When Spatulas Go Bad

I am Alutaps Haerihauden. I think that I am a succesful human being. I ran the most succesful spatula company in all of the USA with two of my friends, by the names of Charlie and Ben.

It all started in 1999. We were having a barbecue at my house, and I was flipping hamburgers. It was tough work, however. I had recently bought a new spatula. The quality of spatulas was not so great back in those days. Its user would never be able to tell how many times the burger he was flipping would flip when he flipped it. It could flip once, twice, three, maybe even four times. You couldn't tell. Sometimes it wouldn't flip at all. And when you tried to smack the shape into the burger it was unpredictable how the burger would end up. The ending shape could be a square, circle, oval, or maybe even a dodecahedron. Charlie was observing me and remarked, "Alutaps, you aren't managing too well with that spatula."

This angered me. I could tell that he was implying that he could handle a spatula better than I, which he couldn't. I said, "well if you're so great why don't you try yourself?"

"As a matter of fact I will!" he screamed at me.

"Whoa, whoa, guys. We don't have to get worked up about this. It's just a spatula…" said Ben.

"Yes we do, Ben, you retard! What? You think that handling a spatula is child's play? It isn't, just in case you needed to know!" said Charlie.

"You must be agile and possess mass amounts of dexterity to do so. Now, Charlie, I forgive you for implying that I wasn't handling the spatula correctly. Perhaps I was being a little unconventional with my grip of the spatula. My thumb was a little to close to my index finger. This I will admit. I hope that you can forgive me too, because you know that the quality of spatulas has been dropping for the past 50 years. I was simply trying a different way to wield this spatula so that I could perhaps revolutionize the grip of these deffective spatulas. Now, will you forgive me?" I asked.

"Yes, Alutaps, I forgive you. Please warn me next time you are attempting to revolutionize because I'd hate to think that you are a deffective spatula handler."

"Speaking of deffective spatula handlers, I think that Ben has gotten a little too big for his britches. I believe that it is our duty to make him prove himself worthy. Ben, here is a spatula. I am putting you in charge of our dinner." I handed the spatula over to Ben.

"How hard could this possibly be?" he asked.

"Hey, Alutaps, since Ben seems to be so sure of himself I think that we should place a little wager," said Charlie.

"Charlie, I must say that I agree. I would be willing to bet that Ben can't handle the power of the spatula. How about this, Ben: If you truly do possess the knowledge of the spatula and can make us a decent dinner then we will acknowledge your greatness and pay you a sum of $20 each. If, however, our dinner comes out inedible, then you must buy us dinner at a restaurant of our choice." We all agreed to that and thirty minutes later found ourselves sitting in The Way Too Expensive Restaurant on 78th and Park Avenue. Ben was surprised how atrocious the spatula that he was asked to use had been, and was shamefully quiet throughout the first half of the dinner.

Finally, after a long period of silence, he spoke up and said, "I could've made a better spatula than that one."

"Yeah. Sure. You can't even handle a spatula and now you want to make one?" Charlie asked.

"Wait a minute, Charlie. I think that he may be on to something. I heard stories from my father when I was young of spatulas that could flip a burger EXACTLY THREE TIMES whenever you wanted. I've heard stories of spatulas that would make the crisp sound of a smack whenever you applied it to a hamburger, and the hamburger would always be the shape that you intended it to. Charlie, Ben, I think that we should make a spatula company and have the spatula industry pick up where it left off fifty years ago."

All three of us were unemployed at the time. Charlie was an out of work actor, Ben an out of work jazz singer, and me just plain out of work. Charlie agreed with me, and thought that it was a brilliant idea. Ben didn't think too highly of it at first, however.

"Come on Ben! What's your problem? Do you want to be a wannabe jazz singer for your whole life? Think about the possibilities, Ben. With the competition that we would currently have we could easily be the best spatula company on Earth! We could be world famous! We could have our names on almost every single spatula in the world!" Charlie tried to convince him.

"Are you guys joking? What's your hangover with spatulas?" he asked.

"Ben, you just don't seem to understand the spatula. Charlie, since he doesn't appreciate the spatula we must advertise our proposition to him differently. Ben, we'll be millionaires. We could eat at this restaurant every night. You're going to be broke paying the bill we've worked up here anyway, since this place is way too expensive, so I think that you're going to need some money. Now, Ben, are you in or are you out?"

"Fine. But I'm not making any investments, because I doubt that it'll work," he said, and how wrong he was. It was then that we began our voyage to fame and fortune.

We went over to my house to begin our company.

First of all we had to decide what the company's name would be. Charlie wanted to name it Sheeny Spatulas. Ben wanted to name it Verene Spatulas, and I wanted to name it Haerihauden's Spatulas. We decided to do a rock-paper-scissors-shoot because we couldn't decide. Each and every one of us thought that there was absolutely no sense to the other's suggested name and thought that our own was the best name there could possibly be. In the first round between the three of us, Charlie and Ben drew rock and I drew scissors, so I was out. In the next 15 rounds the two of them tied every single time, so we decided that it was best to compromise. We named the company Sherene Spatulas. It was now time to commence making spatulas.

The spatulas that existed back then simply had a plastic handle and and a rubber flipper. Charlie and I agreed that this was no way for a spatula to be, and that whoever came up with the idea of designing a spatula like that should be shot. Ben just said whatever. I thought that the handle should be made out of cashmiere, and Charlie agreed, because spatulas should be exotic and not every day items.

"Are you guys joking? Are you ready to pay a couple hundred dollars to make a spatula?"

"If it's a good spatula, sure. I don't think that you understand the potential power that you can achieve while wielding a good spatula," I told him sharply. His anti-spatula ways were really beginning to get to us.

"Well, I don't think that the general public is. Sorry guys."

"Why not? The general public isn't retarded like you Ben! You are the biggest, fattest, stupidest… meanest, foolishest, crazyest retard that I have ever seen! I hate you Ben! I think that you just want to shoot down our dreams! Well I'll shoot you down if you don't stop," Charlie screamed at the top of his lungs. He pulled out a .50 caliber Desert Eagle and pointed it at Ben. "Say you're sorry! I demand that you say you're sorry you insensitive pig!"

"Yo, I'm sorry," Ben said. Then, to cover himself up, "I wasn't saying that spatulas shouldn't be exotic. Um, I was just saying that I'm not sure that everybody would have enough money to buy a spatula of that caliber."

"Well don't make the same mistake again!" Charlie said, and put his gun back in his pocket.

"Well, Charlie, I suppose that we should take Ben's suggestion into consideration. Now, I think that since we are going to have the monopoly on spatulas pretty soon that we should get a website. I have checked dozens of times whether or not there is a website with the address , and as of 8:17 last night there wasn't. I have made the official spatula fan page at , but that isn't extravagant enough. All that it does is have a retarded introduction paragraph, a page full of images of spatulas, and a page that pirates your credit card number. However, for only $34 a month we can get 500 MB of webspace, our own .com address, and much more. This would be as good as it gets. I believe that this investment would pay off. Instead of the page that pirates your credit card, we could sell real spatulas on this website and tell people about our company. Now, back to taking Ben's suggestion into consideration, I believe that we should setup a message board and a poll on what kind of a design they would prefer as an average consumer. That way we will know which design will sell the best."

"Why take opinions from the average consumer, though? Aren't we more experienced than the average consumer?" Charlie asked.

"Sure you are, but the average consumer is where the money comes from," Ben explained.

"Look, Ben, I'm not sure where you're coming from. I don't want to be a sellout. I want to be a buy-in. I don't want to be Will Smith with clean albums. I want to be DMX with biting dogs."

"Charlie, you won't be selling out. You'll simply be giving the people what they want. And we will make many different types of spatulas. That way the non-experienced spatula wielders can buy the beginner spatulas, and the experienced can purchase advanced ones. The people with good taste can get the more extravagant spatulas; the people with bad taste can get the inferior spatulas. The wealthy people can get platinum spatulas with cashmiere handles, while the less wealthy can purchase the aluminum spatulas with no handles. This way we are serving everybody in the way they want to be served. The ones that sell better we will create more of, that way there will be enough for everybody. You get it?" I asked.

"Fine. But in the future you must know that I will not sellout."

"I believe that we should begin to create some basic prototypes," I said, and began we did.

I believe that the most necessary thing in a spatula is that the flipper is flexible. I opened up a program on my computer and calculated how flexible the flipper must be to flip the average hamburger exactly three times, and we agreed that those calculations would be one of the things similar in all prototypes because they were so essential. Then we had to decide how many slits there would be in the flipper, and what shape they would be. The slits don't matter all that much, except for the fact that they help to keep the hamburger on the spatula and they give it the authentic spatula look. We all agreed that they should be rectangular, and that there should be three of them per spatula. If the flipper was four inches long, the two on the side should be two inches long and the middle should be three inches long. They should each be a half and inch wide.

Then there was how long and wide the flipper and handle would be. We all agreed that the handle should always be longer than the flipper, but that it shouldn't be too long that it be a burden. We decided that we should make them in many different lengths and widths, depending on the user's preference.

What shape they would be was a different story, however. I thought that an ovalish handle would be better than a flat one, because it's easier to grip because of it's rounded sides. I thought the flipper of the spatula should be wider on the first part than on the end, because that way there would still be adequate room for the hamburger and the flipper would still be effective. This is because the tip of the spatula that a good user would use to flip must be a certain width for the perfect 3 rotation flip that I worked so hard on calculating. Charlie thought that it would be easier to flip if the handle was a flat rectangle because althought the grip you would use wouldn't be so comfortable, it would teach the inexperienced user the right grip. The inexperienced user, once he had become experienced, could then use a circular handle. He believed that the flipper should actually be thinner on the bottom, so as to teach the inexperienced user to use the tip of the spatula. I thought that Charlie was just being a jerk and trying to do the exact opposite of what I did.

