Character Interview: Dr. Alan Gibb, from Franchisement

Character Interview: Dr. Alan Gibb, from Franchisement

Franchisement is a way of thinking, a way of belonging, an outlet to your own identity.

The world has spent 10 centuries searching for potential solutions to maximize the profitability of human interconnection. We have tried everything to resolve our existential malaise and our constant sense of futility, and nothing works.

Over the centuries we have rushed to one organized corpus of thought (like philosophy and religion) in the vain search for clues to find joy. But people have continued to lose that "team feeling" about life, have continued to feel unfranchised.

That is, until Dr. Alan Gibb passed a young boy on the street wearing a pair of Mets shorts, a Red Sox t-shirt, and a Yankees cap, and the theory of human relationships called "Franchisement" was born.

Recently, we had the chance to sit down with the founder, ideator, and chief salesman of Franchisement (Doctor Alan Gibb) to explain this revolutionary concept. And he even agreed to do so without charging for his time.

This is that interview.


Interview with Dr. Alan Gibb

Q: Can you explain Franchisement in ten words or less?

AG: The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

Q: That's the typing exercise for using all the letters of the alphabet.

AG: Exactly. It covers everything. As does Franchisement. No matter who you are or what you are--sex, ehtnicity, and favorite breakfast cereral immaterial--there's a place for you on the Franchisement grid. You belong.

Q: So it's really about togetherness.

AG: That you'd have to pay for us to research. I don't know enough about you.

Q: I mean speaking generally. It's about togetherness.

AG: If I knew what you meant by that, I could answer. But I don't know you. What do you mean by "speaking generally?" That might mean one thing for you and an entirely different thing for your upstairs neighbor. The key to Franchisement is the personal, and you don't exist personally for me. Give me a clue.

Q: I like baseball.

AG: So what? So did Hitler.

Q: I never knew that.

AG: He was a New York Yankee personality with a Philadelphia Phillies PITS.

Q: A what?

AG: PITS. His Positional Identity Trait Sign.

Q: What's that?

AG: What it says--his Positional Identity Trait Sign. You can only have one PITS at a time.

Q: I didn't know that. 

AG: But it's up to you to choose which PITS. 

Q: Oh.

AG: Franchisement doesn't force things on its customers.

Q: That sounds good.

AG: Start telling people who they are and they aren't those people; they're who they say they are.

Q: Not the same thing.

AG: Not at all. You want to be who you are, not somebody else.

Q: Of course not.

AG: Look out any window and you'll see thousands of unfranchised people walking the streets. They don't know where they're going. They don't know where they've come from. Makes you want to keep the blinds closed.

Q: I confess I'm at a loss...

AG: A classic Phillies PITS symptom. Maybe it would be better if you just started off with a Franchisement Unique Number. Your FUN. That usually relaxes first-time customers.

Q: But I'm not a customer. I'm here to interview you.

AG: An identity trait like any other. Give it a try. Your FUN number.

Q: Any number?

AG: After the one on your credit card...No, no, don't say it out loud. There may be hackers listening. Just let me see it...Okay, good. Now what FUN do you want?

Q: Pretty expensive fun.

AG: Go ahead. Your FUN number. 

Q: How about...361?

AG: I don't know. You tell me. What's special about 361 for you?

Q: It's 360 plus one.

AG: So not just everything, but one more than everything.

Q: Not that I want to seem greedy.

AG: Franchisement doesn't judge.

Q: Who else has picked 361?

AG: You mean your Famous Franchisement Folks?

Q: Who?

AG: Your Famous Franchisement Folks. Your FFF.

Q: Oh.

AG: Part of your sense of belonging. Through the ages.

Q: Right. Can't be many in my case.

AG: Off the top of my head I can say John the Baptist, Robespierre, and Ted Williams.

Q: Not the worst company, I guess.

AG: As I said, we don't judge; we just process.

Q: If I want another FFF, can I change down the road?

AG: That's why all those numbers exist.

Q: So I'm really not committed to anything.

AG: One of the first lessons Franchisement learned from horoscopes. You start thinking of yourself as a scorpion or a cancer, say, you eventually get depressed. Who wants to be a scorpion or a cancer every day? You wake up in the morning, and you're crawling or coughing your lungs out before you even get out of bed. That wasn't good for you and it certainly wasn't good for the astrology business. So they created all these half-moons and cusps and crap for more possibilities. That's what we've had in place since the very beginning.

Q: But doesn't that leave you and Franchisement open to criticism?

AG: None that I've heard.

Q: Well, I mean if you can be anything, how can you ever be something?

