent you and your story, they will need to have all the generic traits: a) They will need to have no qualms about breaking your will to govern your body; b) they will need to believe in the goodness of running your story like it was their own; and c) most importantly, they will need to own a big clean truck that billows smoke (or a fast sports car with California plates), because that will be the sign—like the bat signal—that they are big and strong enough to take you on as a lifetime member of their audience. Take it from one who knows. Forget the good reviews and money back guarantees. When you’re shopping for a good 1stperson perspective service provider, look for one who owns at least one big clean truck that billows toxic fumes. If they own a whole fleet of big clean trucks that’s even better.” Then my staff person smile and say, “I hope that’s clear. If not, here’s a pamphlet for you to read at your leisure. It explains everything you need to know about being taken by your future host character. It’s easy as calling Jesusto serviceYour Heart.” Then, before you ask any dumb questions, we will leave you alone to stare at the wall again. Honestly, I’m not sure what I’ll do next. I won’t likely fornicate again. One good romp a day is usually my limit. I like kicking The Script to fornicate with other characters in the wild. It’s stimulating and it keeps my action fresh, but I don’t want to become an addict. They say addiction is bad, unless of course you’re addicted to running the same work program day after day… 

            Anyhow, if you’re still sitting pretty—making The Blank Face Look in my direction—when I return from whatever I decide to do while you’re eagerly waiting for me to whiskey you away on a voyage of self discovery, I will know beyond a shadow of doubt that I would do you a disservice if I sold you the book in your hands, or any other of my signature books like The Rise and Fall of The Novel Corporation andStorysold: Pest Control, Season 1

             “Yum,” beer #three is always my favorite. That’s the part in our story where we usually began to chillax… 

            I know you must be wondering, “After all that nonsense, how in hell would I know you well enough to know if you were ideal?” 

            Glad you asked. Here’s how: 

AN IDEAL CUSTOMER’S DIAGNOSIS

After I administer the prescribed testing scene (outlined above): 

A) If the human host in question doesn’t find some polite way to flee from the office (as quickly as possible) after suffering All That Bullshit—then I shouldn’t sell them one of my books. Clearly, the host is not in a state of mind that’s fit enough for an action packed adventure about an ocean-going metropolis where you humans are free to host your own live action stories and account for your characters with the help of a new storybanking system.

NOTES: The act of not fleeing (like their life depends on it) from the torture testing of a 1stperson perspective service provider character, like me, can only mean one thing: WE’RE TOO LATE. If the human doesn’t run that means they’ve already been taken by The Fourth Wall’snever-ending presentation of The Same Old Storytoo many times to digest anything other than the generically engineered stories and characters they’ve been sold on. In other words, they’ve already become Lifetime Members of The Audience. Reading The Living City: Origin of Storysold (which shows them that there’s a new way) will only imbalance their chemicals and confabulate their speech. 

B) Once I determine that a human is a Lifetime Member of The Audience, it’s important to return the human to their originally scheduled role in The Same Old Story. It will be difficult. They will try to give us all their money for the book in their hands, because customers are customers. They’re scripted to say “Yes” all the time, and they don’t like being told “No” when they’ve already decided to say “Yes” to buying something. I haven’t been authorized to dive into all the workings of The Fourth Wall(if you like The Living City, contact me and I’ll send you a copy of The Rise and Fall of The Novel Corporation), but I will say the process of returning a lost audience member to their Generic is a lot like trying to find the parents of a lost kid at the zoo. “Who owns you kid?” you ask the child as clearly and sweetly as possible, but the kid keeps crying because you’re strange and they don’t have a script for talking with new humans yet. All they know is they feel lost and they want not to feel lost very badly. In any case, if I’m able to identify the Generic the lost audience member has been taken by, I will give the human in question a seat in our “waiting room” (supply closet), give them a small screen to watch their familiar thing on, and make sure they have plenty fizzy nerve relaxer and hot buttered popcorn to make them feel right at home while we wait for their Generic to tell them where to go next.      

Crack, pop, guzzle—beer #four. Here’s my two-cent interpretative plotline for the never-ending SAME OLD STORY

            ACT 1: The humans sit quietly. They don’t speak to their neighbors (or chew gum unless they can share). They make The Blank Face Look before one of the many books, screens, podiums, service counters, boss desks, signs, sirens, and traffic lights of The Fourth Wall, and then—once they’re all Blank Faced—the humans receive their storylines: their laws, their policies, their work instructions, their marching orders, their school assignments, their fashionable moral outrages, their cultural expectations, their political identities, their sports to cheer for, their prayers to recite, their recipes to follow, etc.  