"Charlie, what's your major malfunction? I should hit you with a spatula! Look, if you have a problem with me say something, don't just shoot down my ideas!" I lambasted him.

"Alutaps, I'm not doing anything. Freak."

"Oh! Now you call me a freak! Well you're the freak! Mr. Desert Eagle in my back pocket! You're worse than a freak! You're a paranoid, idea-shooting-down freak!"

"Look, look, Alutaps, just chill. I think that your idea should be the expert's spatula, and Charlie's should be the beginner's spatula. Remember, guys, that we are going to have different prototypes. Now, since this is the case, I think that we should have a medium spatula. Any ideas on that?" Ben said.

"Ah! Yes! An intermediate spatula. It shouldn't be flat; it should be a rectangular prism. That way they still learn the perfect grip, but they are experienced enough to use something that isn't flat. And the flipper could be square!" I said. Everybody agreed to everything that had gone down so far. All of our hopes were high. We created a business account with $500 in it so that I could begin the website that night. We decided that work was over for the day.

That night I created the website. I didn't do any work with it, but it was there. This way no cyber-squatter would snatch the address from me and make me pay to own it. I went to sleep early, for I knew that tomorrow would be a long day. We would begin making the spatulas tomorrow.

We met at Charlie's house the next day, and decided that the first thing we must do is analyze Charlie's spatula. He retrieved it from his kitchen, and brought it before my eyes so that I could see it. I said, "Bring me a hamburger so that I may flip it," and he did. I began flipping the hamburger.

"Alutaps, this metal is one of the key problems to this spatula. We must not purchase this metal. This is a cheap aluminum metal. I believe that we should buy titanium, for that is very strong and light," remarked Charlie.

"Hey, Charlie, if you wanna buy titanium to make a spatula with, then go right ahead. Personally, I can barely afford the aluminum," said Ben.

"Ben, why won't you make a contribution to our project? I hate you! While I'm busy spending my life's savings you won't even buy an aluminum spatula? What kind of a friend are you supposed to be?" Charlie roared.

"Hey, Charlie, I'm just saying that I think titanium is beyond all of our price ranges."

"Maybe it's beyond YOUR price range. Scrub. Cheapo. You're the kind of guy that didn't pay Destiny Child's bills. You aren't a guy, Ben, you're a good for nothing type of brother!" Charlie scolded him.

"Charlie, we don't need to start off with titanium spatulas. We must first begin designing our prototypes with default materials. Then, once perfected, we may begin perfecting our choice of materials. Is that good?" I asked.

"Fine," Charlie fumed. He said it as if he had literally fumed it out of his mouth.

"Charlie, you don't have to be so upset about it," Ben said.

"Ben, you be quiet! I've had enough of you! And Alutaps, you're starting to get to me too!" Ben and I rolled our eyes.

"Okay, we should start designing our prototypes. Where shall we go to buy our materials?" I asked.

"How about Fluminum's Aluminum? That old guy that runs it is cool," Ben suggested.

"Fluminum's Aluminum? Are you kidding me! Ben, that guy isn't cool! He's a psycho mass murderer! He's old guy by day, murderer by night! He carries around a shotgun and shoots anybody wearing a blue dewrag! Then he takes their bodies to his workshop, turns them into aluminum, and cackles sadistically! Ben, you're thinking he's cool is leading me to believe that perhaps you're in cahoots with him. If you act any more suspiciously then I'll have to turn you in," Charlie said.

"Well then to what store do you suggest we go?" I asked of him.

"Let's go to The Aluminum Megastore in Nevada. They have shelves and shelves of aluminum of millions of different kinds of qualities. And next to it is The Megastore of Aluminum. They couldn't fit all of their aluminum into one store, so they made another store! The owners are aluminum geniusses!"

"Charlie, we live in New York," I told him.

"And I don't want to go to Nevada," said Ben.

"You guys are such sellouts! I don't want to sellout. I don't want to be a sellout. I want to be a buy-in. I don't want to be Will Smith with parentally approved albums. I want to be DMX with biting dogs. I want to make the extra effort to give our customer the quality they deserve! Are you guys with me?"

"Charlie, if it means I have to go to Nevada then I don't care whether our spatulas can flip a garbanzo bean," I told him.

"Alutaps, what's your problem?" He asked.

"Look, Charlie, I don't want to go to Nevada," Ben began to say until I cut him off.

"I told you I don't care," I further explained.

"I don't want to go to Nevada," Ben started to say again.

"… To buy spatulas there," I further explained.

Ben clenched his teeth, for my interruptions were beginning to vex him, and said, "I don't want to go to Nevada," he said, but I cut him off again.

"…All your whims afflicted," I furtherly explained.

"I DON'T WANT TO GO TO NEVADA," Ben screamed, more at me then at Charlie, but I still cut him off.

"Charlie, you're addicted!" I yelled at him. (If you don't know the Third Eye Blind song "London" then pay no attention to the last segment of the story). I was done interrupting Ben, because suddenly I saw Charlie reach into his pocket. In the same way he had last night, he pulled out the same .50 caliber Desert Eagle.

"Guys, we're going to Nevada. And while we're their, I'm gonna buy a pit bull and record the dirtiest album you've ever heard. All this because I don't want to be a sellout. I want to be a buy-in. I don't want to be Will Smith with parentally approved albums. I want to be DMX with biting dogs. Now, are you coming to Nevada?" He asked, his gun hovering between the two of us.

"No," Ben said, and his answer so took Charlie by surprise that before the trigger was pulled, Ben's foot hit the butt of the pistol, knocking it out the window. Charlie lives on the 22nd story of his building, and so when the gun landed it fired a shot. We heard the shot, and we heard a cry. We then looked out the window, and saw a man on the ground, dead. So as not to be caught at the scene of the crime, we immediately began to make our escape.

"We should go out the emergency stairway! Its exit is at the other site of the building,"Charlie explained. We followed him down the emergency stairs throughout all of the 21-floor descent. We heard a police siren around half way down. When we got down, just out of curiosity, we walked around the building to where the gun had fallen. We looked at the man who now had a large crowd surrounding him. Charlie and I noticed his face right away. It was Jonathan Granier, the CEO of the company that sold the leading brand of spatula at that moment. Our first instinct was to run away, but that would draw suspicion to us. Instead we approached the police officer and asked what had happened.

"Oh this is some strange nobody… apparently he made spatulas for a living. Wasted life, don't you think?" He said.

"Oh, you think spatulas are a waste of time?" Charlie asked.

"Well, I'm not exactly a member of their 'online fan club'," he said with a chuckle.

"What's wrong with their online fan club?" I asked. I had made the online fan club. I wanted to know what I had done wrong.

"You guys are weird. You act as if spatulas are a big deal. I know you're just trying to play a joke on me. Look, I know us cops got a bad reputation after Amadu Diallo and all of that, but we're really not that bad."

A look passed between Charlie's eyes and mine. Charlie said, "sure you aren't. Look, I think that I have some information about this man and why he got shot. Could you step over here a second?" Charlie asked, pointing to the dark alley next to his building.

"All right. I suppose this information is too covert for these regular people to hear," he said with a chuckle at the end and a wink on "covert". Ben and I followed Charlie and the policeman over to the dark alley. While we were doing so I secretly picked up a stick from the sidewalk and held it in my hands.

When we had reached the middle of the alley Charlie yelled, "Hit him!" to me. I clobbered him on the back of the next with the stick that I had pulled out of my pocket. He doubled over in both shock and pain. Charlie began kicking him, yelling "What's wrong with spatulas you good for nothin' type of officer?"

While he was doing this I was throwing hard metal objects such as soda cans at him from a nearby garbage bag. Ben had at first been oblivious as to what we were doing, not realizing the impact of what the officer had said earlier, but was now joining in on the fun as joyously as one could. He had begaun to overturn a large Dumpster that sat at the back of the alley onto the cop. Finally he succeeded, and it landed upon the cops body with a thud. At this we stopped kicking and throwing, because Charlie had taken out a gun from the pocket opposite to the one that used to hold his Desert Eagle. The gun he pulled out was a silenced 9-mili. He shot a dozen shots at the officer's foot, laughing sadistically while doing so. Then we pulled the Dumpster up and off of him. Ben lifted his body and placed in into the Dumpster, and then we closed the lid. We walked away as if nothing had happened. Charlie was in a better mood than his usual dimeanor, for he had finally taken out all of his stress on somebody, and so it disgruntled him none when Ben and I told him our intentions to stop at Fluminum's Aluminum instead of going to Nevada. However, he did maintain his dignity by saying, "okay, guys, I'll go along with you. I'll also watch out for that old guy though."

Charlie's building was at 99th street, and Fluminum's Aluminum was at 53rd, so we decided to take a taxi.

New York taxi drivers don't speak English. They all speak Pakistani. When Ben moved to New York he became so discouraged with trying to get the taxi drivers to take him from point A to point B that he went to Pakistani School for four days a week over the course of a year. He now speaks fluent Pakistani. He wrote a jazz song in Pakistani, which is perhaps why he was having trouble getting work. We entered the cab. We took one look at the taxi driver's name, Bazar Mauhatti, and motioned to Ben to speak to him. Ben began jabbering off in Pakistani. The driver was so surprised at this that he began having a discussion with Ben. This was the only time that he'd ever have a Pakistani-speaking passenger and he was going to make it worthwhile. Charlie and I just sat quietly while Ben and the driver talked about the military ku in Pakistan. It was quite humorous listening to them, but after a while it got boring. We were glad when it was time to leave the cab. We ambled to the aluminum store, and opened the door.