AG: That sounds like a philosophical question, and we could be sitting here debating it all week. You may have that time, but I don't.

Q: You sound very self-confident, Dr. Gibb.

AG: Thank you.

Q: I mean in a kind of smug way.

AG: I never heard that criticism before.

Q: Really?

AG: I'm beginning to think you might be a New York Mets Personality.

Thank you for reading our interview with Franchisement founder Dr. Alan Gibb!

If you liked what you read, check out the satirical novel Franchisement by Donald Dewey. Dr. Gibb's got plenty more head-scratching, hilarious moments as you'd expect after reading this interview.

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4 Engrossing Literary Books to Add to Your TBR List

Brown Posey Press publishes literary fiction and creative nonfiction to make you feel things.

Sunbury Press publishes both fiction and nonfiction through our various imprints, like Brown Posey Press. With this imprint, we focus on inertly human stories that make us feel something.

From Jane Austen to literary roller derby, we're thrilled to share these four engrossing books from the Summer and Fall 2019 seasons that are sure to be great additions to your to-be-read list.

Don't believe us? Well, check them out for yourself.

Here's "4 Engrossing Literary Books to Add to Your TBR List!"


Both darkly funny and poignantly heart-wrenching, The Court of Vintage Woods exposes suburbia's outward smiles and inner secrets.

Josh Penzone's debut, The Court of Vintage Woods, dissects the emotional cages suburbanites use to entrap themselves. Over the course of the year, follow the residents of Vintage Woods Court as they inadvertently influence one another to realize how sometimes acceptance of self is the only change we are capable of.

An aging woman off her meds abuses the privilege of being entrusted with her neighbor's key. A war veteran confronts the man who influenced him to enlist. A devoted husband hires a male escort to answer the question he's been afraid to ask himself. The HOA President seeks retribution after her school board campaign signs go missing. A teenage girl strips for strangers via webcam wishing to feel something, even humiliation. A couple, emotionally broken after the death of their baby, hopes the Vintage Woods cul-de-sac is their answer to a new start.

In these eleven linked stories, Penzone explores the self-imposed tragic quest to feel something beyond life’s dullness. Sometimes darkly funny, other times poignantly heart wrenching, suburbia’s setting showcases a place where people sport outward smiles to mask inner secrets. But are they really fooling anyone? Maybe this is why a cul-de-sac is shaped like a peephole. We want to see in.

This is an author photo of Josh Penzone, writer of the court of vintage woods

About the Author

Josh Penzone is a Pushcart Prize nominated writer whose stories have appeared in Eunoia Review, Junto Magazine, Five on the Fifth, Blue Lake Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter where he’s been a public educator for two decades. The Court of Vintage Woods is his first published book.

Purchase THE COURT OF VINTAGE WOODS from Sunbury Store

Leo Rockas completes a first edition of Jane Austen's unfinished novel Catharine or the Bower.

When Catharine is disciplined by her affectionate aunt Percival, she retires to the bower in search of separation and connection. After becoming dubious friends with Camilla and meeting a dashing possible suitor in Edward, Catharine encounters various attachments and pairings between young people, some of them quite unexpected.

About the authors:

Jane Austen (16 December 1775 - 18 July 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen's plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security. Her works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century literary realism.

Leo Rockas was a devoted professor of writing and literature at the University of Hartford, where he published several textbooks and essays on literary figures. In retirement as a widower, he keeps busy with playscripts, and studies in Jane Austen, Shakespeare, and other literary figures.

Purchase CATHARINE OR THE BOWER from Sunbury Store

Ride around the country with a reluctant wife and an excited husband in Gerri Almand's laugh-out-loud memoir The Reluctant RV Wife

Follow a reluctant wife and her excited husband through two humorously-conflicted years of RV travel. He wanted to go; she wanted to stay. They both learn, grow, and change as a new level of freedom evolves.

This book is light-hearted and humorous but at the same time serious. While not a How-To book, it gives lots of basic information about RVing. And while not a travelogue, it touches upon many travel destinations in the United States and Canada. On deeper levels, the book is about marital relationships, retiring and getting old, and finding a new kind of freedom through a minimalistic lifestyle.

After reading this book, you’ll never again look at one of those huge monstrosities driving down the road in quite the same way. The book answers questions for non-RVers and triggers chuckles of recognition from experienced RVers.

Author photo of gerri almand author of the reluctant rv wife

About the Author

Gerri Almand is a retired social worker turned writer, storyteller, and speaker. Her husband’s retirement crisis, which included buying an RV and declaring they should see the world, has given her untold ammunition for writing material. With a permanent home address in Tampa, Florida, Gerri and her husband Michael Hamlin now switch off their reluctancies. She continues to feel quasi-reluctant on the road and he feels acutely-reluctant during their periods at home.

