If a robber came to my home, and I caught him trying to steal my stuff, I’d say,
ME: Hey, you don’t live here!
ROBBER: I know that. I’m taking your stuff.
ME: You can’t have my stuff!
ROBBER: Why not?
ME: Because it’s not your stuff. You just admitted that it’s my stuff. Wait. Are you taking my vase that was on my table?
ME: That vase was next to a copy of my book. How come you didn’t take my book?
ROBBER: Vases are more valuable than dumb old books.
ME: Hey, that’s not just any book. That’s my book. I wrote it.
ROBBER: You’re a writer?
ME: Yes, and I wrote that book. It’s called Funny?: A Potentially Humorous Collection of Writing and Art, and it’s more valuable than some old vase.
ROBBER: Oh yeah?
ME: Yeah, because it has sentimental value. Sentimental value outranks retail value any day.
ME: Darn right. How dare you insult me by not trying to steal my book?
ROBBER: Oh, uh...I’m sorry?
ME: Are you asking me if you’re sorry?
ROBBER: I’m not sure. I’m kinda confused now. See, I just came here to rob you blind. I wasn’t tryin’ to insult you.
ME: Well, you did.
ROBBER: Oh. Sorry then.
ME: Your apology means nothing to me. You’re still holding that vase instead of my book.
ROBBER: (puts vase back and picks up book to read its cover) Funny?: A Potentially Humorous Collection of Writing and Art by Patricia G. Are you Patricia G?
ME: Of course, I am. I just told you I wrote that book.
ROBBER: Why is there a question mark after the word funny?
ME: Because I wasn’t sure if people would think my book was funny or not. So I’m sort of asking the reader if he or she thinks it’s funny.
ROBBER: Oh, that’s clever.
ROBBER: Yeah. This cartoon on the cover is cute. Did you draw it?
ME: Yes, I did. Thank you. Glad you like it.
ROBBER: I never met a real writer before. So you wouldn’t mind if I took this book?
ME: Not as long as you post a book review of it on Amazon.com. Oh, wait. Maybe that won’t be possible.
ROBBER: Why not?
POLICE OFFICER: (pounds on the front door): Open up! It’s the police!
ME: (To Robber) I called 911 earlier when I heard you fumbling around in my living room. You really ought to get some quieter shoes.
ROBBER: Oh shoot.
ME: But hey, if they have Internet access in jail, can I count on a book review?
ROBBER: Guess so. Amazon.com?
ME: Yep. Thanks a lot.