We saw the old guy that owned the store behind the cash register wearing a grey nametag on his shirt that said, "Fluminum". We said hi, and he said hi back.

"Hello customer, and for what cause are you buying aluminum for today?" he said. You could tell that he had said it many a time and was getting bored with saying it.

"We are going to start a spatula company," I said.

"Really?" he asked with fake enthusiasm.

"Yes. We are tired of the spatula industry taking advantage of us by offering us overpriced and deffective spatulas. We are taking a stand," said Charlie.

"Good for you," he stated. He suddenly seemed happy. "You know, I used to own a spatula company," he told us. I was disappointed. All of the spatulas for the last fifty years had been deffective, and it surprised me that this man who Ben described as being cool was part of the cause.

"Really?" I asked, trying to sound enthusiastic to this sellout.

"Yes, I did. 'Twas 75 years ago. I began making spatulas at the age of 26 with two friends after the leading Spatula Company's CEO died. My friend's names were Billy and Bob. My name was Joe. We created a great prototype, because back then there were many different companies and we were determined to beat them out, because if our spatulas weren't good enough we would be overlooked. For 15 years we began our rise to the top, but we were still behind one company. Delano Spatulas was its name. It was owned by then president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Our spatulas were better than his by a mile; he didn't even know what his prototypes were. He was only paid 10 to say he owned the company. We were second place behind him. Then one day Billy and Bob couldn't take it anymore. They hired a secret service agent to kill Roosevelt and payed the media and various doctors to blame it on polio. I knew they did it even though they had not yet told me that they had, and I was angry with them for doing it. Spatulas are supposed to be an honest utensil. They must be true. They must flip true. How can they do all of this when their creators play their cards dishonestly? I, however, still wanted to make spatulas and didn't want to start a new company from scratch after all that we had worked towards, so I stuck with the company. The only problem was because we now had the monopoly, Billy and Bob saw no reason to keep making quality spatulas that costed more than regular spatulas. I pleaded with them not to do this. Killing Roosevelt was one thing, but designing flawful spatulas was another! It was 1945 when they killed Roosevelt. They brainstormed on how to make the cheapest prototype that could still be disguisably good. They did this for nearly four years, and then it was out with the good spatulas and in with the bad. I threatened to tell the media what they were doing, but the next day when I came into the office they chopped off my legs. Then I quit the job, and they told the media that I wanted to create bad spatulas that were cheaper since we now had the monopoly. I was disgraced for life, because when I tried to tell the media the truth they laughed at me, claiming that they already knew the 'true' story. I was all over the news, 'Joe Spatula wanted to sellout. Good old Billy and Bob kept him from doing so'. That's why I changed my name to Fluminum. Billy and Bob changed the name of the company from Joe Spatula & Co. to Billybob hamburger smackers. They took all of the money too, because I hadn't been in the business for money. Sure, I wanted enough of it to live a normal life, but I was mainly concerned over the production of quality spatulas. Well, for the last 50 years after that spatulas have been deffective. The power has passed on from one Spatula Company to another, but all the spatulas have been equally worthless. I'm glad that you young people have the decency to want out of this situation that we as a nation are facing," he said. He was not just a sellout as I had assumed. He was a former maker of quality spatulas; a fighter against our oppressors.

"Well, when you say that we are facing this situation is faced by us as a nation, I believe that it is not only nationally. It is and international dilemna too. There are people in Africa, China, South America, and even Antarctica that don't have available quality spatulas. We are going to go international," I said. This brought tears to Fluminum's eyes, he was so happy. Then he stepped aside of the cash register, and we saw his legs. He was actually a very tall man, but the stubs he had kept him a foot shorter than he otherwise would be. He had makeshift feet attached to both legs so that he could move around. However, he couldn't do so very well.

"Now, since I believe that you three may possibly be the future of spatulas, I am going to show you the prototypes of spatulas that I created 75 years ago. I have kept the sketches. They are worn and withered, but they are still good," He said, and hobbled over to a part of the wall that seemed to be uneven. He pounded upon it with all of his might, and the uneven part of the wall unhinged itself and opened. There was a large gray safe with a combination lock embedded in the wall. He opened it, and took out a pile of papers that had changed colors from white to yellow since 1924. He handled them with care. Charlie took one look at them and said, "those are our prototypes."

"No they are not! I created these by myself back in 1924!" he said.

"We're not saying that you didn't," Charlie said, "but we have the exact same sketches."

"He speaks the truth," I said.

Fluminum smiled and said, "Well make them, and you'll go very far. There's only two things blocking you, and that's the two other leading Spatula Companies." We knew that it was now only one, but we weren't going to relate to him the earlier happenings of the day.

"It's now only one. The other's CEO was shot today in front of Charlie over here's building," Ben said.

"Is that so? Why, I suppose that they could just hire another CEO, but I happen to know that this won't work for them," he said.

"How?" I asked. I had thought that although Ben and Charlie's hopes were high that we would only have one other major corporation to surpass that there was always another person in line. So I was puzzled at what Fluminum was saying.

"Well, I keep my eye on the spatula companies of today. I happen to know something about the future CEO. He has worked his way up to second in line with a few other companies before. He would then buy stock in the company, and for one week fire everybody under him except for those who actually made the spatulas, so that he would not have to pay them. He would then sell all of the spatulas he could within a week, and before the value of the company could suffer from its losses he would sell the stock. It is easy to see that he will do the same thing with his newly acquired company. Check the newspaper tomorrow. If the stock has gone up, you only have one company to deal with. This one company is a company with deffective spatulas, and you are a company with good spatulas. You can easily surpass them if given a year or so. You will soon be kings of the spatula industry, and under people like you I can predict that for the rest of my life I will only use good spatulas. I am short on money right now, and when your company begins I will invest in it, because I know that you are headed straight for the top. Just a word of advice: try to make yourselves invisible to the leading company for as long as possible so that they will not be able to predict that you will soon overcome them. By doing this you can gain a reputation for good spatulas and prove the other company's spatulas deffective when it's too late for them."

"We'll be sure to keep your advice in mind, Fluminum. Now let's buy some aluminum!" Charlie said. We all cheered. Fluminum put his discolored sketches back into the safe, closed the hatch, and began helping us to select aluminum.

After spending three hours selecting the perfect type of aluminum from Fluminum's, we were ready to buy material for our handles. Before we could leave, however, Fluminum asked, "Do you guys have a warehouse or any factories set up yet?"

"No," I told him.

"Well, since you're going to be needing a lot of spatulas once you begin manufacturing, I suggest that you get some. I know a man named Aktory Airhows. He owns a shop on 57th called Aktory Airhows's Factories and Warehouses. He sells factories and warehouses. You would do well to buy them from him, for he's a big fan of spatulas and so I'm sure that he would be willing to give you a discount."

"Hey," I remarked in surprise, "he's a member of the Online Spatula Fan Club!"

"There's an online fan club?" Fluminum asked.

"Why, yes there is, and I'm its creator," said I.

"Why, what's its address?" he asked. I told him, and we then left for Aktory's. When we came across the building, we were shocked at its immensity. It was nearly 100 stories high, and it was as wide as the whole entire block. All it had on it, however, was a door and two partially open one-sided mirrors. There was just a little crack in them. Above the right window there was a bee's nest, but we didn't take notice of it. Other than those items, the building was completely gray. We entered through the door. The door was an averaged size door that looked quite funny in comparison to the large building in which it was situated. When we entered, we were even more shocked. We entered into a small room. We were expecting to enter into a huge room, with huge elevators and escalators surrounding us. Instead we saw an old desk. The old desk was crammed up against the wall. It had nothing on it other than an unsharpened pencil and had only a man standing behind it. Next to the desk was a small elevator, and next to that a fire extinguisher.

We approached the man. I asked of him, "Would we be able to speak to Aktory?"

"You are," he said matter of factly.

"Oh. Why, hello Aktory," I said.

"How do you know my name?" He asked. He had an unpleasant air about him and spoke in a tough accent. He acted as if he didn't care what your answer was.

"Well, actually it's quite a coincidence," I began to tell him.

"Is it really?"

"Uh, yeah. Do you know of the Online Spatula Fan Club?" I asked him.

"What is it to you?" He replied. I could tell that it wouldn't be easy to get an answer out of him until Charlie spoke up.

"Look, Aktory Airhows, all we want is a few simple answers from you. Are you going to give us these answers?" Charlie asked.

"Maybe," Aktory responded. Charlie pulled out his silenced 9-mili and pointed it at Aktory. After seeing this Charlie repeated his question again, and this time Aktory answered, "quite possibly." Now Charlie cocked his gun, still pointing it at Aktory, and this time Aktory's answer was affirmative.

"Okay," I began to ask of him again, "do you know of the Online Spatula Fan Club?"

"Yeah, I do. Now, I ask you once more, what's it to you?"

"I'm its creator."

"Oh, wow, what, should I get down on all fours and beg for forgiveness?"

Ben was tired of Aktory's ways. "Yo, I'll just skip all of the formal stuff, cuz you're vexing us all. How much does it cost for a factory and a warehouse?"

"Depends. How big do you want the two of them?" he asked.

"We're going to have a Spatula Company. Just tell me how much the standard size costs."

"The standard size for a factory and warehouse is one floor. You could also settle for a half floor, but at the moment you would have to share the floor with an elevator button factory. The workers in the elevator button factory are always getting in fights, so you'll risk one of your workers getting injured. If you purchase both a half floor factory and half floor warehouse, you'll share one with an elevator button factory and one with a factory to be named later. You could also purchase a two-floor factory or warehouse, but it would really only be two one-floor factories or warehouses because there's the ceiling in between the two floors, and you'd have to pay for its demolition. So, what sounds the most convenient for you?" he asked.