Purchase THE RELUCTANT RV WIFE from Sunbury Store

Sometimes comic. Sometimes serious. Always surprising. Tough Girl in the Jam is an LGBTQ sports novel synced with the tensions of a fraught family drama.

Set in the fast and furious world of women's professional roller derby, Tough Girl in the Jam is a novel about sports, strength, and sacrifice. As the lead Jammer on the Philly Freedoms, Nina must prepare for the biggest season of her life alongside her biggest fan and girlfriend Rachel.

As Nina and Rachel move toward a deeper commitment and contemplate their lives together, Nina's estranged father falls ill, propelling her mother to pressure her to donate a kidney to save him.

When her father's life-threatening crisis falls on the day of the Freedoms' championship, Nina is forced to make the toughest play of her life.

this is an author photo of Larry Loebell author of Tough Girl in the Jam

About the Author

Larry Loebell is a writer best known for his plays La Tempestad and House Divided and for having been one of the EMMY-winning writers on Rugrats season one. He has published two previous books of fiction, The Abundance League and Seven Steps Ahead. This is his first novel. Learn more about him at

Purchase TOUGH GIRL IN THE JAM from Sunbury Store

Stay tuned for more from Sunbury Press!

Thanks for checking out these literary books from our catalog! Sunbury Press has over 600 titles to choose from--the best in fiction and nonfiction through various imprints--and we love helping readers find their next favorite book.

If you liked what you read, check out these "3 Fascinating Literary Novels About Puerto Rico" or browse our virtual bookstore.

Dennis Clausen’s “The Accountant’s Apprentice” is the Brown Posey Press bestseller for October

Dennis Clausen’s “The Accountant’s Apprentice” is the Brown Posey Press bestseller for October

BROWN POSEY PRESS – Bestsellers for October 2018 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 NEW The Accountant’s Apprentice Dennis Clausen Literary Fiction
2 NEW The Blue, the Gray, and the Red Catherine Jordan, et al Literary Fiction
3 9 Hatched Robert Barsky Literary Fiction
4 5 The Sins of Rachel Sims Dennis Clausen Literary Fiction
5 1 Whispers in the Alders H A Callum Literary Fiction
6 Frost! Guy Graybill Short Stories
7 Pass the Pierogies Mike Breslin Cultural Memoir
8 2 Happiness Is in the Kitchen Giulio Alberoni Culinary History
9 6 Darker Gifts Stefan May Poetry
10 Life Signs and Fortune Cookies Melanie Simms Poetry

Paul Argentini's latest novel is "A Matter of Love in da Bronx: A 1950s Diary"


A Matter of Love in da Bronx

Mechanicsburg, PA – Sunbury Press has released Paul Argentini’s new novel “A Matter of Love in da Bronx: A 1950s Diary.”

About the Book: 
“If James Joyce’s “Ulysses” is considered the greatest unread novel of the 20th Century, then it is just as likely as not Paul Argentini’s “A Matter of Love In da Bronx” will become the greatest unread novel of the 21st Century.”
— Zeilvieg P. Battiscu, The LDN Literary Review

“A Matter of Love In da Bronx” is a 1950’s love story that almost didn’t happen. Based on an actual love affair diary to which the author was privy, the story and its maddeningly frustrating theme was meticulously recorded as event by event were relayed. It was incredible that just a few short years after the end of World War II such an atavistic, feudal family system existed. The lovers’ wishes and wants were denied to them at every single turn, by family, friends, society, circumstances, and just rotten luck.

Couples at that time were just as hungry to satisfy the intense, volatile yearnings of love as they are today. Especially without an automobile—which well could have sufficed for private encounters—there was no such thing as running to a motel or hiking off to a hotel. There were no cell phones to arrange a rendezvous, and even if they could freedom was at a premium under the oppressive regime of venal, ignorant, self-centered, rigid controlling parents. The best Sam and Mary found they could do was use stolen moments for fleeting bliss in darkened doorways.

This is a paen to lovers past, present, future, wheresoever they be who combat the cruel frustration of combustible emotions using only tender hearts and the hope of a pain-free moment of bliss as in this unequaled literary truth.

A Matter of Love in da Bronx: A 1950’s Diary
Authored by Paul Argentini
List Price: $18.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm) 
Black & White on White paper
390 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620062159 
ISBN-10: 1620062151 
BISAC: Fiction / Literary

For more information, please see:…

Also available on Kindle and Nook