It was completely unprovoked.
We were talking about something else, something neutral, something innocent, when my wife pointed out to me, à propos of nothing in particular, that I hadn't sold many books recently.
"I just can't find the time to buy new stock," I explained to her.
"Well, why isn't the old stock selling? What's wrong with it?"
"Nothing, other than that no-one wants to buy it."
She laughed at me in a way that undermined me somewhat. This happens fairly frequently and you get used to it. You adapt to the lowered regard and expectations of your loved ones.
Anyway, I have resolved to make her proud of me once more by exhibiting some entrepreneurial spirit ("The trouble with the French is...") and selling some Borrowed Philosophy merchandise.
So, hypocrite lecteurs, mes semblables, mes frères, if you really love me you'll buy a t-shirt, so that I can regain some sense of worth, and so that my daughter can hold her head high in class again.
I'll make time to trawl the charity shops of South Woodford for unconsidered literary gems which will sell immediately for many times their cost price, we'll be able to afford the car hire for our forthcoming sojourn to the South Coast (there's a wedding to attend on the way and our aged VW looks more like a stock car), and harmony will be restored to the Miles household. Isn't that a price worth paying?