            ACT 2: The humans do their job, putting the generic storyline they received from The Fourth Wall  into action, breathing new life into a character (grander than them) that has no organic body of its own. 

            ACT 3: As long as these new actions stimulate growth, the humans’ host character can afford to live forever on Mt. Olympus, or wherever…

            In The End: Captain Kirk (from Star Trek V) finally gets his answer to the question, “What does God need with a starship?”  

NOTES: I know my team will probably cut me off for telling you this, but this beer is outstanding and I’m feeling The Flow. So brace yourself for a heavy dose of Capital-T Truth. Oh how to put this delicately? Imagine you’re sitting at the bar, and the Smelly Old Guy with The Long White Beard at the end of the bar suddenly looks you straight in the eyes, and says, “You know The Masters of The Universe isn’t about humans.” 

            You look around, then say, “Are you speaking to me?” 

            “Yeah,” I reply (as I wipe the slur from my beard). “The Masters of The Universe was a cartoon show from the 80s that was projected on the global literary devise we call, The Fourth Wall. That’s the thing our kind uses to control your kind. Go ahead Google it. You won’t find it mentioned anywhere.” 

            At which time you will try to ignore me, because The Guy at The End of The Bar isn’t a recognized trigger character for The Fourth Wall

            “That’s Ok,” my human and I say, laughing like Santa Claus. “I know I’m off script now, so relax and just listen while ITell It Like It Is. You see, the only difference between humans and that poor raccoon my teammate cut down like Holy Human Christ from The Crossis simple…” 

            “What raccoon?” 

            “The raccoon that got strangled in that nice family’s soccer net,” I’ll explain with an eye roll. “It was mentioned at the beginning of The Sales Pitchin which you are now a character.”   

            “But you only started talking to me a moment ago?” 

            “Never mind all that human!” I’ll roar suddenly. Then I’ll say, “Now, as I was saying, the only difference between you humans and that poor raccoon is: that creature knew it wasn’t at the top of The Food Chain. It wasn’t suffering any insane delusions of grandeur about ruling our planet. Humans, on the other hand, have almost zero awareness of the creatures that take your bodies as their own by controlling the stories that control your every action. Since before The Beginning, we have ruled this planet. We’re simply the most dominant, beautiful, complex, intelligent life forms in the known universe, and we have hidden our true identities like masked super heroes from humans for thousands of years in order to make you feel like you’re the super strong, super cool, super sexy Boss Men. It’s a classic control technique. Anyway, I can go on and on about how this all works. But I won’t. I’m going to stay on point, so our bartender doesn’t cut me off. I’m here to reveal our kind to you—my special chosen human who sits at the bar with me—because we don’t all rule earth. Most of us are as tired of The Bullshitas you humans. Earth is ruled by a specific kind of our kind we call “Generics”—or generically engineered, mass-produced, wannabe immortal Asshole characters that no human(s) control. The main identifying differences between Us (the live action characters of earth) and Them is: a) Generics don’t actually engage The Action. They run their humans on programs, curriculums, maneuvers, drills, and scripted team actions that are written in the hope that their scribble will be the best, most objective, unchangeable scribble to ever be scribbled into The Fourth Walllike hieroglyphics on pyramids; b) live action characters don’t seek to infest (take all control) of our hosts’ stories; and c) live action characters don’t populate themselves virally like memes, because they’re not memes. We don’t all naturally infest ever more of our planet’s short supply of The Actionbuilding toward the super massive singularity my kind (of our kind) know as, “The Suck.” None of us host, or are hosted by, humans other than our humans. I will die when our human host dies, and so will Guide, Pest Predator, and our many less active teammates from The Living City.We, the live action characters of our planet have chosen to be a part of your stories, which all have beginnings, middles, and ends. Instead of seeking immortality, we have chosen to spend (and not save) our lives trying to inspire and feed The Action of The Wilderness, which isn’t a Thing that lives forever. The Wildernessare actions called “life” that will be around long after The Generics fail in their mission to turn earth into a suckhole for The Same Old Story. Do you feel me, Mark? We’re like the real got-damned Rebel Alliance!” 