"Wait, what do you mean by a floor? We want to buy factories and warehouses, not an apartment," Ben asked.

"Exactly. I made this building so big because I wanted to have all of the factories that I sell in one place. That way I can check on them. It is also convenient for you because you can always contact me, because I live on the second floor."

"Well, since that's the case then what floor would we be buying our factory and warehouse on?" Ben asked.

"If you choose to share it with the elevator button factory, the warehouse and factory will be separated. This is because either the warehouse or the factory (that will take up half a floor) will be on the 63rd floor, with the elevator button factory. The next opening we have available would be on the 87th floor. I recommend that you get a one-floor factory and one-floor warehouse, because then one will be on the 87th and one will be on the 88th. This way you can transport the goods easily between the two, instead of bringing them down some 20 floors. It is up to you; I'm just making a recommendation," he said.

"How much does a one floor factory or warehouse cost, then?" Ben asked.

"It costs $500 per month for each of them. The half floor costs $300 each per month, and the two-floor costs $800 each per month."

"And that elevator over there goes all the way up, does it not? I won't have to be switching elevators, correct?" Ben asked.

"Correct. The elevator spans every single one of the 90 floors. What do you think?"

"Well, I was just wondering whether we could get a discount," I asked.

"Why would I give you a discount?" he asked.

"How would you like to have your membership deleted at The Online Spatula Fan Club?" I asked.

"Wouldn't mind at all," he told me. This hurt me, seeing how he didn't seem to care.

"Well have you tried to buy spatulas at the Online Spatula Fan Club?" I asked him.

"Yeah. It's screwed up. I entered my credit card number and it tells me it's invalid. You should fix that," he said.

If he had tried to buy spatulas off of the Online Spatula Fan Club website, then I have his credit card number stored on my computer. "If you have, then I have your credit card number. When you try to buy a spatula it pirates your credit card number."

"So? I got a new credit card number since then." We were getting angry with this guy. It turned out that he wasn't a real spatula fan as I had supposed. Charlie had had enough. He pulled out his gun again.

"Look, I hate to have to make Charlie do this, but you're giving us no choice," Ben said when he saw Charlie make the motion towards his gun. Much to our surprise, however, Aktory suddenly sat down behind his desk. This confused us, so we walked over to get a glimpse of what he was doing. When we looked down upon him, however, we saw him pointing a Pancor Jackhammer 12-Guage at us. We backed away, and he stood up.

"You are free to buy a factory or warehouse, but you're going to do so by paying the correct price," he told us. We knew that with the automatic shotgun that he held in his hand, Charlie's 9-mili was no match. Just then, however, luck sided with us. A bee flew in through the partially open window. It hovered over to Aktory and stung his cheek. He yelped in pain, and dropped the gun. Once it hit the ground, it fired 10 shots into the wall, putting many large holes in it. We now had the upper edge.

"Can we get a discount?" Charlie asked.

"Here, I'll strike you a deal," Aktory began to say.

"I don't think that you're in a good position to be making deals right now," Ben remarked.

"Well, how about I sit down," Aktory said, beginning to sit down. We were stupified as to what he was doing. Once he got down he said, "and then I'll stand up," he said. When he stood, we saw him holding an AK-47 in his hands. "Now can we begin making deals?" he asked.

"Okay, what's your proposal," I asked.

"You're going to pay the regular price," he said.

"Look, let me just make a deal with you," Ben said.

"I remember a certain somebody telling me that I wasn't in a good position to make deals just a minute ago," Aktory said snidely.

"Look, all we want is to buy a factory and warehouse," Ben said.

"Yeah, I know you do. You're not gonna rip me off though."

"Here, Aktory, how about you show us around the factory that we would own. Let's walk over to this elevator," Ben said. Aktory followed Ben to the elevator while keeping an eye on Charlie and I. Once they were standing next to the elevator, Ben kicked Aktory in the shin, causing him to double over. At once I lept onto the scene and began to pry the gun out of Aktory's hands. Meanwhile Ben took the fire extinguisher that hung next to the elevator into his hands and drenched Aktory with it. When I took the AK-47 in my hand and tried to yank it from Aktory's, he began to fire random shots. Luckily, I pointed the gun up so that the bullets only hit the ceiling.

After he had been significantly drenched, he let me take hold of the gun. I handed it over to Charlie, who was also guarding the Pancor and pointing his 9-mili at Aktory. The AK-47 still had some rounds in it, so Charlie pointed it at Aktory as well. Simultaneously the three of us told him, "We aren't paying full price."

Aktory said to us, "Here. Let me make a deal with you."

"Look, last time you tried to make a deal with us we nearly got killed. I think we'll be making the deal this time," Ben said.

"Precisely. Aktory, we started off with $500 to spend on our business. We just spent $250 on aluminum to make spatulas with, and we are paying $34 a month for a website that we currently own. We're only going to spend $200 per month, whether you like it or not. We have all the guns now, so that's how it's going to be," I told him.

"Yeah," Charlie said while making a motion with the AK-47.

"So how's it gonna be?" Ben asked.

"Look, I'll make a deal with you. You can have it at $200 for the first month. For the next months it will increase by $100. So the second month will be $300, the next $400, and the next $500. And that's where it'll stop."

"Excuse me, Aktory, but I said $200 per month. I have a gun and you don't, so whatever you say doesn't matter to me! Your deal is going to loose us a lot of money, and when I have a gun there's no reason for that to happen!" Charlie yelled at him.

"Well, look. I'm not making too much money right now. I pay a lot in taxes for this building, and from rent I am currently getting only $43,000 per month. I do have vending machines on every floor, but I'm not getting rich off of that either. This means that I wouldn't mind having the press pay me some money to tell this story. They would love hearing about this: Spatula Company CEOs holdup factory store. Spatula Company CEOs have a secret. Don't buy spatulas from these attempted murderers. And I would get paid to do it. If you don't follow along with my suggested rate, I'll tell the press. That won't do any good for your profit, now, will it?" He asked.

"Why, no it wouldn't," Charlie said.

"Actually it would," Ben said. Charlie and I stared at him in shock. He continued, "When we first start out, we'll need publicity, because otherwise nobody will know who we are. If he tells the press, it would be like a commercial!"

"Hey, you're right. Aktory, you're giving us $200 per month," Charlie said.

"Well, true, it may be like a big commercial for you, but you're forgetting one thing. You could go to jail. Carrying around a gun. Holding me up. You can't get away with that. You'll go to jail."

"So will you!" Ben retorted. "You carry a gun around too! Or is that AK-47 fake, not to mention the Pancor?" We all agreed with Ben, and we signed a contract giving us the 87th floor as a warehouse and the 88th floor as a factory for only $200 per month. Somebody had previously used them, so there were already machines in them. We stopped by Fluminum's before we started, because we thought that since he had made spatulas long ago that he would be able to help us. He said that he would help us, and that he knew quite a bit about operating machinery so he would be able to help us get it set up. We showed him there, and he said that he'd begin working on it and that we should hire a couple people to work for us. He said that he could get the factory to pretty much operate itself, and that all we really needed was people to put in the materials and people to carry the finished spatulas down to the warehouse. He told us to think about a logo for our company while we were out hiring so that he could have the machines put it on the spatulas. We began looking on the double.

We stepped outside and noticed a couple homeless people. I asked them, "How would you like to be paid minumum wage to carry spatulas back and forth and put aluminum onto a machine?" I asked them.

"Yeah. How much do I get paid?" one of them asked.

"Minumum wage," I told them.

"How much is that?" another of them asked.

"Um it's about five dollars every hour," Charlie told them.

"How many hours?"

"Probably about 10 hours a day. That's about $50."

"How many days?"

"For a long time. Do you want to do it?" I asked them.

"Yeah," they replied. We took them into the building.

"This buildin's a big buildin'," one of them said.

"Yeah. We're on the 87th and 88th floors. Can you remember that?"

"No."

"Well try, okay? If you forget, ask that guy by the desk over there. His name is Aktory. He'll tell you. Now we're going to go up the elevator."

We went up the elevator, and got out on the 87th floor. I said, "this is the warehouse. This is where you'll take the spatulas."

"Can I sleep here?" one of them asked.

"No. You're here to do a job, not to sleep. You get paid to work, not to sleep," Charlie said.

"I mean when the job's over."

"Oh, okay, sure. Yeah, you can do that," Charlie told them.

"Aight. Now what?" they asked.

"Now we're going to go up the stairs to the factory. This is where the spatulas will be made," I said. We walked upstairs. "Before we go on, I think that we should know your names. My name is Alutaps. What's yours?"

One said, "Barney." Barney was tall, and the biggest talker of the three.

The other said, "Greg." Greg was short, and hadn't said a word other than his name yet.

The last one said, "Tom." Tom was a mix between the two.

Charlie said, "I'm Charlie," and Ben said his name too. By this time we were at the factory.

"Say hi to Fluminum," I said. They didn't listen, but it didn't matter. I said, "this is where the spatulas will be made. You will put the materials here," I said pointing at the place to put the materials, "and this is where they will come out. When they come out, take them downstairs and put them down. Then come back up and take more. Barney, you'll take stuff downstairs all the time. Greg, you'll put stuff on the machine. Tom, you'll do both, depending on which needs more help. You can start off by putting the stuff on."

Then I said to Fluminum, "Let's work on the logo now."

We worked on the logo. We came up with a circle that said Sherene in it. Then we began to make the spatulas. "Greg, start putting the aluminum into the machine. Tom, right now you can help him," I said. "Barney, whenever the spatulas come out of the machine, take them downstairs to the place that I showed you earlier. Then you can just pile them up. Greg, when the aluminum is all in the machine then you can help Barney. Everybody got that?"

