Big Mama Six, Big Daddy Six, and their son, are standing in the living room, having a conversation.
Big Mama: We're so happy you're our son.
Big Daddy: So very, very happy.
Big Mama: We recognize what a good job you're doing.
Big Daddy: Such a better job than your brothers and sisters. I know we're not supposed to play favorites, but son... you're our favorite.
Son: Thanks. Look, I really need to tell you something.
Big Mama: We're so proud of you. Do you remember when you were just a baby?
Big Daddy: Needed us to wipe your nose.
Big Mama: All the poopy diapers we changed.
Big Daddy: But look at you now. All grown up.
Big Mama: I must say, Big Daddy, we sure did a good job raising him.
Big Daddy: We sure did. And look at him now! Such a strapping young man.
Big Mama: We've done so much for you.
Big Daddy: And we'll keep doing it. Because we're your parents, and you need us.
Big Mama: The risks we took! The time investment!
Big Daddy: And the monetary investment! Buying you food all those years. Clothes. School supplies. You couldn't have gotten those straight A's if we didn't buy you pencils.
Son: (sighing) Yes. You bought me pencils. You're the best parents ever.
Big Mama: We've been talking, your father and I. And we have some news.
Big Daddy: It's true. We've discussed it, and we've decided we're going to raise your allowance by 2%.
Big Mama: Aren't we generous?
Big Daddy: You're now making $21.50 a week. How do you feel about that, young man?
Son: You both are making this awkward.
Big Mama: Now don't think that 2% raise doesn't come with added responsibilities, son. Besides doing the cooking, the cleaning, the yard work, and building that addition onto our house, you'll also now be required to service all four of ours cars, twice a month.
Big Daddy: We have a lot of bills to pay. Rent. Utilities. Food. And let's face it, you eat a lot. So we're going to have to charge you for the extra food you're consuming.
Big Mama: But it's okay. Our relationship isn't just about food, or money. We nurture. We protect. We guide.
Big Daddy: When you painted that beautiful watercolor, who sold it for you and gave you 17.5% of the money? We did.
Big Mama: That's what we do. Because we're a team.
Big Daddy: Risky business, raising children. But you've made us so proud.
Son: Enough! I wanted to tell you I'm leaving home.
Big Mama: What?
Big Daddy: Are you serious? You can't survive without us!
Big Mama: You need us!
Son: I'm going into business for myself.
Big Daddy: You'll never make it!
Big Mama: Without us to do all that we do for you, you'll never succeed!
Son: In the last three weeks I've earned over $100,000.
Big Daddy: Uh....
Son: That's more than you make annually, isn't it, Big Daddy?
Big Mama: But... but... we've done so much.
Son: These past few years you've done nothing but rip me off while boasting about how valuable you are. But you actually haven't given me any value whatsoever. You've worked me almost to death, taken heaps of money from me, and there isn't a single thing you can do for me that I can't do for myself.
Big Daddy: You ungrateful little jerk! We made you what you are today!
Big Mama begins to cry. Big Daddy puts his arm around her.
Big Daddy: It's okay, dear. We don't need him. We still have hundreds of other children.
Big Mama: But what if they all figure out they don't need us?
Big Daddy: They won't. We're authority figures. They need our approval. Plus, they're really naive.
Big Mama: How long will they stay naive? Without our kids to help pay our bills, we won't be able to keep the house.
Big Daddy: It'll all work out just fine.
Big Mama: Maybe I should go after him. Offer to triple his allowance.
Big Daddy: I don't think he'll be persuaded.
Big Mama: What if, next time we sell one of his paintings, we give him 20%?
Big Daddy: I've done some research. He can get 70% on his own.
Big Mama: That much?
Big Daddy: Yes.
Big Mama: Can we match that?
Big Daddy: No. We have too many bills to pay.
Big Mama: Do you think he resents us for using him for his talents all those years?
Big Daddy: Hush, dear. We didn't use him. We provided guidance and support. We nurtured him. We loaned him thousands of dollars.
Big Mama: He paid back those thousands of dollars, and then some.
Big Daddy: That isn't the point. The point is there will always be children who need the validation, coddling, and reprimanding that we have to offer. And they'll let us rob them blind in order to get it.
Big Mama: I hope so, Big Daddy.
Big Daddy: Trust me. Now run into the bedroom and fetch my Kindle. There's a new Konrath ebook on Amazon for $2.99. I love how he can offer such low prices.
Big Mama: Me too. I have no idea why some other ebooks are so expensive.
Big Daddy: It's simple, dear. Big corporations are wasteful and don't care about their customers. They charge a lot to pay for their overhead without providing value to either the authors they work with or the readers they sell to.
Big Mama: (shaking her head) I'm glad we're not self-delusional like that.
Big Daddy: Amen.