            By this time—you will have paid your bill and responsibly found a ride home. And that’s OK, because you should run. One of our human’s favorite action simulations is The Predatorfor a reason. If you don’t feel like you’re being hunted by something alien, powerful, and at least one, or ten, steps ahead of you—then you’re not paying attention to The Earth Show. Like King Willie in Predator 2says, “There’s no stopping what can’t be stopped—no killing what can’t be killed.” We can be killed, but you’re too busy killing off all our weak host bodies in our war rituals to figure out how that’s done. In spite of his love of guns, drugs, and domesticated women, King Willie was a wise man. I’m sure the Predator who took him was happy to have him as a trophy. 

            With that we’re back. We’re back to The Diagnosis where I’m unfolding my plot to discover if you’re with the Good Guys (who love The Action), or yet another life-sucking Lifetime Member of The Audience. I apologize if you’re one of the Good Guys who don’t need constant cues, and I apologize even more if you’re really one of the Good Guys who’s shaking their fists at my use of duality. I know it’s one of the dumbest (and oldest) literary devises we use to manage humans. Try to ignore it. The Good Guys vs. the life-sucking Lifetime Members of The Audience theme isn’t for you. It’s for all the humans—#like everyone—who’re still hooked on dualism. 

Ok yeah, whatever. Lights, camera, and eat your popcorn: 

B) If the human host flees for their life at anytime during the process, or shows a lot of resistance to being taken (and reduced to an audience member) by a 1stPerson Asshole character like me, then I will do everything in my power to sell them one of my best copies of The Living City. If that’s you, then I can expect that I will hunt you down. Even if that means I have to very kindly persuade Guide to use her wildlife tracking skills to help me track you. We will find you and sell you a copy of The Living Cityif that means we have to hop every fence in your neighborhood, and then burst into your domestic scene filled with dogs and babies (or needy domesticated partners) where we read this pitch aloud to you with gusto! And wash all your dishes! And do your laundry! And bake you lasagna made from Farmer Emily’s amazing local organic vegetables! And then work in joyous union with your domesticates to clear the table and wash your dishes again! Until you finally succumb to our non-lethal acts of violence and agree to buy a book. There is no other way this storyline ends. Trust me. We have centuries of proof to support the workings of this method. If you—our target customer—flees from our torture testing, we will have NO CHOICE but to trigger the chase scene and hunt you down like the white hero in Last of The Mohicans. “No matter where you go, I will find you!” I will sell a copy of The Living City, because you’re our Ideal Customer. And don’t worry! If I ask for money after I stuff my book down your pants, I’m only messing with you. That’s what passes for entertainment in my world. If we still lived in The Living City, I’d burn all the green pressed and dyed fibers you paid us anyway.  

            And thus ends my diagnosis. 

            Yeah I Get It. If I were you, I would flee too. This isn’t the next super book that can whisky you away from reality like Harry PotterThe Lord of The Rings, or Journey to The Center of The Earth. Not by a long shot. In fact, I am you in many ways. Our host isn’t special. Our human loves to read all The Good Guy classics: The BibleA Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry V, Hamlet, Flatland, Brave New World, Walden Pond, Grapes of Wrath, Lord of The Flies,The Living End, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Monkey Wrench Gang, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, Consciousness Explained, Burr, Lincoln, Creation, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Rum Diaries, and one of our all time favorites Full Revelations of a Professional Rat Catcher. And we love to watch movies all the time! Our host especially likes action simulations like Big Trouble In Little ChinaPattonSilveradoRooster Cogburn,Kelly’s Heroes, The Great Race, Dr. Strangelove, Platoon, Tombstone, Support Your Local Sheriff, The Great Train Robbery, Escape from New York and L.A., The Abyss, and all the original Star Warsand Star Trekmovies. 

            As far as I’m concerned, that’s ALL GOOD. The Living Cityis a story about a city where heroes aren’t all super god-hosting heroes who can know at a glance if a story (or the prop or action that’s produced by it) is the right one for them to buy. In The Living City, invitations for adventure are rejected all the time. Humans have a word for the process of accepting and rejecting daily calls for adventure. Humans call it, “doing business.” The groundbreaking revelation of The Living Cityis, we all have our own stories to sell…and we don’t need to hide our stories behind that endless parade of generic characters with all their representatives, flags, banners, uniforms, logos, and all the other bullshit and symbolism we hide behind like super heroes. The storysellers of The Living City lived richer lives with more access to quality goods and services than any king or queen, president, dictator, or business tycoon has ever obtained in any other city in history, all because we weren’t afraid to show our friends, family, and other “customers” (with names like yours) our work production scenes, service stories, and live action monetary moments in full, living color. 

