Friday, April 16, 2010

Magpie Entry #10



Webber: Okay, gentlemen, what’s this special meeting about? What’s the emergency?
Emmerich: Our meeting is about this. Here, have a look at it.
Webber: Looks like a picture of a watch.
Emmerich: It does, doesn’t it? It’s a picture of Alexander Hamilton’s watch, the watch that was in his pocket back in 1804 during the famous duel he fought with Aaron Burr.



Webber: During which, of course, Hamilton was killed. American History 101. What’s it got to do with us?
Thompson: Two weeks ago this watch was given to Mr. Strohmayer as a retirement gift by his loyal, devoted employees.
Webber: What? Must have cost them a fortune!



Thompson: It would have, if it had been the actual watch. There’s a company in Rapid City, South Dakota named “Chic Replique, Inc.” that makes copies of famous watches. They sell for about a hundred and fifty dollars each. They’ve got George Washington’s watch, for example. Their best seller is Abe Lincoln’s watch, the one he used to time the Gettysburg address. They’ve sold hundreds of those. And they made this Alexander Hamilton watch, now in the possession of our esteemed CEO.
Webber: They don’t claim these knockoffs are authentic, do they?
Emmerich: Of course not. All anyone has to do is turn any of these watches over and see “Chic Replique, Inc.” along with their email address, on the back.
Webber: Well, gentlemen, this looks like an easy problem to solve. All that’s needed is for one of the more courageous of you to go up to Strohmayer and tell him to turn the damn thing over and read what’s on the back.
Thompson: You don’t understand! Mr. Strohmayer is very moved by this present. He has called a press conference for tomorrow morning – local and national media – to make a brief speech of appreciation for this wonderful retirement gift from his devoted, loyal employees.
Webber: I can’t believe this! You’ve scheduled a press conference without even notifying the PR guy?
Thompson: Mr. Strohmayer didn’t want you or any other public relations person involved in this press conference. He wanted to come across as sincere, authentic.
Webber: What he’ll come across as is a sincere, authentic jackass.
Thompson: That kind of attitude isn’t going to be of much help.
Emmerich: To make things just a bit worse, the boss has hired an architect and is having an elaborate alcove, with special lighting, built in the living-room of his home to hold the watch. That niche is going to cost him about eight thousand bucks.
Webber: Eight thousand bucks to hold a hundred fifty-dollar watch. Makes sense.
Thompson: Way I see it, if we’re being charitable, we might assume the employee’s committee, the group who presented the watch to Mr. Strohmayer, was not aware it was a fake. If we’re not so charitable, the whole thing would seem to be a kind of wise-guy prank that’s being played on the CEO. The end result of that could be catastrophic – for a number of us.
Emmerich: “Train wreck” wouldn’t begin to describe it.
Thompson: Okay, P R person, you’re supposed to know what to do in emergency situations, what’s your recommendation?
Webber: Wait a minute. You wait till the bridge has collapsed, the train is headed over the cliff toward the river below, and now – now – you want the PR guy to do something about a possible train wreck?
Emmerich: Come on, this is serious. What are we supposed to do?
Webber: Okay. First off, someone’s got to notify Strohmayer that he’s been “punk’d.” I don’t envy the guy who gets that job. Second, you can’t cancel tomorrow’s press conference; you’d wind up with a large group of hostile media. Tell the boss to hold the conference but make this the topic: the large donation our corporation is making to a worthy charity.
Thompson: What charity?
Webber: Any charity – the National Association of Lame-Brained Business Executives, for example. Whatever.
Emmerich: And then?
Webber: And then sit back and hope the train stays on the tracks. Enjoy the ride!

40 comments:

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Well you are just far too fast! I was just going to look for this week's prompt and there you have already Aced it! Is there really a Chic Replique and in Rapid City, no less...if not there should be! Very entertaining...but I will now have to think on what I might do with this.

Berowne said...

Pat Transplanted: "Is there really a Chic Replique and in Rapid City, no less..?"

Yep. Run by my brother-in-law.

RNSANE said...

This was really humorous. I will never come up with anything of this calibre!!

Suz said...

all I kept thinking about while reading the story..How cool that would be if there really was such a company?! What a ride..thanks1
My daughter is in PR..I'll show her this one

Berowne said...

