Rupert Madasheck was not the only CEO in the club’s cherrywood paneled room that day. Gazing up into the distance at the crystal chandeliers, he eased himself into an overstuffed chair next to fellow CEO Gjioughneh Kqueuerillieux. As he glanced around the room at the executives lounging at the Jonathan Club, Rupert asked Gjioughneh how things were going.
“Terrible,” Gjioughneh said. “We were just informed that the PMA for our OctoPlex gel was rejected.” Gjioughneh stared down at his folded hands and sighed. “I just don’t understand it. You can’t ask for better clinical trial outcomes. It’s been on the market outside the US for a decade. The manufacturing profile is top notch. What else do they want?” His fingers gnarled around each other in a knot.
“What exactly does this, um, this Octomom do?” Rupert asked.
“OctoPlex, not Octomom,” Gjioughneh said without looking up. “It lessens the pain from failed surgery, particularly botched jobs to relieve Restless Third Leg Syndrome.”
“Oh, yes,” said Rupert. “The syndrome that’s not just for congressmen anymore. There’s surgery for that?”
“As a last resort,” Gjioughneh said. “The drugs available for it just can’t stop all the scandals, so people need to take drastic surgical measures. But surgery has a lot of problems and high chance of lifelong pain. Too bad there’s a political angle.”
At the word ‘political,’ Rupert hunched his shoulders as if leaning into a rainstorm. He remembered the never-ending stream of politicians sending lewd photos of themselves to would-be mistresses. “Don’t tell me Congress wants your gel all to themselves.”
“No, it’s worse. Congress wants to save money by cutting funding to the FDA. So they are retaliating to make the House of Reprehensibles feel the pain. We really believe the rejection is bull,” Gjioughneh said. “I’ve decided we’ll file a petition for reconsideration.”
Rupert looked up with a startled expression. “You could do that? Won’t it just annoy them?”
“We’re going with the ‘creates jobs in the US’ angle. Once we get approval we can put a dent in the unemployment rate.” Gjioughneh’s eyes glazed suddenly in rapt attention and he pulled out his vibrating YouPhone. After fumbling for a second, he held it to his ear and said, “Gjioughneh here.”
Knowing that cell phone use is frowned upon at the Jonathan Club, Rupert looked away and twiddled his thumbs patiently while Gjioughneh listened to his call. Should he edge away and leave Gjioughneh in peace? Should he pull his own phone out for a quick game of Sudoku while pretending to work? Would Gjioughneh be escorted to the floor with the phone booths? Before Rupert could decide, Gjioughneh put the phone down.
“Rupert, I want to get out of this business,” Gjioughneh said. “Turns out the FDA denial was based on the fact that no one at FDA could figure out how to pronounce the name of our company.”
Rupert’s eyebrows shot up. “They couldn’t pronounce ‘FzGnque’ so they rejected Octomom? I can’t believe that.”
“OctoPlex.” Gjioughneh shook his head sadly. “You’re close. It’s pronounced ‘FzGnque.’ But it’s true. They were too embarrassed to contact us.” He frowned and looked around the room. “We can change our name to FrzeuQ if they want. And who are they to complain anyway?” he added. “Is it ‘FDA’ or the FDA?”
Yes, this story was inspired by an actual news article. Brownie points for finding the original source! – The BixoBrat
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