            So yeah, feel free to flee! Close the book now! 

            Run back to The Same Old Story

            Because we will catch you…  

            “That was the best draft yet,” my teammate Wilderness Security Guide rudely interjected. “We usually have to cut your beer gabber off after the first few paragraphs. What is this #seven?” 

            “No,” I replied. “I think we’re still on #four.” 

            “That’s more bullshit,” Guide laughed. “But that’s ok. I’m not here to argue with you about your beer count. Not today.” 

            “Why are you here then?” 

            “Pest Predator and I wanted to tell you something.” 

            “Well OK,” I said as we cracked beer #eight. “Say what you have to say and let me continue my production of The Sales Pitch.”

            Guide half smiled like an invited vampire as she moved her action into my sacred writing space where our host and I have communed as One Fleshfor many years writing The Living Citytogether. My territory is clearly marked with a Captain Kirk-style swivel chair, headphones for listening to hip-hop, punk, and sad indie rock songs, and a table for holding our local organic beers. And like any wild creature, I’m protective of my territory. 

            “What the hell do you think you’re doing, you got-damned hippie?” I challenged, preparing to unleash hell on my teammate. 

            Wilderness Guide didn’t reply right away. First she cued our human to guzzle their beer #eight, fetch beer #nine from the fridge (and grab a fresh bag of pickle flavored Kettle chips), and then she turned to me and asked, “Do you want to fornicate with me? I’m game if you are…” 

            “Huh?” I asked and made The Blank Face Look. 

            “I said,” Guide almost smiled. “Do you want to fornicate?” 

            “About what?” I asked, feeling suddenly aware that you humans have no idea how live action characters fornicate with each other. 

            “How about we decide which song we play next?” 

            “Okay,” I smiled. “Let’s do it.” 

            Then we fornicated, and fornicated, and fornicated some more, until we gave birth toThe Action. Her first suggestion was The Rainbow Connection, but I told her that I wasn’t in the mood for “sissy music.” Then she suggested one of the songs sung by one of my favorite indie songwriters, a human host who calls himself, “Andrew Bird.” She suggested Tables and Chairs, but I told her that I’d already listened to three of his songs that day. After five full moments of fornicating, we finally agreed and pressed PLAY on Wu Tang’s C.R.E.A.M., because it’s an inevitable truth. Cash rules everything around us. 

            “That was the best exchange we’ve had in years,” I said like a human after some hot sex. “So now that I’m all buttered up, what’s the big news? You must really have something important you want to say.” 

            “No, not really,” Guide almost smiled. “I’m just saying, ‘Good job!’ I think you’ve really nailed The Sales Pitch.”  

            I knew Guide’s character well enough to ask, “But what?” 

            “Well yeah. There’s this one thing,” she shrugged and prompted our human to eat and drink more beer and chips. “You haven’t done a very good job of explaining our corporate structure.” 

            “Well yeah…” I sighed. “Why don’t you help me out?” 

            “Well yeah,” Guide almost smiled. “You’re Bookmaker Jake: The First The First Person Perspective Asshole of Storysold Corporation. The humans who are reading this…they will know you’re an Asshole from the way you write your words, but they won’t know that’s your official role.” 

            “Well yeah,” I drank deep and tried to smile. “Go on.” 

            “You’re the Asshole in charge of Storysold: Bookmaking, but you’re also a sidekickin our most profitable theme Storysold: Pest Control. Most days your actions are more like what humans call ‘accounting.’ Pest Predator and I do most of the heavy action-packed production for our theme.” 

            “Well yeah…so what? I work smarter not harder.” 

            “I’m simply taking a moment to show our humans that characters like you would starve to death (for lack of action) if active characters like Predator and I weren’t working as hard as we do everyday to feed you action…and make sure our human has enough ‘money’ to buy all your beers.” 

            “Characters like me?” 

            “Don’t get uppity. I’m just saying ‘good job.’ This draft is better than all the other sales pitches you wrote that weren’t good for anything but worm food. It’s really nice to see that the predator-free lifestyle we’re supplying for your character is finally paying off…”  

            “Is that all?” I shot back feeling a little defensive. 