RNSANE: "This was really humorous. I will never come up with anything of this calibre!!"

With a name like RNSANE you shouldn't have any trouble. :-)

Berowne said...

Suz: "What a ride..thanks."

My thanks to you, Suz.

Star said...

A very original post Berowne. The timepiece obviously captured your attention too.
Star

Peggy Jo said...

Berowne,
Your wit just gladdens my heart like a slow burning candle wick. The warmth and merrith just make me content to sit with a with a smile upon my cheek.

joanny said...

Berowne

Well like "the train stays on the tracks." and the gerbil on his wheel, this is a perfectly timed piece. There is a delicious wit and slight sarcasm in this story ($8000, party for a $150 watch) I can't help but think that some of the stories you write have some basis of truth in them...
Joanny

Derrick said...

Pity, because it looks a lovely watch!

Berowne said...

Derrick: "Pity, because it looks a lovely watch!"

Their British branch can get you George III's watch at an excellent price!

Berowne said...

My thanks to Star, Peggy Jo and joanny for their friendly comments.

Lisa said...

Maybe the boss was truly touched by the generosity they could afford and he not the buffoon that make him out to be. :)

Yemalla said...

I love the way you weave history into present day stories. This one is excellent.

Rob Kistner said...

Engaging, and a good read through to the end. The prompt lent itself quite well to your interpretation -- and was well written...
...rob
Image & Verse

Berowne said...

Rob Kistner, Yemalla and Lisa have come through with fine comments. Thanks so much.

Maha said...

Too bad you didn't tell us what's gonna happen at the end. Hopefully, they'll be a second part. i absolutely enjoyed it from thefirst word until the last.

chiccoreal said...

Would love to be a fly on the wall in that situation room! The suits certainly know how to do "damage control". Punk'd! That is very original and smart! Got to think fast in these "sticky wicket" scenarios. Excellent strategy! Wonderful story and

Cop Mama said...

This story pulled me along the whole way. I couldn't wait to see where you were taking us. Very intriguing, I would love to hear the rest of the story!

Berowne said...

Maha: "i absolutely enjoyed it from the first word until the last."

Just as I enjoyed your comment; thanx.

Berowne said...

I'm grateful to chiccoreal and Cop Mama for their encouraging remarks.

Ji said...

wonderful post,
you lead, we follow,
how neat!


http://www.jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com
welcome!

Peg said...

So funny - thoroughly enjoyed this!!!

spacedlaw said...

That replica business is a nifty idea.

chiccoreal said...

(contiued)Berowne...Love your characters, they are really well developed and original. I see this as a Mad Men episode. Let's hope the train "stays on the tracks". If not, there will be a lot of "'splainin' to do". Plan B?

Vicki Lane said...

Wonderful detail! Great humor! Well done!

Berowne said...

What great responses, from Ji, Peg, spacedlaw and Vicki Lane--thanx.

Catalyst said...

Berowne, you continue to amaze with your marvelous tales!

Brian Miller said...

ha. fun magpie...i could definitely see this as a sitcom moment...

willow said...

Gosh, this was great! And as synchronicity would have it, we were just discussing this very duel at the manor this week!

Sh@KiR@ CK said...

Very nicely done. Almost like a drama.
Great tale, indeed.
mine is here
this is my first magpie tale.
have you a great week.
hugs
shakira

Berowne said...

willow: "Gosh, this was great!"

What a terrific comment. Thanks, willow.

Pat said...

After all it's the thought that counts;)

Berowne said...

And I'm very grateful for the generous responses of Catalyst, Brian Miller and Shakira.

Aoife.Troxel said...

Interesting take on the prompt...imaginative idea...hopefully the train doesn't stay de-railed for long!

Peter Goulding said...

As usual a terrific story Berowne, but I thought the ending needs a bit of something - a twist? a better solution? My own opinion, of course, and I'm not a critic!

Helen said...

I am loving all of these wonderfully creative Magpie Tales ~ yours included!

Diana (Diane) Maria said...

This is such fun. I was riveted from beginning to end. Beautiful!

C.M. Jackson said...

very funny and yet, given its subtext oh so true and oh so serious..great magpie!

Berowne said...

I really appreciate the great responses by C M Jackson, Diana Maria, Helen, Peter Goulding and Aoife Troxel.

 
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