Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Realiticomm Episode #4

If you are new to this story, read the previous episodes (below) first.

We last left the MegaloCorp van with Genevieve, Noreen, Sid and Abelia at an isolated location beneath some highway overpasses and drainage ditches where they expected to find some homeless people so they could distribute the MegaloCorp community relations holiday gift baskets.

Genevieve: Sid, ready to take some pictures?

Sid: Of who? The only guy we’ve found is asleep in a box and all we can see is his feet.

Bea: Maybe we should give him a goodie bag and leave it by his feet.

Noreen: That’s a good idea. Here, I’ll get one. Genevieve, you go over next to his feet and hold the bag out and Sid can snap the photo.

Genevieve: Me? Why me?

Sid: Get over there, Genevieve. Turn your Santa hat so I can see your face.

Bigfoot: [A large, bearded man with huge feet approaches unheard and appears behind them as they watch appears behind them as they watch Sid take a photo of Genevieve holding the gift bag.] What are you doing?

Bea: [Screams.] You startled me!

Noreen: Oh, God! I think I had an accident.

Genevieve: [Loses her balance and falls on the box shelter.] Ahhhgh!

Sid: I got some good pictures.

Bigfoot: Careful. You might wake the Governor.

Bea: Really, that’s our Governor?

Noreen: Is he alive?

Bigfoot: Oh, sure. He works nights. You guys with Social Services or something?

Genevieve: We’re from MegaloCorp. We’ve brought some gift packages to share with you for the holidays.

Bigfoot: You got something to eat?

Noreen: You know who you remind me of? Burl Ives. [Noreen smiles and activates her pin. She then hands Bigfoot a bag.]

Bigfoot: What’s in here?

[Several others appear from out of the shadows, like munchkins. They warily approach Bigfoot and look at him as if awaiting some guidance about what to do next. Big foot hands a bag to a short bag lady; she rips the bag apart and seizes upon the capsule of bee pollen. She quickly eats it, and grabs another bag and searches for the bee pollen capsule and eats it.]

Bigfoot: [Takes out the Colorectal Cancer coffee mug from the bag.] Got anything to go is this coffee mug?

Noreen: The cancer disappears when you put hot liquid in it.

Bigfoot: [Ponders this for a minute.] I see. Hey, look, Auntie Em, here’s a bumper sticker for your collection.

Auntie Em: [Comes forward, grabs the bumper sticker, peels the backing and immediately sticks it on her coat, already covered with stickers.]

[Another person, wearing several layers of clothes so they can’t tell if it is a man or a woman, grabs a bag and takes out one of the donated condoms and opens it.]

Bigfoot: What are you gonna do with that, Bucko?

Bucko: [Looks at Bigfoot, then everyone else, and starts to eat the condom.]

Bigfoot: Now you don’t want to go and do that. You can’t eat those.

Auntie Em: Why not? I used to. All the time.

*****

Atlee (Atlee Elmont is the Editor of the MegaloCorp company magazine): Faith, heard anything about the status of the calendars? Last I heard it was at the printers. We need to get those things out.

Faith: The status of all jobs is posted. You can look for yourself.

Atlee: Okay, you have me there. But let me ask you, should I look in “Clients and Profits.” WebPressPro Track? Elite Job Status Tracking? JobProTracker? PrintJob TrackerPro?

Faith: These are valuable tracking tools. You should use them. It would save you wasting your time and mine. You should learn how to use them, or have your assistant April learn how.

Atlee: Well, funny you should mention that. As you know, we have our work entered in several different tracking systems. I’m going to go way out on a limb here and suggest that we have one system for tracking our work, not a dozen. We can’t be looking in one system for status of the design work and another system for job printing and yet another for the magazine printing. You have two many tracking systems.

Faith: I’ve been working with Guy Pradeep in upgrade some of our systems. Incidentally, I hear that our updated version or Quark doesn’t support some of our fonts, so we’ll have to buy some patches and some font upgrades? I’ll take it out of your budget.

Atlee: I was perfectly happy with the version we had. It wasn’t my idea to get the new version, and now that we have it we can open standard fonts. My reward for all this is I have to get some new software to fix it? I just find that absurd.