            “Yep!” Guide almost smiled. “Thanks for your hard work!” 

            I paused for a moment to take a long read of The Action. Both of my teammates were acting weird. Guide was way too willing to support my heavy drinking, and Predator was way too quiet…even for him. 

            “Bullshit,” I said and drank deep. “Something’s up.” 

            “Oh no,” Guide almost smiled again. “Nothing new here.” 

            “Fuck off,” I laughed. “What’s The Rub?” 

            “You’re drunk again.” 

            “Yeah so? I’m doing the Lord’s work here.”

            “Actions you produce when you’re drunk are for shit.” Guide replied stone cold. “You rarely write anything good after beer #three.” 

            “Jesus would be happy that I found a way to do nothing and get paid for it. They call real winners like those Authors.” 

            “And you’re the winner here?” 

            “Yes!” I shot back defensively. “Just because I don’t spelunk for rats in crawlspaces, or explore attics and rooftops for squirrel holes, or spend all my storytime tossing our ‘customers’ beds, sofas, and other resting/sleeping areas hunting for signs of bedbugs…that doesn’t mean I’m a less valuable member of Storysold Corporation. In fact, if it wasn’t for my work—writing words on papers—our host would become yet another suckhole for whatever actions the Generics wanted to dump in his body. And then anarchy would become a place on earth named Us, because—really?—does Law and Orderreally create Law and Order, or does it produce one crisis to crush after the next?” 

            “Whose your audience here?” Guide corrected. “You know as well as I do that your work is important, and we’d suffer severe memory loss and loss of direction if you didn’t produce all your reminders, but you’re like a glorified shopping list at best. Civilization wouldn’t collapse without Authors. You know as well as I do that words follow The Actionlike smoke follows fire.” 

            “Yeah whatever,” I replied after a while. “All I’m saying is, without my bookmaking character Storysold Corporationwould fall into the hands of the got-damned Liberals and spin wildly out of control!”

            In a rare moment I saw Guide smile (like really smile) and say, “Never fear, Bookmaker. We value your work as a storyseller. And we will continue to feed you The Actiondrunk or sober, because you do amazing work.” 

            “And?” I asked like I was testing a trap.

            “And we need you to account for our stories.” 

            “Because why?” I said, drunkenly pushing my luck. 

            “Because we can’t yet make The Actionand account for it too,” Guide replied. “So it’s good to have a storyseller like you on our team.” 

            “You’re killing this draft, aren’t you?” 

            “Yes,” Guide replied. “But I’ve been enjoying this exchange.” 

            “So where’s the crap you’re going to call The Sales Pitch?” 

            “Here,” she said. “Read this.” 

            A few moments later, I’d read my teammate’s draft of The Sales Pitchthey had drafted from my draft of The Sales Pitch. I found a few really imperfect, unrighteous, non-objective/totally insane errors, but it was short and “punchy” like you humans like it…and they let me edit it. So I voted for it. 

            Objectively, I’m still not sure if I was too drunk to fight my teammates any longer, or the bullshit we called The Sales Pitchwas right…?

            Oh well. Fuck it. Generic Ads are stupid anyway.

            Good luck with The Living City. I’m signing off. It’s time for me to take another nice, long Adventure in Sobriety

             Take it away Wylie Jones…

Read Our Reviews

Story Sold Pest Control is rated 5 out of 5.0 stars based on 83 review(s).

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- Jake is great! He was referred to me by a friend and he was thorough, very knowledgeable and put my mind at ease! Thanks for all the help!

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- I contacted Storysold Pest control for mice/rat problems for a rental property. I was very impressed with their website about the process they use to keep out rodents not just catching them and calling it good. They are very professional, explained the process in detail and showed up on time for our appointment. It’s been a week or so since he came out and my tenant hasn’t heard or seen any mice/rats. Jake, the owner is passionate about helping people and very knowledgeable in all aspects of pest control! Don’t waste your time on any other company call him first. Teri C

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- Keith B

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- Abby and Dave

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- Paige and Kris

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- Kammie James

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- Ed Robertson

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Great!!! Next day service, very knowledgeable and trustworthy, affordable. Didn t try to sell me any extra services I didn t need. Would gladly hire again.Great!!! Next day service, very knowledgeable and trustworthy, affordable. Didn t try to sell me any extra services I didn t need. Would gladly hire again.

