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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wacchu Talkin Bout Skinner? [Guest News Prose, May 30, 2010, by Arnold Jackson]

Wacchu Talkin Bout Skinner? [Guest News, May 30, 2010]
By Arnold Jackson

And the red-haired clown came up to Jim Skinner, brandishing those six or seven photographs taken in the late 1980s.  If he had even the smallest flair for dramatics, he might have said, “Extremely good composition, Mr. Skinner, don’t you agree?”  But the clown wanted to get down to business, and simply said, “You probably remember this dead hooker in your bathtub, Mr. Skinner, don’t you?”  From a medical point of view, it was fascinating to watch the cognitive become discretely palpable, just thirty seconds from puzzled brow to pallid glare.  But from an ethical point of view, it was truly a masterpiece.  They say that the Marlboro man, before he kicked the bucket, spent the last few months taking his sweet revenge, by smoking Lucky Strikes in public, right out of his tracheotomy hole.  But the red-haired clown had a whole lot more bad karma than the Marlboro man.  After all, not that many seven year olds had a fit because their mothers wouldn’t give them a light.  The clown had introduced six hundred million schoolchildren to colon cancer and type-13 diabetes, and he had a real bad case of the really bad conscience, and he needed a more elevated form of revenge than walking into a Wendy’s in his trademark clown suit, and stuffing his face in the window with Wendy’s nummy snatch, or whatever they call that chicken sandwich over there.  “Listen, you’ve got it all wrong,” said the gray-faced CEO, in the coolest voice he could muster.  For a moment, the red-haired clown thought that Skinner was willing to be reasonable.  But he just launched into all the predictable pablum about how times were changing, it was nothing personal, it’s me, it’s not you, yada yada, business mumbo jumbo, graphs, charts, Chinese economic patterns, whatever.  The clown sat there, listening patiently, arms crossed, leaning back in the executive-style ergonomic bucket chair, with his extra-long shoes up on Skinner’s desk.  When the CEO was done with his spiel, the red-haired clown simply snorted.  “And now that I’m old and fat, you’re going to terminate my contract?  I don’t think so, Mr. Skinner.”  After he’d spoken, the clown stuffed the photographs back into the manila envelope.  When Ronald McDonald left the room, Skinner remained seated at his enormous jade desk, absently fingering a paperweight made from the skull of one of earliest Ronald McDonalds.  He didn’t like being forced into this particular business decision.  But it just might work, he said to himself.  By the church of L. Ron Hubbard, it just might work.  By the end of the week, the world would see the first full-length television ads of the grotesquely obese Ronald McDonald.

“Retire Ronald McDonald? No way. That's the message McDonald's Corp.'s CEO Jim Skinner gave Thursday to the red-haired clown's critics who say the cartoon promotes unhealthy eating and should go the way of the Marlboro Man and Joe Camel. ”
– (AP) – May 20, 2010

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