I poured us each a glass of water. "So, you want to pitch a novel," I said. "Let's hear it."
She glanced at the wall behind my desk. "Who's in the photo?"
I looked behind me. "Ah. That's me and J.D. Salinger. We were drinking buddies until he went nuts. On the wall behind you is a photo of me and Grisham."
She took a look. "I don't see Grisham."
"I cropped him out."
We drank some water. She stared at me. At the rate this was going her pitch session would be over before it started. Which was fine with me.
Finally she said, "I can't quite make out the words on those diplomas behind you.
"Diplomas?" I said. "Ah, you mean my master plumber certification and my fishing license."
"You're a plumber? I paid $700 to attend this conference, just to pitch you."
"I'm not even a very good plumber. I'm too big to fit under a sink."
"Enough," she said. "I want to know your real name, and everything about you. And you're gonna tell me because what you don't know is that while you were looking at your Salinger photo I slipped truth serum into your water. And once you tell me who you are, I'll tell the world. The world!"
"Nice try, kid," I told her, "but what you don't know is that while you were looking at my Grisham photo, I switched our glasses."
She glared at me. Then she said, "My God, you're handsome."