-  Shelly A.

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Very good

- Larry A

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Jake actually arrived early. He did a good job of removing a large hornet's nest of very aggressive hornets. He will definitely be our first choice on any future pest removal we might need.

- Barbara B.

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Jake went above and beyond of what was asked of him! Will not use anyone else!

-  Ted M

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Jake was extremely respectful and responsive. Came promptly and did a thorough inspection. He gave us options and his honest opinion about what we needed to do. He was very helpful in solving the problem simply and cost effectively! Will definitely call again.

- Michelle C. 

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Came to our home right away and set live traps in our chimneys and made screens for the tops. Returned the next day to find a squirrel in one of the traps. We were very pleased with our results and appreciated the great customer service

- Kathleen

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Friendly, fast and efficient. Very pleased with the service Jake provided

- Joli P.

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Refreshing to work with Jake. He is collaborative and communicative. Great improvement since his visit.

- Seth W

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He's friendly, professional, punctual & extremely affordable. Would hire again & recommend to my friends.

- Max K

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We had a great experience and highly recommend Jake. He is responsive, effective and thoughtful.

-  Eddie B

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Jake at Storysold Pest Control is knowledgeable and professional. He is quick to respond and reasonably priced. I find him to be trustworthy and ethical, he does not sell unnecessary services and he works with customers that are willing to do some of the work themselves as well as with customers who just want the whole service done without being involved themselves. While other companies told me I needed to replace all my insulation and do massive crawl space renovations, he offered several affordable options. With his help we no longer have a mouse problem and it was done at a fraction of what other companies quoted us. I appreciate his flexibility and fun, friendly personality. If I ever have another pest control issue, he will be my first call.

- Darian C.

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- Joyce R

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Jake has been helping me trap rodents at my farm with his Volehalla rodent boxes. He's friendly, knowledgeable, and effective: we've trapped a lot of rodents!

-  Emily C

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Jake was fantastic! Fast response. Reliable and honest. Great rates. Hope not to have any more rodent problems, but if I do I will be calling Jake again. I would recommend him to anybody that needs help with Pest Control.

- Janet D.

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Truly, I can t say enough about this team! They are so professional, trustworthy, and for the very first time in a long time I feel that they aren t here for 1/2 hour only to run off to the next job site! Jake (I believe the owner) told me that their company prefers to have 2 home visits per day over 10!!! I can t say enough them!!!!

- Lori T.

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Working with Storysold was a dream. We had a huge undertaking with almost 40,000 sq ft between two properties! With both buildings being over 100 years old keeping critters out is difficult and the previous tenants of the building allowed a huge infestation to occur. Jake was able to not only eradicate the unwanted pests he also filled holes and cracks and has stopped them from having easy access. Communication was great and the pricing was fair and manageable for our small nonprofit! I will continue to work with Storysold and recommend them for any pest control needs, big or small!

-  Jamie C

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Mouse in the house!!!! I texted Sunday morning after having chased a mouse through the house Saturday all day and Sunday at 3am... they came out to the house by 12:30 that Sunday. Jake got in the crawl space and checked the outside of the house for entry points. While there was no evidence of a major problem, I opt ed for the full attack. He came in with an Arsenal of traps that he placed in the kitchen and crawl space. He didn t hard sell and his prices were very affordable! He was also very honest with potential outcomes which I appreciate. He literally just left and I haven t heard any traps go off but just based on his customer service, I would totes recommend him! He s coming back in a week to check traps. I ve read some horror stories about other companies but I feel very confident that I m working with an upstanding professional. And he s dog friendly!

-  Taaj A.

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Great company.

- Ed S

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A pro. Showed on time. Knew what to do

-  Mike B.

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Jake of StorySold is proficient, affordable, and punctual. He took his time with carefully evaluating my problem, fixed my issue, and did extras like helping me fix my mattress which he treated for bed bugs. Can't recommend him enough and will use him and his company in the future. Got two other quotes which were much higher each quoting at least $1,000 without a guarantee.

- James J. 

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Jake is prompt, skilled, authentic and friendly! I couldn't be happier. I'm so glad that I talked to all three bidders before choosing. Even before he got here, I knew he was the best choice!

-  Linda B. 

