Several times I have been in the waiting area of a courtroom.

Two odd things happened, interesting but odd.

I was there to sue a client who was trying to rip off my darkroom!

He was fairly new to me, publishing a “paper” for older citizens.

They were going to press when the editor started calling me and telling me they needed more photo enlargements. This went on all day Saturday. Dutifully I was able to do them all and then some. $600 worth of photography and photo paper (I used the best). The whole bill was $1,500 including the typesetting.

It seemed like a good payday based on working all day instead of doing something fun (anything)

When it came time to bug him about the bill we had to go to court.

I could prattle on and excuse him about “rush” charges and all that but this guy, never once, objected to the costs. My staff were all home on the weekend, while I spent my weekend at the typesetting business.

Twice I’ve been in the courtroom where the person I was suing Lied Like a Persian Rug! We hear about perjury, lying, theft, etc. but that only seems to matter if the court system is really after some one.

Even if I countered with information that shut the “defendant’s” mouth, and a quick look at the judge told me he’d seen this guy before, WHAT was their solutions? Sort of SPLIT it down the middle! I don’t believe Solomon (of the Bible) had that solution on mind when he threatened to cut a baby in half! If the judge had offered a continuance (say two weeks) while I looked up other people this guy had “stung” as proof of his evil, his lies would be obvious, “same crime” but not the same time (which was zero).

In the first case I received $900 for the normal typesetting job which could be “proven” by measuring the space used in his publication. The camera work, that was different. In our business one was charged for work ordered, not work consumed. The judge let him off the hook as if the photos in the publication appeared there by magic.

In the tenant situation, he generally always paid cash. He was a slippery pig.

We never postponed giving a bill to the customer, I avoided that. When we delivered the job the bill came with the final piece of work or was mailed on the following Monday. This invoice was just to show that the invoice had been presented with the work. Perhaps the point of ordering the work on Saturday is that no one would be home to sign for it! Premeditated theft.

Outside the courtroom

could have been another interesting situation. This attractive woman sitting next to me asked if I had ever been involved in working with advertising agencies or studio work. Only with clients I told her, not seeing what was coming. “Oh no, I mean as a subject. How do you feel about shaving off your beard?”

She was a rep (and most likely owner) for a local modeling agency which I had heard of. I decided to keep the beard because she wouldn’t budge on that. I guess it was a test of my vanity, who knows? You know it’s nice to be wanted! She didn’t try very hard to get me, and I didn’t have more time to waste. Maybe I should have worn an eyepatch like the man in Ogilvy’s “Man with the Hathaway shirt” ad.

Constantly it seems we are asked to test our own resolve especially when we are up against evil people. That crook had used up all of his local contacts before he had to start going out of town to screw people over.

I’ve been fairly lucky over my 40+ years in business. I have had people “skip” town. Lots of chess sellers have dropped out of the business over the years and Thinkers’ Press, inc. is still here!

If you are new to my retail subsidiary, the Chess Butler, I invite you to give us a shot at “fairness” and earning your business. I always have room for more.

P.S. Question, are you coming?

How would I like to have 18% of my seats sold for the upcoming Chess Festival in October? I would. That would mean 13.5 seats sold (I have sold 13 so far.) Drayton has sold 18% he says of his seats. My 13 are pretty much the people who really want to be there. From here on out, it’s going to be easier to pull the teeth out of a Hippopotamus with tooth decay!

We each have 4 months to go as Drayton’s event is also in October.

The event in London is presented by two people. It costs $1,500 for the pair. If you register before June 30th he will let you in at a $225 discount. Hence $1,250.

Ours? After June 30 it will be $250.00. If you register before July 1, it is $200!

He further interested me with an additional $300 discount if we’ve ever been a customer, or subscribe to his “Ask Drayton” (which I do) monthly! Too bad his event isn’t going on in August this year when I would be in London, the cost to me would be $1,000 approximately. But remember this, while Drayton and Andy are top drawer, we don’t have any chumps in ours either. Simon Williams has been incredible since he was a kid. Same for Andrew Martin. While I don’t know Macon Shibut near as well, he’s been editing the Virginia State chess newsletter for MORE than a few years! He’s won tons of tournaments too.

Businesswise I’ve run as many as four businesses simultaneously: wholesale, retail, publishing, graphic design and a type shop (two of them at the same time, 2 different locations!)

One more thing, I will still take a $50 deposit, right now, to register you. I mentioned this last February long before Drayton ever brought this up in his promotions. Only one person took me up on it!

Drayton is an old warhorse at doing presentations, events and things that made his clients money. He is only 9 years older than I am and I too am a War Horse. The one difference, the one big difference? He shows his clients how to make big business profits and charges a minimum of at least 5 times as much as I do (London living!)

Regrettably, it’s difficult to bring in people to improve their chess, improve their collecting (if that’s what they do), and to show them how to just have a lot of fun! If I could start over again, I would like to have been on Drayton’s team! I am sure the worry, the concern, the work, the endless phone calls would be just as tough as I have now. The big difference would be a bigger paycheck even if it is done in and around London!

P.P.S.: There is one thing I am going to do which will be a first for anyone who has attended TPi events (Thinkers’ Press, inc.) As some of you know, I wrote a book in 2008 called THE CHESS ASSASSIN’S BUSINESS MANUAL. This October you will get a Supplement at no extra cost to PAID attendees! It won’t be sold. The original book will be available as well as the two “Success” books I wrote with Merlins on the cover. Never too late is it? I am hoping that when I get to London this summer I can get some valuable quotes from chess players of stature. Nothing like “Open with 1.a4!” Register today. 15 more days to get registered for $200.

Thinkers’ Press, inc.

1524 LeClaire St.

Davenport, IA 52803 (for PayPal purposes)

P.P.P.S.: My son Rob and I have been working on the logo and and poster for the Fall event. This maybe be the coolest of them all. It passed the “checkbook” test (no, not a cheapo!)


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