Think Your Way Out of a Paper Bag

 “This is the most dismal sales report I have seen in this company,” Rupert declared to the Board of Directors.  “How about if I fire the sales force, the whole lot of ‘em?  Let’s move into digital marketing exclusively.”

“I understand Eli Lilly is doing something like that,” said CFO George Contenumbaes. [1]  “I can let you know the annual cost savings.”

Rupert read the next item on the Board meeting’s docket, a report that lab scientist Dr. Erin Q. Stewpydde was found reporting good results on mice that didn’t even exist. [2]

“Our entire FrankNFrzerol program is shut down since its premise was based on data from non-existent mice,” Mantissa Polatis said.

“What?  How could you let that happen?” Rupert roared, frothing at the mouth and suddenly towering over the cringing woman.  “You’re the Vice President of Research!  Can’t you control your department?”

“But I’ve only been here for three days,” Mantissa said as she shivered in her chair.

“Oh.  Still, plenty of time to find the problems and shift the blame,” Rupert said as he glanced around and sat down.  “Yes, and where did you find these non-existent mice?”

“That’s the problem, they never existed,” Mantissa said.  “No such mice were ever protected from saturated fatty acid-induced atherosclerosis.  So the decision for Cappuccino Pharmaceuticals to proceed might never have happened.”

Rupert put his head on the table and moaned.  “So we wasted millions of dollars chasing rainbows again?  Can’t we ever do real experiments that work?”  He sat up and announced, “I’m revising my plan.  Maybe we should drop out of therapeutics and move into medical devices.  I read about this stomach sucker patent [3] and I figure the next step is a brain sucker.”

“Is that a lollipop for zombies?” Ima Punk asked.

“Very funny,” Rupert said with no hint of a smile.  “This is serious.”  He waggled his fingers over his tablet, then showed the glowing surface to the Board members.  “It says here the original patent might be a treatment for morbid obesity without invasive surgery.  Patients can eat and drink as much as they like. Twenty minutes later, they drain their stomach by connecting a pump to a valve surgically installed on their abdominal wall.”

“That might destroy the game of beer pong,” the CFO said.  “But besides losing our appetites, what are you proposing here?”

“Well, so the logical next step is to attach a brain pump.  Then 20 minutes after watching TV, you can get all the crap sucked back out.  Or, if you’re watching Factsless News, leave the pump running.”

Mantissa sighed.  “What kind of budget will I get for this?”

4 thoughts on “Think Your Way Out of a Paper Bag

  1. Marvin Mayhew

    I am not sure exactly where you’re receiving your information, but excellent topic. This is like what Scott Adams used to be, back when he still worked at Pac Bell: reporting the business world from the inside. Keep it up!

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