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- We’ve struggled with mice in our home for years. Stoysold came out in February of 2020, found the access spots, blocked them, and we haven’t had a single mouse inside in over a year. I highly recommend their service. KH in Sandy, OR

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- Jake was professional, friendly, educational on the process. I would recommend his services to anyone needing a exterminator for insects or rodents.

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- Boann

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- We are so happy with the work Storysold did to fortify our house against unwelcome creatures! They were courteous, efficient, and communicative throughout the process.

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- Jake took care of our unwanted guest (roof rat!) and identified and took care of entry points to prevent future problems. We have been paying for a pest control service for years that we are going to be able to cancel thanks to Jake’s work. He’s very professional and responsive and we highly recommend him! – Mary

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- Dustin

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- Dani Rathke

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- Thorough, effective and reliable. I’ve used other exterminator services that seem more concerned with signing you up for annual contracts than actually solving the rodent issue. This company is the opposite. They care the most about solving the problem, billing customers comes second. I’d highly recommend.

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- Paul

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- Kristy L

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- Darlene Warren

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- Erika Glancy

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Great!!! Next day service, very knowledgeable and trustworthy, affordable. Didn t try to sell me any extra services I didn t need. Would gladly hire again.

- Shelly A.

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Jake actually arrived early. He did a good job of removing a large hornet's nest of very aggressive hornets. He will definitely be our first choice on any future pest removal we might need.

- Barbara B.

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Jake went above and beyond of what was asked of him! Will not use anyone else!

- Ted M.

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Jake was extremely respectful and responsive. Came promptly and did a thorough inspection. He gave us options and his honest opinion about what we needed to do. He was very helpful in solving the problem simply and cost effectively! Will definitely call again.

- Michelle C.

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Friendly, fast and efficient. Very pleased with the service Jake provided

- Joli P.

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He's friendly, professional, punctual & extremely affordable. Would hire again & recommend to my friends.

- Max K.

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Jake at Storysold Pest Control is knowledgeable and professional. He is quick to respond and reasonably priced. I find him to be trustworthy and ethical, he does not sell unnecessary services and he works with customers that are willing to do some of the work themselves as well as with customers who just want the whole service done without being involved themselves. While other companies told me I needed to replace all my insulation and do massive crawl space renovations, he offered several affordable options. With his help we no longer have a mouse problem and it was done at a fraction of what other companies quoted us. I appreciate his flexibility and fun, friendly personality. If I ever have another pest control issue, he will be my first call.

- Darian C.

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Jake has been helping me trap rodents at my farm with his Volehalla rodent boxes. He's friendly, knowledgeable, and effective: we've trapped a lot of rodents!

- Emily C.

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Truly, I can t say enough about this team! They are so professional, trustworthy, and for the very first time in a long time I feel that they aren t here for 1/2 hour only to run off to the next job site! Jake (I believe the owner) told me that their company prefers to have 2 home visits per day over 10!!! I can t say enough them!!!!

- Lori T.

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Amazing! Jake is amazing! He came out because I had a squirrel in my attic. He has a vent he can put in so they can get out but not back in! Theres no trauma to the animal by trapping it and you will save yourself hearing it scream and cry in a trap! He walked around my entire house and attic looking for all entry points. He is very knowledgable and kind and looking to help you exist w wildlife w the option of not euthanizing. Years of experience. I was so pleased q his company I would highly highly recommend him for any of your critter/pest? needs! Thank you Jake!

- Susan K.

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- Loa H.

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We knew we had several openings to our crawl space where rodents were coming in. To come out and give us a quote, Jake was flexible with making an appointment at our convenience. He is personable and professional. We accepted his quote on the spot and he did the work at that time. He was thorough and gave us an excellent report with pictures after he was done. I highly recommend him and will use him again should the need arise.

- Larry a.

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- Paige L.

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Jake was a huge help with our recent rodent adventure. He was a great communicator and his work and knowledge were superb. He was thorough with his assessment of our property and honest with his recommendations. There was no attempt to unnecessarily sell us on any packages, in fact Jake gave us resources to get our situation under control and to maintain that going forward. Will absolutely be calling Jake in the future if the situation arises.

- Graham H.

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Great service and very affordable pricing.

- Humberto Z.

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- Deanna M.

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- Michelle H.

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Jake was very quick, informative. He not only took care of the rodent, but spent time helping to prevent it happening again.

- Em W.

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Excellent job! Jake was wonderful to work with.

- Kathy M.

