Sit down, let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, there was a young Fixer of electronic abacuses named pdb. While he was not Schooled in the Fixing, he did fine work and was handsomely rewarded. Soon, he married a fair maiden from a savage land far overseas and was able to purchase a small castle and some livestock for his beloved.
But all was not well. pdb was unhappy in his station, and desired Bigger and Better abacuses to fix. He applied to many lands to fix their advanced Abacuses, and perhaps become a Manager of Abacus fixers, but he was Denied.
Sadly, he turned to a friend and asked: "Forsooth, why am I constantly denied by the Foul Beings who run IT? Am I not a superb fixer of the abacuses, knowledgeable in their innards and use?"
His friend, being wise and an Advanced Fixer of eunich Abacuses, knew the answer.
"Your knowledge matters not. You are denied because you are not a member of the Guild."
"Egads! This is Truth! How do I become a member of the Guild?"
"You must Train. You must give much gold and toil for exactly Four Years, and then you shall be a Member of the Guild."
"Ah, and by giving up much gold and Four Years of my life, I shall learn much new about Abacuses, that I would not have learned on my own?"
"Nay. You already posess the knowledge they will give you. But you must give your Gold and your Time, else other Fixers should desire to Move Up without paying Gold and Time, the Guild shall lose its power."
"Fuck that," said the young fixer.
So pdb continued to toil away on the lowest abacuses, unable to move Up. Until one Day, there was a mighty Crash of the abacuses, and suddenly many fixers found themselves unwanted by Foul IT. As our Young Fixer was not a member of the Guild, he was Not Spared, despite being one of the Best Fixers.
"This is ridiculous," said pdb to his bride.
"Perhaps you should try another career?" his bride suggested. "Your brother worked for a Merchant, and has since departed to Crazy Land. Perhaps that Merchant could teach you?"
pdb did not want to be a Merchant, and had never considered being a Merchant. But running low on gold, he decided to give it a try.
He went to John The Merchant and applied!
"Teach me the ways of the Merchant! Teach me how to convince others to give their gold for my crap! I know much about fixing the Abacus, how hard could it be?"
"Yeah, whatever," replied John the Merchant. "Can you show up Monday morning? Wear a nice shirt. And shave, for God's sakes."
pdb had the job! Soon he was an Apprentice to John the Merchant!
And what did they sell? Why, they sold Joy. Joy in flat plastic boxes, pressed into shiny discs, and projected onto glass! They sold Joy, and Accessories! Not only did they sell New Joy, but children could bring their Old Joy and trade it in for New Joy, and the Old Joy could be sold as New Joy! There was much Gold!
And pdb was a Good Merchant. John noted such: "You don't suck. Go manage my Hicktown store. The Merchant there was a retard and a jerk-off. Go fix it."
And the Fixer went to Hicktown. And it was A Mess. Buyers were unhappy. The Joy was in disarray and hard to find. There was broken Joy all over the store, but no one knew where it was. There was little Gold, and no Hope.
"Oi," said pdb. But he worked! And worked and worked and worked and worked! There was Joy! And Gold! And Happiness! And Gold! Indeed, one day the Hicktown store brought in more Gold than the Hyphen-Town store!
"Verily," said John the Merchant, "You don't suck."
And pdb discovered something! He enjoyed being a merchant! Indeed, in quiet moments of contemplation he would think to himself: "Self, perhaps one Day, I will be A Merchant, with a Store of my Own!" But pdb did not share these thoughts, because he Knew A Store cost much Gold, far more gold than John the Merchant could pay pdb to work for him.
Then one Day, Disaster struck! The henchmen of the Sheriff of Hyphen-Town came with chains and did chain the Store of John the Merchant!
"What the fuck?" asked pdb.
"Taxes!" Shouted the henchmen. "He owes us taxes!"
"Yup, should've paid that," said John the Merchant.
pdb was no longer a Merchant! He had to go back to fixing the abacuses. He was accepted by a Major House of Money Changers to fix their abacuses. The work was hard, and the days were long, and the Gold was good.
But pdb was not happy. Again, he was the best Fixer, and yet he could not Move Up.
Then one Day, he was summoned by the Head Fixer.
"pdb, you may no longer fix Abacuses for us."
"You cost too much Gold."
"So who will fix the Abacuses?"
"Larry, Moe and Curly, who do not ask for as much Gold."
"But they know not how to fix Abacuses!"
"Indeed. That is why they are cheap."
"That's fucked up," pdb noted.
pdb was sad, and sought council with John the Merchant. pdb was pleased to discover that John had struck a Bargain with the King and was permitted to continue Merchanting!
"I know not what to do!" said pdb over a mug of ale.
"I know of a Merchant," John said in deepest confidence, "An old Man, who is a Merchant in the Hills. He is Old and does not want to continue being a Merchant. I know he wants to trade his store for Gold. I know you have not Gold, but you have Time. And Time brings Gold. Perhaps an agreement can be reached!"
And pdb met with the old Merchant, who was a good and Successful Merchant, but knew not how to sell Joy.
"pdb," said the Old Merchant, "I know not how to sell Joy. I can sell Castles, but not Joy. I have here a Contract for Repaying of gold. Sign it, and the Store can be yours!"
pdb was afraid! There was much Peril! But there could be Much Gold!
The Store was his! But, all was not well! Like Hicktown, the store had been run by a retard who jerked off instead of chasing Gold. The Joy was in disarray and the people were unhappy.
"Oi," said pdb. But he worked! And worked and worked and worked and worked! There was more Joy, and more Gold! But not as much Gold as pdb had hoped for.
Then one day, the Evil Baron who owned the land on which pdb's store sat, came to pdb in the form of a Lawyer. The Lawyer growled and demanded more Gold!
"But, I am already paying you much Gold, an Epic amount!"
"It is not enough!" The Lawyer screeched! "More Gold! More Gold!"
"Oi," said pdb. He was worried, and knew not what to do.
pdb again sought the council of John the Merchant. John gave pdb a Card, to summon a Good Baron. pdb did call on the Good Baron, and explained his predicament.
"Why, your problem is your land! That land is lousy for Joy! People go to that land for paper, cold fish, old crap and sporting supplies! It is a Small Land! I have a better land for you, one that is on the other side of the town. It has more space, costs less gold, and is next to a MegaFoodMerchant!"
"Wow!" said pdb. "But I signed an agreement with the Evil Baron! Won't he be angry?"
"Haw haw haw!" laughed the Good Baron. "Fuck him. Fuck him right in the ear."
So pdb did move his store! From one land to another! It was a mighty undertaking that required burly men of strong backs, an evening of hard toil, Gatorade by the gallon and a magical U-Haul chariot.
But it was done. pdb flipped the bird to the Evil Baron, gave some gold to the Good Baron, and began selling Joy in a better land where people have more gold, aren't crackheads, and there are more people seeking Joy!
And did pdb find more gold in the new land? Did he bring more Joy to the children?
You'll just have to keep reading to find out!