FURTHERMORE AND GETTING EVEN, INC.
Well, the last time we chatted, I think I told you that Furthermore had been busy and that this was always cause for a certain amount of restrained concern. Well, last night I dropped down to the main cavern to share a cold one with him and I finally found out what was going on. I think.
I will still nursing a couple of nasty scratches from the hydra—it has remarkable recovery capabilities, I’ve found—when Furthermore flapped over and settled lazily into his tiny Morris chair.
“What do you know about marketing, promotion and such,” he inquired, eyeing me over the tops of his reading glasses.
I can smell “setup” when I see it coming, so I decided to avoid the whole issue. “Not much,” I said. “I’ve always found it hard to tell the difference between a good marketing program and actionable grand theft.”
“Cute. No, seriously. Help me out here.”
He was serious. This doesn’t happen often, so I was curious.
“Well, it would help to know if you had something specific in mind. There’s a fair amount of difference between marketing, say, hotel rooms and, oh, viagara.”
He seemed surprised. “Really? I would have thought….”
I didn’t like the way this was going, so I stopped him and suggested we return to the script we had rehearsed. He sighed. He lives for improvisation, you know.
Anyway, it seems he’s come up with a new scam…er…new enterprise. He calls it “Getting Even, Inc.,” or just GE for short. I thought that had a nice, solid sound to it. Basically, he wants to sell ideas to people who are mad at someone or something and want to get even. He’s been doing this himself for years, of course, but has finally decided there might be a buck or two in it for himself. Who am I to argue?
Anyway, you can judge for yourself. Here are a few of the ideas he intends to market. First, in the Us vs. Big Government/Fat Cats/Big Corporations Category:
Mad at the taxes you had to pay to fund your local football stadium or baseball theme park? Go to the next game. Buy seats in the cheap section out in left field. Take dandelion seeds with you. Lots of them. Toss them into the air with each hit. In a few days, the ball field will look like your neighbor’s trashy backyard.
Unhappy with the National Parks Service and the cavalier manner in which they treat the Grand Canyon? Take the Grand Canyon Steam Railroad from Williams, Arizona, to the Canyon. Hijack the train. Take it to Yellowstone. So there!
Angry at the Highway Department (and who isn’t)? Pretend you are a Rotary Club. Adopt a mile of I-17. Widen it. Or, better yet, subdivide it and auction the pieces to local developers. That will really screw things up good.
Now, in the category of individual efforts:
Place an ad in the classified section of your local newspaper advertising a GIGANTIC Garage Sale listing the address of your victim. Advertise televisions, camcorders, vintage automobiles, antiques, etc. Sale begins at 6:00 a.m. Come early!
Get some old useless keys (car, house, etc.). Place victim's name, phone number and $50.00 reward... if found and returned. Drop the keys in one of the less desirable areas of town.
Write whatever you wish on nine pages of 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper and tape them together (end to end). Dial the victim's fax number and start sending the pages through. After page two has been transmitted, tape the top of page one to the bottom of page nine making a continuous loop. The document will continue to cycle until the victim's fax machine has run out of paper. Be sure and disable your phone number from being printed on the fax and also disable caller I.D.
Well, you see where he is going with this. I must say that I’m shocked. I told him so.
“I must say that I’m shocked, Brother Furthermore! There has to be an obligation somewhere that you’ve just pulverized! And I can’t believe you want to market this!”
“Oh, no!” he responded quickly, spearing an olive with his beak. “You misunderstand. I don’t want to market this to individuals. I know how to do that and it’s really a waste of potential. I want to know how to franchise this thing. I can see it now!” His eyes turned glassy for a moment. Either great vision or the cheap gin he drinks. “Whole chains of shops across the country selling GE!”
At which point I decided to leave. But not without checking around my chair first. With Furthermore, you never know who he’ll try to do next.