"No," said Barney.

"Well, I'll show you what to do the first time. Greg and Tom, put in the aluminum," I said. They began to do so, and soon our first spatula had been made. Barney picked it up because he knew that he was supposed to do something with it, but I said, "No, don't touch that one. We must save that one, because that's the first one that we've made. Don't touch the next seven, because we each get to keep one too."

"I get one of those things?" Barney asked.

"Yeah. You can flip hamburgers with it," Ben said.

"I'll sell you mine for a dollar," he said.

"Keep it," Charlie said.

"I don't want it," Barney told him.

"Look, we took you off the street and gave you a job. The least you can do is honor the product you're making!" Charlie scolded him.

"If it's so honorable then I want two dollars for it. What're you tryin' to do, rip me off?" By this time a batch of spatulas were out, and all of the aluminum had been loaded.

"Barney and Tom, you can start taking the spatulas down. Don't touch these seven because each of you will get one. Fluminum, you may take yours now and go back to your shop. Barney and Tom, you can keep bringing the spatulas down," I said, "Ben and Charlie, we have to start getting some clients and beging thinking about commercials. Let's take a sample spatula along with us to various stores and show them our product."

"Let's go!" Charlie said, and we went.

First we went to check out the #1 spatula store of America on 56th street named Flatula Spatula. They were currently buying from our main competition, and if we could convert them to us then it would be a big help. It is a large store. The three of us entered it, and I asked the security guard, "We are a spatula company. We would like to talk to the owner of this shop about him perhaps buying our product."

"Well don't look at me, I'm not the owner," he told us.

"Well that much is obvious. Owner's don't stand by the door and make sure people don't steal stuff," Ben said, "We wanna know where the owner is."

"Well he isn't here. This is where the security guard is. I'm the security guard. I'm not the owner, how many times do I have to tell you that?"

"Do you know where he is?" Charlie asked.

"Shut up. I don't want you to ask me where he is. You're just making fun of the fact that I'm not the owner, and I know it."

"No we aren't, you retard," Charlie said. He pulled out his gun and asked, "where's the owner?"

"Put that gun down. There are no guns allowed in the store," the security guard told him.

"Do you think I'm taking this gun out to follow the rules?" Charlie asked.

"We just want to know where the owner is," Ben told him.

"Okay I give up, you got me. I admit it, I'm the owner," the security guard said.

"Stop telling us lies! Take us to the owner or I'll report you!" Charlie told him.

"How are you going to report me to the owner when I am the owner?"

"Look, I know you aren't he owner. Just take us to the owner."

"I believe I've already done that. Do you think I've done a bad job?"

"Well considering you haven't done it, yes, I do."

With that the security guard took off his uniform and revealed to us his suit that said "Owner". "Now, what were you saying?"

This shocked Charlie. "Are you stupid? What kind of an idiot that's an owner pretends to be a security guard?"

"Well we need a security guard. I'm not going to just let anybody rob us."

"Well hire a security guard!"

"Good point. Now, what were you saying about spatulas?" he asked.

I told him, "we are a spatula company." I took out our sample spatula and said, "This is our spatula. See how easily usable it is? How shiny it is? How agile you are when you use it?"

"Let me feel it," he said. I handed it over to him and he hit Charlie on the head with it.

"Ow! What are you doing! What was that for?" Charlie screamed. He cocked his gun.

"I was just testing it."

"Spatulas are hamburger flippers, not weapons!"

"Well I don't see any hamburgers here, do you?"

I asked him, "Well now that you have tested it, do you like it?"

"Um I don't know. I can't remember what it was like," he said. Then he hit both and Ben I on the head with it.

"Ow!" We both screamed. Charlie shot his gun at him, but it wasn't loaded.

"Hey, you're right. This is a pretty good spatula."

"So now will you get rid of all the old spatulas and buy ours?" I asked.

"If you let me hit you on the head again I will," he said.

"You don't know how good the spatula is, do you? You don't know a thing about spatulas, do you? You just like hitting customers on the head, huh?" I asked.

"Yeah, pretty much. Now can I hit you?"

"Sure," I said reluctantly. He hit me as hard as he could, and we were in business.

We signed a contract with him, ran to Fluminum's, and bought a lot more aluminum. We were making Spatulas for the biggest spatula store in America now.

Fluminum got a truck to bring all the aluminum over, and I got Tom to carry it upstairs while Greg loaded it into the machine and Barney carried it to the warehouse.

Soon we had our warehouse full of spatulas. I said, "you three. I'm paying you for the day. Now, if you want to sleep here tonight, you've got to carry all of the spatulas to the spatula store. You will be paid for it. Do you want to do it?"

"Yeah," they responded. When I first hired three homeless people at random, I thought that I was hiring minumum work for minimum wage, but their work ethic really impressed me. Ben, Charlie and I went home and left them to take the spatulas to the spatula store. We were getting a good deal selling these spatulas. Earlier I had asked the security guard/owner whether or not he wanted to hit me again. He told me that he did, but I said that he could only do so if he paid a dollar extra per spatula. He agreed.

When we went back to work tomorrow we found that we had made substantial profit overnight. When we entered the warehouse we saw our three workers sleeping. I paid them for their work overnight. On the way over to work I had decided that we would need a worker to bring the spatulas to the spatula store, and another to haul aluminum from Fluminum's to our machines.

I said, "Tom. From now on you will not just be a helper. You will bring the spatulas to the same place you did last night. In the future a truck will usually take them, but it's different with this client. By the way, do any of you have some friends that would be willing to bring aluminum from the store to the machine?"

"Yeah," Barney said.

"Could you get them to come in tomorrow?"

"Yeah."

"All right. Now you three get up to the factory and start to work. Do you understand what you have to do?"

"Yeah," Barney said. He pretty much spoke for all of them, so I took it as a yes.

"Well, we're going to buy some more aluminum so get ready to do your job. We'll be back soon."

We went to Fluminum's and told him that we had gotten our first succesful client. He was happy for us, and happy to sell us more aluminum. We told him that were going to need some help setting up the factory to make different prototypes, and so the four of us brought all the aluminum that we could over to our factory. We showed Fluminum the other prototypes that we planned on creating, and he began to work on setting up the factory to create them. Meanwhile our three workers did their jobs. Ben, Charlie, and I decided that since we were now going to make different prototypes that we should buy other materials. First we had to stop by the Spatula Store to see how much he would pay for these different materials.

"Hello," I said to him upon entering the building. He was still dressed up as a security guard.

"Hello. Why are you saying hello to me, the security guard? Most usually don't do so, you know?"

"Look, we know that you're really the owner. You told us yesterday. We're the ones selling you spatulas," Ben said.

"Nobody's selling me any spatulas. I'm the security guard. I don't buy spatulas. I guard the store." This guy was the most annoying thing that I had ever come across. Luckily, I still had a test spatula along with me.

"Fine. If I let you hit me on the head with the spatula will you be the owner?" I asked.

"Why of course," he said. He took the spatula from my hands and hit me, leaving a fresh spatula mark next to the ones from yesterday.

"We would like to show you some more prototypes that we have created, and different materials to create them with. I am proposing that we sell all three of the novice, intermediate, and expert prototypes to you at the same price. Is this agreed upon?" I asked.

"No," he said.

"But if I let you hit me on the head the answer will be yes, correct?" I asked of him.

This time, however, the jerk got a little ambitious. "Well, you know, I'm thinking that I'm paying too much for the first one anyway. I think that about two hits on the head would be justifiable for this agreement," he said. I agreed, and he made two more spatula marks on my head.

"Alutaps, ask him about the different materials now," Charlie told me.

"Charlie, why don't you ask? You just want me to ask so that you don't have to get hit on the head."

"You're right. Do you want him to be asked or not, because I amn't asking him!"

"Fine. We are going to make the spatulas out of different materials. Here are a few sheets that I have written up containing the prices that we believe are just for the different materials. Hit me on the head and sign the contract if you agree." He hit me, and signed the contract. My forehead looked like a hamburger. As we were leaving the shop we saw a criminal take five spatulas in his hand and pretend to have bought them.

"Stop right there," the security guard/owner said to him as he was leaving the shop. "You're going to have to let me hit you if you want to get away with that," he said, and hit the burglar.

We left the store, and searched the phone book for a material store. We found one on 58th street called Laterial's Materials. We went to it, and saw that it was a very large store although not at all busy. I saw a man named Laterial at the door. I said, "Hi, Laterial."

"Hi. I'm doing good, so I can save you the effort of asking the next question that the average person would normally ask me, which is 'how are you doing?'. I assume that you were going to ask that question; am I correct? If I am not, then don't be shy to tell me even though I would hate myself for wasting all this extra energy. I don't like wasting extra energy. It just makes me die earlier, and I don't like when that happens. Do you? I hope you don't, because I don't like it when people want me to die," the guy said. He was a very fast talker. He had quite a high voice, and it seemed as if he could keep on talking forever without any rests. I could see why this store was so empty; he had scared his customers away.

"Yes, I would have asked you how you were next," I said, just to assure him. I was about to continue, but was interrupted.

"Why thank you so much! I'm so glad that you don't want me to die. You and me are going to be great friends, I can just tell it. You know how it feels when you get that gut feeling that tells you how something is going to be? Speaking of stuff being things, the stuff that I sell here is above average quality, and you pay above average prices for it, so that way you get a fair price, and neither of us are ripped off. Because I would hate to rip you off, and I'm sure that you would hate to rip me off now that we're such great friends," he said. He said all of this in only twenty seconds, and I couldn't remember a word that he had said.