Faith: You should plan ahead.

Atlee: Faith, I turned my work in for the company calendar in September?

Faith: I think that means you should have started earlier. Don’t blame me if you haven’t planned properly.

Atlee: Listen, Faith, you and I both know we got that work moving with plenty of time. The calendars should have been distributed to customers, employees and shareholders already. It’s December. It’s the end of December.

Faith: Atlee, I know what month it is. If you just look on your tracking systems you can find out where your work is.

Atlee: Well, can’t you help me here? You know these tracking systems better than we do. Better than I do, at least.

Faith: [Pulls up several job orders on her computer.] Here it is. 2005 MegaloCorp Corporate calendars. It says the point of contact is Atlee Elmont. [Faith stares at Atlee as if she has delivered the piece de resistance.]

Atlee: So, where’s my job?

Faith: You should check with your POC.

Atlee: [Takes a deep breath.] Faith, where is my job?

Faith: [Faith looks at screen.] It’s at the printer.

*****

Penny: Look, another Christmas present in your in-basket.

Smidgin: Who brought it?

Penny: I didn’t see.

Smidgin: It says, “To Smijin. From your secret admirer.”

Penny: Oh, that is so sweet. How many is that today?

Smidgin: This is the third.

Penny: What is it?

Smidgin: Guess I’ll just have to peek. Feels like another Beanie Baby.

Penny: Just what you need.

Smidgin: Oh, how cute. “Happy the Holiday Hyena.”

Penny: How darling.

Smidgin: You want it for your kids?

Penny: You kidding? I’d have to have two, or none at all. They’d fight over it.

Smidgin: I forgot.

Penny: That’s okay.

Smidgin: Maybe I’ll get another. It’s still early.

Penny: Hey, that’s okay.

Smidgin: Is their Dad doing anything for them this year?

Penny: You kidding?

*****

Moxie: [She mumbles to herself in her office.] If Tad wants material for a book, I can give him material. I'm going to close my door for an hour and I'm burning up my keyboard.

Let's see. First book idea..."Drive Business - But Obey the Signs." A guide to safe driving on the dangerous highway of commerce."

Chapter One - Learn how to drive from the best.

Chapter Two - Accelerating into traffic. Let then see you coming.

Chapter Three - When to honk your horn - for safety or for impact.

Chapter Four - The Road Less Traveled - byways and side streets to success.

Chapter Five - Deer Crossing - Competing with non-humans for a piece of the action.

Chapter Six - Road Construction - How your tax dollars at work can work for you.

Chapter Seven - Never ask for directions when you're lost.

Chapter Eight - Spinning your wheels in the workplace? You may need new treads.


*****

Genevieve: Can we get a group picture here?

Noreen (to Bigfoot): I swear you look like Burl Ives. Doesn’t he look like Burl Ives.

Sid: Give him your hat, Noreen. Then you can talk about your Burl Ives.

Noreen: Oh, good idea, and we can get a picture. [Noreen gives Bigfoot her Santa hat. Genevieve prepares to take a photo but Noreen notices that Bigfoot gives off an unclean aura.]

Sid: [Turns to see people taking bags from the van.] Hey, guys, don’t be grabbing all those bags.

[The crowd of vagrants has been getting steadily larger. They are grabbing for the bags in the back of the van. Two of the boxes spill out on to the ground and the crowd pushes and shoves to get at them. The coffee mugs spill out and break on the ground. Bucko is eating condoms. Genevieve hops in the van, as does Noreen. Sid tries to get to the back door to close it, but is pushed away. Sid drops the camera. The crowd pulls the remaining boxes of gift bags onto the ground and starts pulling them open looking for something worthwhile. Bea picks up the camera. Sid jumps in the driver’s seat, turns on the ignition and steps on the gas. A few of the homeless people who were in front of the van dive out of the way. Sid takes off.]


*****

Smidgin: Did you know that Mini-Me is getting a divorce?

Penny: The guy from Austin Powers?

Smidgin: Verne Troyer’s his name.

Penny: I didn’t know he was married.

Smidgin: To a yoga instructor.

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