“How do you like my painting, Mr. Dune. I’m thinking of calling it ‘Life on an Orange.'”
Pathetic, Herbert Dune thinks to himself. “Exquisite,” he says aloud. “Listen, Madame Silver. I see that you’re a very busy and productive young woman.”
Madame Silver giggles outlandishly. “Oooo, young *man*. You flatter me!”
“Thank you. I won’t waste any more of your precious time. I’m here for the complaint about one of our dollhouses. You said a characters within is… stuck?”
Madame Silver talks while continuing to paint. “Yes, um, but why don’t we discuss it over tea. Do you like tea? Hot tea I mean. Cold tea is for barbarians. I hope you’re not a cold tea lover. For the sake of our continued business transactions.”
“You are one of our most loyal customers, Madame Silver. I will be glad to have tea with you if you can take time from your busy schedule.” I *hate* tea, Herbert Dune grumbles to himself again. Cold *or* hot. But I’ll swallow it for the deal.
“Well this is simply *delightful*. I’m glad you like the tea.”
“It is so so delicious, Madame Silver. I haven’t had tea like that in a long time. Perhaps back before I joined the company.”
“How many years have you been there now? Five, six? I’m glad you got your promotion. That way you finally get to meet *me*.”
“I am glad to be in your humble service, Madame Silver. I’ve heard so many good things about you.” He pauses significantly, hoping the old codger will *finally* get to the dollhouse and needed repairs. Of course he’s going to try to sell her a brand new dollhouse… at a significant discount of course. But pushing upgrades instead of expensive repair is standard practice in the business. In any business, really. Those based on pure capitalism and money and greed. And certainly like Doll Pedlars, Inc.
She flattens out her skirt and stands up. “*Well*. I suppose we should get to that dollhouse, eh? Back up the stairs we go!”
“Yes, I think I see the problem, Madame Silver. But it’s a bad one. We’ll have to take the whole dollhouse back to the office for repairs. *Or*… we could sell you an upgrade for a cut rate price. Maybe save you money in the end. Your choice of course. But this looks like a 02350 malfunction of the circuit board. I’d highly recommend the upgrade. I’ll deliver it to you in person, make sure everything works perfectly before leaving.”
“Oooo. Look at that fluffy feather bed up there on the next level, Mr. Dune,” Madame Silver deviates. “I’m sooo sleepy. I could use a nap. Could you also use a nap? We could sleep on opposite sides. Unless…”
Oh. She’s *that* type of old codger, thought Herbert Dune. A cougar codger. Chris withheld that valuable piece of information about the work.
He pauses to consider. He decides to be frank. “Will it help seal the deal?”
“It *might*” She giggles in that grating way again. Herbert Dune makes a note to not say things that might induce it again.
“Alright. But I have to be back at the office by 8.”
“Make it 9.” She giggles once more.