"Well, we'd like to take a look around," I said. I hoped that he would stop bugging me.

"Well that would be great. You know, I can recommend some products for you, because I own this store and I possess the expert opinion over what products are the most effective and what products are deffective and all of that jazz. I like jazz music, because it's really cool and it has phat beats, but I don't like saxophones or harmonicas, or Bill Clinton for that matter. Anyway, what would you like to use my materials for? For what cause are you here in my store asking to see my products?" This person was the most annoying thing that I had ever experienced. I made a motion to Charlie.

"Shut up, you freak! You talk to much," he said.

"Whoa- whoa-, mister. I'm sorry if we got off on a bad start, because apparently you don't appreciate mass quantities of verbal interaction, and I appreciate giving people the gift of mass quantities of verbal interaction out of my mouth, into their ears, processed by their brain, and then waiting for their response so that I may speak again. This is the way that I am, and if you don't like it then you can take a hike, because that's the way I am, and I am what I am, and I like green eggs and ham, and I am not a lamb. I'm sorry for those rhymes right there, I like rhyming sometimes like the rappers do, because I would make a very good rapper don't you think?"

Charlie pulled out his gun.

"I know that that isn't a real gun, because real guns are bad because they provoke violence and killing and I don't want to die, as aforementioned by me, and I certainly hope that you were able to process that thought because it is an important one because I most certainly do not want to die. And plus," he said, "a friend of my new friend," he said, motioning towards me, "would not want to end my life early. And I assume that you are a friend of my friend, and I assume that that is a correct assumption, is it not?"

Charlie cocked the gun and said, "all I want to do is buy some materials."

"Well, the name's Laterial, and I sell materials. I sell above average materials for above average prices, because that way you aren't ripped off by me and I amn't ripped off by you, because I would hate to rip you off and since I'm such good friends with your assumed friend I assume that he would hate to rip me off too, and because he assumes that, and he's assumedly your friend, I assume that you think alike with him."

"SHUT UP YOU FREAK! I WILL KILL YOU IF YOU DON'T SHUT UP!" Charlie said. Since we would probably have to be buying materials from this weirdo's store, I did not want to end his life. Otherwise we'd have to go all the way to 70th street to buy our other materials. Instead I decided that we would have to take out his tounge.

"Tranquilize him, don't kill him," I whispered to Charlie. Charlie took out a tranquilizer and tranquilized him. Then we removed his tounge so that he could no longer speak. When he woke up we bought some materials, and brought them to the factory. We also set it up so that one of his workers that drove a truck would bring us the materials, at no extra charge since we were "such great friends". This guy was annoying, but easy to use.

By tomorrow, when Barney's friend began to work for us, our company was ready and set, so it was now time to go. We only had one client so far, and because we now had a large surplus of materials we were in need of more. We had made such a large profit off of our one client because of his fetish for hitting me on the head with the test spatula, that we now had enough to begin advertising. I paid $25 for a very eloquent banner to be made over the Internet, and purchased banner exposures at But only advertising over the Internet wasn't going to make us hordes of customers. We also needed to use television. We needed to make a commercial.

I didn't want to pay that much for an actor to star in our commercial, but I wanted it to be a quality commercial. Finally the answer dawned upon me. Barney would be the perfect actor for the commercial. We couldn't make the commercial ourselves, so that night I searched for cheap commercial makers over the Internet.

By the next day I had my answer. Annal's Commercials could make us a quality commercial for only $25 if they showed it on Annal's Channel, which is a separate price. They won't edit it for you, though. They'll only shoot. And if any supplies are needed for the commercial you have to pay.

Annal's Channel is a commercial channel. All it is is commercials. The same people own it as Annal's Commercials. They advertise themselves as a "funny commercial" channel. They make good commercials and then show them. This service also insured us that the commercial would be good, because they make their name for showing good commercials.

I signed up for their service and Ben, Charlie, Barney, and I went to the place where they shoot, which was up in the Bronx.

The place that Annal's Commercials owned was very small. It had nothing but a high-tech video camera, some spotlights, a front desk, and white walls. I could tell that we would need to get some stuff to spice the commercial up. I had brought with me a regular spatula, and one of our most luxurious spatulas, but nothing else. I said hello to the man at the front desk.

"Hi," he said back, "I'm Joe, and I will be your commercial shooter for the day. Please tell me you're name so that I may check to see whether or not you have paid yet, and then you may tell me what you would like for me to do with your commercial. Then I will shoot it for you, and it will be aired on Annal's Channels. I will also give to you the copy of the tape so that it may be aired on other channels as well. I am hoping that you will find our service worthwhile, and remember us whenever you need another commercial made."

"Uh okay. Barney, have you been told why you're here yet?" I asked.

"No. All I know is I'm getting off of work, and I'm still getting paid."

"Barney, do you know what a commercial is?"

"Yeah. It's that stuff on TV that everybody hates."

"Yeah. You're going to help us make one."

"Why you want everybody to hate you?"

"We don't want to be hated. We want the general public to recognize the effectiveness of our spatulas over the other companies so that our spatulas are bought on a more consistent basis," I told him.

"Whatever."

"Anyway, Charlie, Ben, here's my idea for our commercial so far. We start off with a picture of the competition's spatula, and say that that's a normal spatula, and then we show our spatula. We then demonstrate the difference, meaning we will have to buy a hamburger. Barney," I said, "here's a dollar. Would you go get us a hamburger?"

"No."

"Just go next door to McDonalds and buy a hamburger," Charlie said.

"Why?"

"We need a hamburger!"

"Whatever."

"Anyway, I will speak the narration because I have the most monotonical and boring voice. Then we will have a scene where Ben says that he is going to go buy our competition's spatula, and then Barney smacks him with the spatula. Then he says that if you want a spatula, come to us. Then, because we want a dramatic commercial, Charlie, you will do the drama. You will yell at the viewer and tell them that if they don't buy our spatula you will shoot them. Then you will take out your gun, which I assume you are carrying, and fire a couple times. Then we will show a shot of our spatula again and I will tell them to buy Sherene (our) spatulas. Do you like it?"

"Why do I have to be smacked on the forehead by our spatula transporter?" Ben asked.

"Ben, what's your problem? You don't want our company to be succesful just because you're going to get smacked! I hate you!" Charlie yelled.

"Fine, I'll do it," Ben said. When Barney returned with a hamburger, we related our idea to him.

For the first shot, which was of the competition's spatula, we taped the competition's spatula to the white wall and recorded it, while I was behind the microphone. I said, "this is your ordinary spatula," and then the cameraman cut the shot. We then taped our spatula to the wall and I said, "and this is a Sherene Spatula."

It was now time to demonstrate the spatulas. Charlie and I picked up the two spatulas. I took our spatula and began flipping the burger. The cameraman began to record, and I said, "this is what happens with a Sherene Spatula. The hamburger flips exactly three times while in the air, and I am able to easily master the spatula." As I was saying this the cameraman zoomed in on my spatula. Now Charlie began to flip. I said, "Now, this is what happens when you use a regular spatula. Notice how there is no predicting what the hamburger will do." Then the cameraman cut that shot, and it was now time for the scene in which Ben gets hit. But first we had to tell Barney what to do.

"Barney, you see Ben over here?" I asked.

"Yeah."

"Well this is what's going to happen. He's going to say that he is going to buy a regular spatula, okay?"

"Yeah."

"And then you are going to hit him with this spatula, all right?"

"Yeah."

"And then do you know what you'll say?"

"No."

"You'll say, 'fool, buy a spatula from Sherene!' Can you remember to do all of this?"

"No."

"Barney, you've got to remember. Now, let's go over the steps together. First, who talks?"

"I don't know."

"Yes you do, Barney. Look, I will give you $5 if you can repeat the steps for me right now."

"All right. First he says something. Then I hit him. Then I talk." We were all surprised that Barney had said something other than yes, no, I don't know, okay, or maybe. But he still didn't have all of the steps down.

"What do you say, Barney?" I asked him.

"I say, 'fool, buy a spatula from Sherene!'" We all rejoiced, for Barney knew what to do.

"Okay. Now we are going to record. Ben, Barney, get ready. Barney, here's your spatula."

They got in place, and the cameraman hit the record button. Ben said his line, and then Barney hit him with the spatula really hard. Even though he wasn't supposed to, Ben yelled, "Ow!" but managed to regain his composure. Then Barney said his line, and much to our delight he said it right. It was now time for Charlie's scene.

"BUY OUR SPATULAS!" Charlie yelled at the camera, and fired a shot from one of his newest guns, a 9mm Beretta with 3 round bursts. He continued to say, "OUR SPATULAS ARE GOOD! WE DON'T SELLOUT LIKE THE OTHER COMPANIES! BUY OUR SPATULAS OR I'LL SHOOT YOU!" He said, firing one more shot. By now he had nearly lost control of his actions. "BUY THIS SPATULA OR I'LL SHOOT YOU UNTIL YOU DIE! AND THEN I'LL SHOOT YOU MORE! AND THEN I'LL TOSS YOUR BODY OUT THE WINDOW! AND THEN I'LL SHOOT IT AGAIN!"

After that Charlie had completely lost it, and he let out a string of successive profanities at the cameraman and shot all of the remaining 11 shots of his gun into the front desk of the room, nearly hitting both cameraman and camera. Finally, after his gun was out of bullets, we restrained him and told him that everything would be all right; the people would buy our spatulas and he didn't need to shoot anybody. I just hoped that we wouldn't have to pay for the damages. Now, for the last shot of our commercial, we filmed our spatula and I told our viewers our web address. We were done. We watched the commercial, and saw that it had turned out really well. When our viewers saw the commercial they would probably say, "wow, those bullets look real!" Our commercials would be played on Annal's Channel, and after we went back to the office in our warehouse, we dropped Charlie off and he got back to work. We kept a copy of the commercial and I was now going to buy some more advertising for it.

