Monday, November 9, 2015

The Shareholders Meeting

In a small auditorium on the top floor of a skyscraper in Seattle, a group of people are gathered around a small banquet table making small talk. At the far end if the room is a podium. A short, rotund man in a tuxedo with a red vest approaches. Picking up a gavel, he gets the audience’s attention. 

Tap. Tap. Tap.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, would you please come to order.”

[shuffling of chairs, then silence]

“Good evening. I am, of course, Lucifer J Beelzebub, and on behalf of the Demons, Harpies, Spirits in our perpetual indenture, we welcome you to the 5776th shareholders’ meeting for Devil’s Quill Communications. We want to thank Mr. Harold Schultz and his staff here at Starbucks for his hospitality. The coffee is cold and bitter and pastries are stale. You thought of everything! And I must compliment you, Sir, on your current Holiday marketing plan. A simple design that is divide and conquer at its finest.”

“Now back to business.”

“It has been an exciting and challenging year for us here at the Quill. Full of ups and a few downs and a lot of adventure on the way. We come together today to recount our successes, put away our failures and plan our course for the years ahead.”

“You are aware, of course, of the takeover rumors between us and the Global Division of Guardian Angel’s Inc. Don’t jump to the conclusion that this is anything close to a done deal. They approached us and we did agree to put it up for a vote. The results have spoken loudly. You say the terms offered: sin forgiveness and everlasting life in exchange for the severe limiting our faith testing abilities is totally inadequate. And, I, Lucifer J. Beelzebub, promise that this company will never face the final sunset.”

“Many years ago, I was employed by Guardian Angels. It was a fine company, but the time came whereby mutual agreement, I left their employ and started this vast and wonderful enterprise known worldwide as The Quill. Contrary to popular belief, our parting was amicable and Guardian rewarded me with our main contract, testing the weak spots in human behavior. Our very first contract, The Job Project, was praised in the Heavens as a rousing success. This led to other work with Samuel, David, Jonah and then the big one with Yeshuva. Throughout the growth process, we were able winnow out the best hay and sift out the worst straw. And our ranks increased with the chaff left over from the process.”

“But those glory days waned. The raw product has become more and more contaminated over the millennia and our efficiencies decreased accordingly. We had to change our focus from carrot and stick temptation products that just didn’t work. But thanks to the envy and ingenuity of our fallen, we were able to make the transition to false justice and deception vehicles. We soon became the premier provider of divisive discord in the world, with many conflicts large and small all over the world.”
“But not all of our efforts were loved or appreciated. We took a great deal of heat (pardon the pun) over our Kaiser and Reich projects, which critics said went too far and too fast. So we retreated and our competitors made inroads all over the Eastern Front.”

“As a result of this retrenchment, we truly are at a crossroads. But in grand Quill tradition we plan to meet the challenge of a declining product in a rapidly changing world. Starting today, we are rolling out a new product; The Crusher. It designed to frighten and subdue even the most obstinate sheep with a combination of selective pain and undefined threats. And with it comes our new company motto: ‘Life will not break your heart. It will crush it.’ It is being developed in conjunction with Guardian Angels and for those of you who wonder about the conflict of interest, I assure you, there is none…”

“Oh, excuse me. I meant to turn this thing off.”

“Beezelbub, here…What? You don’t say?... Well, thank you and I’ll get back to you.”

“Pardon the interruption, but that was Jerry Dewey, our legal counsel with Dewey, Cheatham. and Howe. He has informed me that Guardian Angel has gone to court and won a judgment awarding them total control of our assets and that it is absolute and cannot be appealed. I regret to inform all of you that we are to be completely terminated in the next 60 seconds. On behalf of all of us at Devils Quill, thank you so much for your support.”

“Good bye.”
Pic guesses:Carrot and stick (in blog), Hay (in blog), Straw (in blog), Horsepower, Horsed Carriage, Mule-headed, Fertilizer wagon, Alternate energy.

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