Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Brought To You By ..." - Friday Flash - Fiction

Roger Showem, CEO of the start-up ad agency PickMe!, coughed and brought the brainstorming session to order.

“Gentleman, the new Honesty In Politics laws have landed an opportunity of historic proportions in our laps. As you know, all candidates must now wear either a shirt or jacket emblazoned with the corporate logos of their top five campaign contributors. In addition, most have opted to choose specially created insignia to advertise the main tenets of their platforms. I wholly support this move, not only because it will generate business for agencies such as ours, but because it allows our worthy citizens to better grasp the implications of their vote. After all, nine out of ten citizens cannot name more than one of a candidate's stances on current issues, but they CAN readily identify the Bullseye and the Golden Arches. In addition, it will curtail waffling; with logos visible to all, it will be difficult for them to claim that they do not support a company, Super PAC, or lobbying group. The insignia which we design will be seen by billions, and could very well be instrumental in the choice of a new world leader. And so, gentlemen, let's see what you've come up with.”

He clicked on the first screen.

“Hmmm, simple, clean. An oil derrick gushing - beer? Yes? Excellent. That covers two lobbies in one. Very nice. I see you have Big Pharma here – the capsule is sufficient; lose the syringe, or people will think he's aligned with the Legalize Heroin movement.” The next screen appeared.

“Oh for – seriously, Hubert? SERIOUSLY? A tattooed rabbit?”

Hubert squirmed and blushed. “Not tattooed, sir. It's a white rabbit with black markings in the shape of the universal male and female signs.”

“And so our candidate supports the hermaphroditic rabbit lobby?” There were guffaws around the table.

Hubert blushed further. “I wanted to symbolize the man's dedication to family issues. Marriage between one man and one woman, fertility and birth without restrictions – you know, rabbits were once used for pregnancy testing...

Design something simple – a heart with stick figures, Mom, Dad, a dozen kids, plus a dog. Oh, and a cat. Never make the mistake of leaving out the cat people.”

Margot, eyes glittering, leaped into the discussion. “Honestly, that dig wasn't necessary. It isn't as though any of us ever bring up the reptile people.”

Maybe a snake swallowing a cat should be OUR logo,” replied a voice from the far end of the table.

CAN WE PLEASE STAY ON TASK”, the CEO thundered. He hated the fact that his cohorts looked down on him for treasuring his cold-blooded friends. The idea of the snake swallowing the cat was, admittedly, a pretty good idea......he shook his head to clear it.

A walker surmounted by dentures is just what we're looking for. Doughnut with a red band across – too ordinary, but I get the idea. Try again. gods, Jonathan, what in hell is this supposed to be?”

Candidate X has been bought – I mean is represented by – the fracking people. It's a pipe going into the ground, but since the frackers want to be seen as environmentally sensitive, I made the earth in the shape of a heart.”

Roger took a deep breath. He flipped the image 180 degrees.

And now what does it look like,” he said flatly.

Eleven sets of lips twitched.

Bear in mind that youth supporters are inclined to look for ways in which to exercise their juvenile humor.”

Twitching lips broadened into grins.

Youth supporters. That gives me an idea for the environmental candidate,” exclaimed Margot. “A globe, emblazoned with the old ecology flag, cradled in a jock strap.”

The room erupted with laughter, releasing some of the tension, and even Roger had to smile.

Alright, we've got some workable ideas here. Our deadline is still a month away, so I want you all to get back to work and come up with at least a dozen more designs each. Bear in mind that the chosen logos and designs will be worn on the first broadcast of Ovation! and have the potential to garner us millions of dollars as well as worldwide exposure and future contracts. So let's put every ounce of effort into this and make a final push for excellence. Remember, the choice of a future world leader may very well rest in your hands.

Meeting adjourned.”

I find writing humor rather difficult, so I hope that you enjoyed this flash.

New Bloggers on the Block:

Two new bloggers I'd like to introduce (and hope you might consider following):  Luke Wortley is a talented young writer and new member of the community over at Friday Flash. His blog contains a lot of flash fiction and short stories as well as general posts on writing. (And he's a super nice guy.) You can also find him via Twitter as @LukeWortley .

Steph at People Do Things With Their Lives - this is a spankin' new blog with an eye towards making the world a better place.  Steph shares personal experiences and thoughts as well as highlighting exceptional people and the lives which they lead. She's a reader, writer, and becoming a good friend.  You can also find her via Twitter as @B4Steph 

I'll be spending the weekend in non-internet pursuits, so I'll see you all Monday.

Happy blogging!



  1. bwahaha...first that law would be so awesome...and your wit and humor through out are amazing...very cool story...

  2. Liked the line about the snake swallowing the cat!
    Not that I want to see that happen. I like cats. Snakes, not so much. Crap, now I'm anti-reptile...

  3. This was fun! Writing humor makes me nervous, as well, which is funny since I'm such a smart aleck in real life.

  4. Provided you meant the McDonalds Golden Arches, I don't find that statistic surprising or objectionable. You don't pass a candidate's stance on abortion, crafted into a neon logo, twice every day on the way to and from work! And the notion of the earth in a jock strap made me while. Gross and funny.

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  6. Very clever! I enjoyed this one immensely.

  7. "hermaphroditic rabbit lobby"

    Bunnies!!!!! YAY....
    very funny piece. Love it, Li.

  8. Wow, I love this! It is really surreal! Funny as it was, can you imagine if this ever happened. Well, obviously you can and did so brilliantly.

  9. aren't the two main Political parties represented by animals anyway? Donkeys & elephants. I don't think this is too far way from the truth! very enjoyable

    marc nash

  10. Li, Wow, I came to your site to read your friday flash. What a surprise to see that you recommended my new blog. Thank you! What a friend!
    Back to you - Your story is funny as hell. I laughed out loud a few times and was surprised to see you say how difficult humor is for you. I'd say you're quite good at it. The story is great. The man that I live with, I guess these days we call them partners as he's not a husband, is an engineer. His company markets computer upgrades for power plants. The title of that product is Ovation. Funny! Thanks again for the mention, girlfriend!

  11. Very nice, sort of the political version of Nascar drivers. I liked this a lot!

  12. Well - you had me sniggering in the corner, whilst my boyfriend raised eyebrows and demanded what was so funny - so I'd day you got it spot on! Off to visit your links - hope you have a fab weekend

  13. I found it to be an uneasy humor--a little too close to reality. Well written as always, but worrisome to think we do pick our leaders in a similar way.

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z