Charlie, Ben, and I spent the next day negotiating a deal with Time Warner. The price that they quoted for us to get adequate advertising was more than we currently had, so we told them to save the deal and that we'd be back in a week. Meanwhile we decided that we would create fliers to hand out to people on the street.

We had moved Charlie's computer into the office, and so we went back and created a flier.

Our first argument was over which color the flier should be. Charlie wanted nothing more than the flier to be purple. Ben wanted it to be baby blue, and I wanted it to be yellow.

"What's up with you? Baby blue? What kind of person are you? You want a color named after a young child? What kind of weirdo are you? And yellow? Yellow isn't a good color! You two are getting weird on me!"

"What're you talking about? Baby blue's a good color. Kind of low-key, suave, and not overdoing it. Purple is too dark, and people won't like it."

"Yellow is the normal flier color, do you not understand that much?" I argued.

"Look, Alutaps, do we want to be normal? Our spatulas aren't normal! Why should our fliers be? I think that you're trying to sell out again. And Ben, why do you want to underdo it? It's better to overdo than underdo. It's better to get an A along with some extra credit than a C. It's better to eat two meals than none. It's better to have too much than not enough. I think you're trying to sell out too. Look, I don't want to sell out. I want to buy in. I don't want to be Will Smith with clean albums. I want to be DMX with biting dogs. This will never change, even if you chop my legs off."

"Charlie, making a normal flier and not overdoing it is not selling out. You're just insecure, or something. Why don't you just stop making a fuss over everything and be reasonable. Your color of choice is not only unconventional but it also overdoes it," I said.

I actually agreed with Charlie on the unconventional part, but he was beginning to annoy me, because I didn't want to hear about DMX's dogs anymore. And so it was not a crushing blow to me when he pulled out his gun and said, "we're doing it purple. And the print is going to be white. There is nothing you can do about it, because I have the gun and you don't."

And so we made purple fliers. What we wrote on them was "Are you tired of the spatula industry that has been progressively selling out for 50 years taking advantage of you? We are, and we have decided to do something about it. Come join our revolution. Our spatulas flip a hamburger a perfect three times. We have both luxurious and affordable spatulas. We have beginner, intermediate, and expert spatulas. So no matter what your spatula preference, we have something for you. Buy our perfect spatulas, and say no to sellouts."

Then we printed our office's address, the floor number, our office's telephone number, and the company's name. Then we put our newly thought of slogan, "Sherenequality" on the bottom. Now we printed a hundred copies, and asked Barney to bring in another homeless friend the next day. By now we had gathered that Barney was the most popular homeless person out of all of our laborers, and that he had a nearly endless supply of homeless acquaintances. Hopefully he would keep meeting more homeless people, because when our company became large we would need all the workers we could get.

The next day we met Barney's friend. "Hi. I'm Alutaps. This is Charlie, and that's Ben. We are going to pay you five dollars per hour to hand out fliers. What you'll do is walk around the city, and give these fliers to everybody you see. But don't make them take it. Ask them if they want it, and if they do give it to them. When you are out of fliers, come back here and we'll give you some more. Do not drop any of the fliers. Are you ready?"

"Gimme the fliers," he said. I gave him 100 fliers, and he left. I ordered the printer to print out more fliers so that I would have more for him when he came back.

Our company could pretty much make money by itself for a few days, so I spent a lot of time working on our website. I set up a form with which the user could select any combination of spatula that he wanted, and how many he wanted, and it would name the price. Then he could either buy it or not. If he chose to buy it he would enter his credit card number information, and if it was varified the order that he made and his address would be sent to me. I would then fish out the spatulas that they ordered from the warehouse and mail it to them. I also made a form that the user could fill out in which he could make suggestions, and a form in which he could give us feedback about our spatulas.

The only thing missing from the website was banners on the various pages in which the forms were. I knew that we could be making extra revenue by letting other websites pay us to advertise for them. I put up a notice that we were able to let you do this. With that I put up a form for anybody that desired to do so. I decided that we should be paid $4 per 1000 banner displays. When I was done with this work on the website, I showed it to Ben and Charlie. While they were looking at it I turned on the news.

A woman was speaking on this news channel. She said, "A lot has been going on in the world of spatulas as of late." This provoked a laugh from her co-anchor. She continued, "Jonathan Granier, CEO of Granier Spatulas, was shot yesterday and nobody has a clue who did it. Near the building where he was shot next to, however, a dead policeman was found in a Dumpster. When Granier died, Gregory Bunged took over, and the company is already bankrupt. This leaves ASD (American Spatula Dealers) as the leading brand. They now seem to have a monopoly on the spatula business. Monopolies, in the past, have not been good for the effectiveness of the product. The company that possesses the monopoly begins to make less and less effective products. All I can say is that you may be having trouble flipping hamburgers in the future,""she said. Her co-anchor laughed again, and then he began to speak. "However, there is hope. On channel 39, a channel that is only commercials, another spatula company has been airing commercials. This company is called Sherene Spatulas. Here is the commercial that has been aired."

By this time both Ben and Charlie was watching too. This was great, because our company would get a lot of exposure. After the commercial was done, the three of us rejoiced. Lots of people had been watching that news program. I have a tracking system that tells me how many people have accessed our website. Since our website's URL was given on that commercial, I could tell that it was going to skyrocket.

I checked the profit that we had made so far, and realized that we could now go back to Time Warner and purchase some advertising. I told Ben and Charlie this, and we did so. We were now going to experience some major business.

I told Barney to bring in a lot more friends on the next day. Since our commercial was to be aired, we would need a large workforce. I also foresaw that we would need more factories. I told Aktory this, and we bought the 89th floor. I called up Fluminum and he set it up for us. While he was doing this Charlie, Ben, and I went online and checked my email. I found that we had gotten a number of spatula orders. I told Ben to cover these. I was excited, for these were our first. However, I did see another email from a different form on our website.

It was an email from somebody named Bazar Mauhatti. It said, "Would I be able to have many a banner display on your website. I would like to buy displays for my site, Psychoville. It is many a psycho. It is psychoest place on the whole Internet. It is about taxi drivers and pokemon. Would this please you? If this offer does do this to you, then reply to me at " Then the email listed that he wanted 5,000 banner displays, and his banner was enclosed in the email. I varified that his credit card number had been approved, and placed his banner in a rotation. This rotation would rotate all of the banners that we had been paid to display on all of our different pages. It would also keep track of how many times a single banner had been displayed, so that it would stop being shown whenever their paid displays had been used up. If all of the displays were used up it would show no banner.

The name Bazar Mauhatti sounded familiar to me. I asked Ben and Charlie about it.

"It does sound familiar. It sounds like a taxi driver!" Charlie exclaimed.

"That's because he is," Ben said.

"Who is he?"

"He's the guy that drove us to Fluminum's, remember? I talked to him in Pakistani. I'll write back to him in Pakistani if you want me too." I now remembered the name.

"Yeah. You can do that. Tell him that his banner will begin to get displayed. When you're done, I'm going to do some more Internet advertising."

"We should see his website first! What if it's an anti-spatula website! We can't approve of that!" Charlie exclaimed. He had a point. Before Ben emailed him I checked his website. He didn't provide a URL, so I clicked on the banner. I saw that the URL was I was surprised that a website without it's own .com address could afford to buy $200 worth of advertisements. I made sure that there was no anti-spatula stuff on it, which there wasn't. I told Ben to reply to him in Pakistani. This he did. Then I searched for ways to advertise.

I came across one website that said would submit your website to 446 websites. This would put a hyperlink on the various pages to your site. It costed $100. I signed up for it, and our site was submitted. I also submitted to a search engine submission service that costed significantly less. I checked my email again, and saw that we had gotten one more order. I completed this, and then we all went home.

While I was sleeping I got a call from a hardware store in Brooklyn.

"Hi. I'm Anthony. I wanna buy some of your spatulas for my hardware store. Could you send them?"

"Could you come to our office tomorrow?" I asked him.

"Yeah."

"Do you have the address?" I asked.

"Yeah. I got one of your fliers. And I saw that commercial. So when should I come?"

"How about at noon?" I asked.

"Yeah I'll be there. Now can you hang up? I need to get some sleep," he said. I was excited, for we now had another customer.

The next day I went to work, and Charlie and Ben began to fulfill 10 different orders that had come overnight. I saw that I had gotten a banner order from Astro-Space, the company that I made my website with. They said that they wanted to purchase 500,000 banner displays. This equaled $2,000.

"Ben! Charlie! Astro-Space is buying banner displays!" I screamed. I yelled it over and over again, and they didn't know what I meant.

"What do you mean?" they asked.

"Do you know who Astro-Space is?"

"No."

"They're the ones that provide our website!"

"What are they doing?"

"They're giving us $2,000 to advertise for them!" I shouted jubilously. This they understood. I replied to Astro-Space immediately.

"And a Brooklyn hardware store is going to be a client at noon!" They also enjoyed hearing this. Then I read a second email, which was a reply from Bazar Mauhatti. It said:

"Hey, hey! I'm not really Pakistani! It's just a joke! I'm not even Bazar Mauhatti! My friend just pretends to be him on our website! I never even saw him, but my friend drove in his cab once. Cool name, huh? Anyway, if you understand English, please reply IN ENGLISH!"

This surprised us.

"Somebody's pretending to be a Pakistani taxi driver?" Ben asked.

