here at Stumbling Forward are happy to announce that our Department
of Unsolicited and Unwarranted Advice is under new management. At least we
think this is good news; we're not quite sure. As we were hanging the "under new
management" banner across this particular section of Stumbling Forward
storefront, the guys in this department got to talking about what you think when
you pass a business proclaiming a change in leadership.
Henry in accounts
receivable says he wonders if the problem was in the management or in the business
plan, and maybe the business is flawed at the core. Ray-ray in shipping says he
feels sorry for the old management - why do they have to make it everybody's business
that someone had to be replaced and it's good news? Sal, a salesman no one likes
much because he's real pushy and a bit off, thinks there was a nefarious ploy
of usurpation and the old management is bound and gagged in the back cooler, making
it hard to enjoy your visit when imagining the muffled screams for help emanating
from the back. So unless you personally hate the previous management, when is
new management good news? Hmmmm…
Mr. Johnson, the new manager and all
full of himself, shouted it didn't matter, and to stop wasting time on a frame
story and get to work providing unwanted advice! And Sal, stop being so creepy.
advice this week is directed at the Smithville Chamber of Commerce. We've
noticed you all have been real busy promoting business and tourism when we got
an idea. Smithville needs
You're probably thinking this is Sal's idea, but hear us out.
Smithville needs one of those highly rumored, rarely seen monsters that get people
all worked up. We start with a few mentions of "strange sightings" in the paper,
maybe a report of a strangely killed cow makes the rounds, have the local TV news
interview some teenagers who saw something cross the road late one night while
driving home (preferably, not the drunk, partying kind, more like the honor roll
types, you know, for a little credibility). Finally, we produce a blurry, grainy
picture of our monster from afar that is definitive proof and get someone booked
on Larry King. Someone with glasses because glasses make you look smart and authoritative.
thing you know, our town will be crawling with self proclaimed monster experts
and fake ph.d's living out of their rv's and spending their loonily earned money
in our businesses. A couple of remotes from late night a.m. talk shows and we'll
be on the monster and mayhem gravy train.
Now, what to do about our monster?
Basically, they come in three types. There's the big, hairy missing-link category
with your Big Foots, Yetis and Ernest Borgnine, the flying, blood sucking types
like Chupacabras, La Trusa's and Donald Trump, and the mysterious floating, glowing
orbs like the Marfa
lights, the Saratoga lights and the famously vicious Tinkerbell. We need something
that will really get the nuts' attention.
We could make use of our highly
concentrated bovine population, maybe a Chupavaca? We borrow a collie, strap some
wings on him (we can use the ones from my kid's fairy costume), some of those
plastic vampire teeth, and let him run around a pasture. Obviously, the dog is
not going to suck any blood out of a cow, but we lather some peanut butter on
a cow's neck and then take pictures from a passing car. We can call it the "Smithville
Sucker," thought I think I read that name on the wall of the park's men's bathroom
with a phone number. We'll call and see if we can use it.
If that falls
through, we can use our Lost Pines to have a hairy man-beast lumbering around
leaving lots of footprints but little other evidence. Before you ask, Sal already
inquired if I would be willing to be photographed walking around the woods with
my shirt off, I'm really starting to not like this guy, and the answer is no.
No, we're thinking we should float the story that the "Smithville Sasquatch"
is actually a monkey experiment gone terribly awry out there in the science park.
We don't think they even have monkeys out there, but the truth never gets in the
way of a good monster story. So we say that in an attempt to make a better linebacker,
the genes of an ape were spliced with those of Bea Arthur and the an attendant
left the gate open (I say we blame Sal, the jerk), the elusive creature escaped
and is now wandering the woods eating squirrels and lost cub scouts.
there's some good, bad advice right there. Maybe this management change with Mr.
Johnson is going to work out after all. We're now spouting irresponsible and possibly
dangerous advice like a poorly oiled machine. Good job, team. Except for you,
Sal, you're really getting on everyone's nerves.