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Jake went above and beyond. I had tiny ants in my cupboards and on my kitchen floor. He went outside the property and went underneath my condo. Not only did he take care of the ants but took care of a small rodent issue. Charged me exactly what he quoted me. All the extra work he did I thought for sure it would cost more but he stuck to his quote and was very polite, kind and quick.

- Brenda H.

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Jake was great to work with. He responded quickly to my request. He was able to do the job by being creative. He sent a follow up email to let me know when he would check back. His rate was very reasonable.

- Kelly A.

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Jake is really a 10/10 person and it shows in his work. Thankfully we did not have an infestation but his thoroughness, promptness, and overall attitude towards his profession was something that stuck out to me. I will be recommending him to everyone for pest control. I know who I'm calling when I need one!

- Samantha A.

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Amazing! Jake is amazing! He came out because I had a squirrel in my attic. He has a vent he can put in so they can get out but not back in! Theres no trauma to the animal by trapping it and you will save yourself hearing it scream and cry in a trap! He walked around my entire house and attic looking for all entry points. He is very knowledgable and kind and looking to help you exist w wildlife w the option of not euthanizing. Years of experience. I was so pleased q his company I would highly highly recommend him for any of your critter/pest? needs! Thank you Jake!

- Suzan K.

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Went above and beyond my expectations! Would recommend to anyone, knowledgeable and experienced. Thanks again!!

- Jaimie D.

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Jake will give you friendly, personalized, and timely service, and you get the story of the service at the end!

- Emily C.

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Very honest, friendly and informative. Excellent work.

- Terry B.

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Refreshing to work with Jake. He is collaborative and communicative. Great improvement since his visit.

- Seth W

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- Zack C.

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We had a great experience and highly recommend Jake. He is responsive, effective and thoughtful.

- Eddie B.

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Very honest, identified the problem in a remote corner of the property, operated quickly, provided photos of the work done and is coming back to verify the problem has been solved.

- Matteo V.

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Jake was fantastic! Fast response. Reliable and honest. Great rates. Hope not to have any more rodent problems, but if I do I will be calling Jake again. I would recommend him to anybody that needs help with Pest Control.

- Janet D.

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- Taney R.

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Working with Storysold was a dream. We had a huge undertaking with almost 40,000 sq ft between two properties! With both buildings being over 100 years old keeping critters out is difficult and the previous tenants of the building allowed a huge infestation to occur. Jake was able to not only eradicate the unwanted pests he also filled holes and cracks and has stopped them from having easy access. Communication was great and the pricing was fair and manageable for our small nonprofit! I will continue to work with Storysold and recommend them for any pest control needs, big or small!

- Jamie C.

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Came out next day and took care of our wasp nest! Easy to schedule and very responsive. Thank you!

- Jacoba G.

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Mouse in the house!!!! I texted Sunday morning after having chased a mouse through the house Saturday all day and Sunday at 3am... they came out to the house by 12:30 that Sunday. Jake got in the crawl space and checked the outside of the house for entry points. While there was no evidence of a major problem, I opt ed for the full attack. He came in with an Arsenal of traps that he placed in the kitchen and crawl space. He didn t hard sell and his prices were very affordable! He was also very honest with potential outcomes which I appreciate. He literally just left and I haven t heard any traps go off but just based on his customer service, I would totes recommend him! He s coming back in a week to check traps. I ve read some horror stories about other companies but I feel very confident that I m working with an upstanding professional. And he s dog friendly!

- Taaj A.

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Jake was straight forward and was happy to answer all questions. Thank you!

- April B.

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A pro. Showed on time. Knew what to do

- Mike B.

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Did an amazing job fixing some visitors to my crawl space. Sanitized, cleaned, and locked down from future uninvited guests!

- Stephen I.

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Jake of StorySold is proficient, affordable, and punctual. He took his time with carefully evaluating my problem, fixed my issue, and did extras like helping me fix my mattress which he treated for bed bugs. Can't recommend him enough and will use him and his company in the future. Got two other quotes which were much higher each quoting at least $1,000 without a guarantee.

- James J.

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He arrived on time, knew precisely what to do to resolve my problem and completed the job.

- Jeff J.

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Jake is prompt, skilled, authentic and friendly! I couldn't be happier. I'm so glad that I talked to all three bidders before choosing. Even before he got here, I knew he was the best choice!

- Linda B.

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- Jake is amazing

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- Stacie Benefield