Hanz has agreed. And if Hanz has agreed why can't you. I don't see how you can disagree if Hanz has agreed heartily.

Hanz who you would think be the last person to agree to it agreed to it with almost nary a second thought, and didn't you say last week that you would go along with it (which you did: we have it on tape) if Hanz also went along with it, and now Hanz is going along with it so we expect you to too. Because that is what you said you would do. And because we have it on tape, your saying you would agree to it. And because a man is as good as his word, and I hardly think you consider yourself any less of a man than Hanz (you don't, do you), though I think some of us, not me personally but some, not all, certainly not all, would maybe think that Hanz is more in the man department for having the acumen to agree heartily, whereas someone who did not agree has maybe not so much in that department, with all the hemming and all the hawing. But I know you will agree. I see how that hand is inching toward the MontBlanc - I see it is inching closer and I am guessing you are itching to sign, which why not, because after all I know in your heart of hearts you agree with us.

So what we have will have in a moment is total agreement. I'm not scaring you am I. Because I don't see why your hand is not actively holding the pen, which is not a dead fish and won't bite you, OK. It won't bite and you want a manly grasp so you can be a man like Hanz - which, look at him popping wheelies on the bicycle outside like there is no tomorrow, such a man, Hanz; I hear that the fowl for tonight's supper was shot and quartered by you can imagine who.

Because there will be such an awkward silence at dinner. Or maybe not. Maybe everyone will be cheerful but you will get a weird vibe when someone passes you the wild strawberry sauce for the quail that Hanz shot and de-feathered and chopped with his own hunting knife. And no one wants a weird vibe do you. You don't want that. I meant plucked. I don't think de-feathered is an actual word.

Do you see that smirk on your translator. I would think that a man who would agree with other men would not have its translator smirking like that. He would command respect.

We are waiting. We can wait. We think that you will be much happier if you agree. Please agree. We have all the time in the world. We like you. We think it would be really really cool if you agreed.

That's fine. We can wait a little more.

That's a manly sound, isn't it, that dinner bell sound. Let's go then. And we can talk about the agreeing afterwards, over sherry and cigars, or beer and nicotine patches, or whatever. Because I think we can do this. I really think we can.

About the author:

JM Martinez is reading Patricia Powell's The Pagoda for his CWW class. It's beautiful and violent and lush so far -- and also strange, and very hypnotic.