"Apparently so. That couldn't be a real taxi driver, because it speaks English," I pointed out. I replied to him that his offer had been approved, and I did so in English.

We pushed some paper while waiting for the man from Brooklyn to come by. Finally he did, because Aktory buzzed us on the intercom telling us that some Brooklynesque guy was coming up.

When he arrived we all said hi.

"Hi. You know, I want to buy some spatulas for my hardware store. I was wondering if I could check out your merchandise and allow you to explain its benefits to me. Is this alright with you?" he told us upon entering. We replied that it was, and began to show him our spatulas.

"These are our luxurious spatulas for those people that enjoy having a snazzy spatula," I began to explain to him. I was pointing out a spatula made out of platinum with a cashmiere handle. We had this prototype in a red, glittery prototype as well.

"Look, look. I deal spatulas in my hardware store. When people come in, they say to me, 'do you have a spatula that I may use?' I reply that, yes, I do. I tell them where it is, and when I see them at the checkout counter I see a standard spatula in their hands. They could be wearing a fur coat. I see a standard spatula in their hands. They could be dressed in gold. I see a standard spatula in their hands. They could have come to my hardware store in a limousine, but yet I still see a standard spatula in their hands. I don't want no luxurious spatulas. My customers don't want 'em, and my opinion goes with my customers."

"Then you're a sellout. You should lead your customers, stupid. You should lead your customers to make a better decision. Buying a spatula is a big decision, and you should help them make it instead of just allowing them to get a spatula not as well suited to their traits. You will never have dogs that bite, and that's all I can say. Actually, I can say one more thing. I'm never going to shop in your hardware store, and I'm never going to let anybody that I know do so either, for you are not a quality shopkeeper," Charlie told him.

"Well Ladida. I know what my customers buy, and they don't buy that. Now let's move on to the next prototype."

"Why? I think that you'd be better off buying some of the last prototype. Or do you have customers with bad taste?" Charlie accused him.

"Look, mister. You showed me that spatula, I said no. That's the end of the deal right there, and I would like to get on. Now, how about this spatula right here," he said.

"Why, that is our expert aluminum spatula," I told him.

"What do you mean expert? What are you talking about?"

"Well, you see, the art of wielding spatulas is a very tough one. Some of those who aren't schooled as well as others in spatula use need a special spatula. For them we have a beginner spatula. It is designed so as to teach them the perfect grip of the spatula. Then we have expert spatulas, which do not teach you any grip because by the time you are an expert you will have already learned it," I illustrated.

"What do you expect me to do with this? Put up signs saying 'experts only' or 'beginners only'? How will one of my customers know what their ability is?"

"If the hamburger falls of the spatula, they suck at spatuling. Okay?" Charlie said.

"How do they know that? Do I gotta put up another sign? Signs confuse customers, which isn't good for my business. Just show me the most standard spatula you have."

"This is it. This is the intermediate alumnimum spatula. It's perfectly standard. I hope you're happy. Now you are going to buy a lot of these, and you will send people to take them to your store and sell them. You will pay for each of these, and if you annoy me any more then that price is going to rise."

"What is the price? How can I agree to anything if I don't know the price?"

Charlie took out a .45 caliber HK pistol. He pointed it at the shopkeeper. "Judging by your attitude; any price that I name." After that it was easy dealing with this man, and we got a good price off of him. Pretty soon we were in business. Charlie had so scared him that he would even send his own workers up to the 87th floor to get the spatulas himself.

After that calls kept coming about people wanting to buy our spatulas. Finally, when we had a good deal of clients and we were not making enough spatulas, we began to buy more factories and ask Barney to bring in more friends. After a year, we had bought the whole entire building from Aktory. We were making money in hordes, and we did absolutely no work. Our website handled all business, and we had hired people to send spatulas so that we could spend our time doing better things. Barney and his friends did all of the labor. Advertising was taken care of, for we had signed a 10-year deal with Time Warner. We opened our money to the stock market, and everyday when I opened my email I would get a thank-you letter from various investors. Our company was listed in various business magazines. It seemed as if it would never stop.

In two years we had left all other spatula companies in the dust.

Ben and I played computer games on our work time, for there was nothing we needed to do. Charlie, however, still worked. We went into AOL chatrooms and advertised our website. He helped Barney's friend carry spatulas. There was nothing he wouldn't do to make the company better.

Even though all of this was true, we still wanted more. It is only human nature to not be satisfied with what you have. And so one day I called a meeting between the three of us.

"Charlie, Ben. I assume that you realize that our spatulas are very effective."

"Of course they are. Why'd you call us here? Just to tell us that? I already knew that, so there's no need. Now, can I get back to work?" Charlie demanded.

"No. Our spatulas are also sold at a high price, correct?"

"Look, Alutaps, you're not about to suggest that we lower our prices 'so that the spatula industry can be a happier place.' I mean, come on, I don't want to be broke," Ben said.

"Ben, you are so selfish! If Alutaps has found a way for us to make money and decrease the prices, then we must do so! It is our duty! When we started, we didn't get in the business to make money! We did it because we were three young individuals that were fed up with the spatula industry taking advantage of its consumers, and we changed it. Ben, we must continue changing it. Guys, we are not sellouts. We are now buy-ins. We are DMX and our dogs bite! After all of our hard work and devotion, we are there! We have completed our goals!

"However, when you train a dog to bite, you have to let it keep biting. You can't let it bite inactively, or else it will become senile, inactive, and therefore not bite as efficiently. We can not let this happen to our company. We have to keep letting our dogs bite. Therefore, we must strive to keep our spatulas effective and cheap," Charlie said. His speech left us speechless. It was quite moving, although he used the strangest analogies that I had ever heard used. However, I had to do what I had to do.

"Well, you see, I believe that we can begin producing spatulas that are cheaper to create," I began.

"Alutaps, you are a saint to the spatula consuming community! After creating spatulas that are still effective, yet cheaper, we can sell them cheaper! This is great!" Charlie jubilated enthusiastically.

"Well, not exactly," I told him.

"What?" he asked me sorrowfully.

"Well, you see, if we alter our prototypes a little bit, and use a different quality material, then our spatulas will be 20 cheaper to make," I explained.

"I see what you're saying: We're going to go international!" Charlie yelled. I was most puzzled.

"What do you mean by that?" I asked, mystified.

"Why, since when we go international we will be catering to third world countries, we must produce and even lower quality spatula so that the povertized citizens may afford it," was his answer.

"That isn't exactly what I meant."

"Alutaps, stop beating around that bush! Tell me what you meant or I'm going to shoot you!" Charlie yelled at me.

"Well, when we decrease the amount we spend on creating our spatulas, we will keep the market prices the same," I said slowly.

"YOU'RE TRYING TO SELL OUT!" Charlie screamed at me. He leapt out of his chair, and jumped over the table.

"I'm not selling out. I'm just attempting to increase our revenue."

"YOU'RE SELLING OUT! YOU'RE SELLING OUT SO MUCH THAT A CAT WOULDN'T BE AFRAID OF YOUR DOGS! BEN, TELL HIM HE'S SELLING OUT, OR ELSE OUR DOGS WILL NEVER BITE AGAIN!" Charlie screamed.

"Well, Charlie, I think he's got a point," Ben said.

"YOU'RE SELLING OUT TOO!" Charlie accused him. He pulled out his newest gun, a glock machine pistol, and said, "I will never forget about you trying to do this. However, I am willing to pretend to forget and allow us to keep the spatula industry good. So, am I correct that we are not going to sell out?" he asked us.

"Charlie, Charlie, your loyalty to our customers is sickening," I informed him. "Do you have any idea how many more guns you could buy if you agreed to this?"

"I am aware, Alutaps, but not aware enough! I will never sell out!"

"Well then," I told him, "I'm afraid that we can't let you be a part of our company."

"Alutaps!" He screamed at me. He had a hurt look on his face. He looked utterly confused. "Alutaps! If you do not give this up, then I will be forced to shoot you!" As he was lecturing me I gave Ben a look. Ben came behind Charlie and hit him on the back of his neck. Charlie fell down in pain. He tried to shoot his gun off when he noticed what had happened, but he missed. Then, before he could take his new Desert Eagle out, I grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed him in the face with it. Meanwhile I instructed Ben to bring me a rope from inside our desk. He did so, and I tied Charlie up in it. I called up the security guard, and at once he came to us. I told him that Charlie had gone crazy.

"I always knew it would happen. He was never right in the head. What'd he try to do?" the guard asked me.

"He wanted us to sell out and begin making less effective spatulas. At once we said no. Then he just flipped. He picked up the fire extinguisher, and began to spray himself. Although I was angry with him for wanting to sell out, he was my friend, and I tried to stop him. I began to take the fire extinguisher from him. When I did, he took out his pistol and threatened to shoot all of us if we didn't sell out. I sprayed him with the fire extinguisher and Ben kicked him and hit him in the back of the neck so that he could do no damage. Then Ben got a rope from my desk, and I took the gun from Charlie's hands. Charlie attempted to take the gun from me, so I shot all of the rounds into the wall so that he could shoot none. Then we tied him up with a rope in my desk and called you," I explained.

"Don't worry, you did the right thing. It was lucky that you had that rope in your desk," the guard assured me as he escorted the screaming Charlie from the building. We notified the press at once with the same story that we told the security guard. Later that day I was told that Charlie had been taken to a hospital for the mentally insane in Minneapolis. He was rooming with a middle-aged Russian man who thought that a Russian director named Stanislav Govorukhin was going to purify all our souls if we got the press to give one of his movies, tak zhit nezlya, four stars. He had been apprehended and taken to the hospital when he had hacked into an online movie database, the IMDB, and sent virusses to 13 people that gave one of Stanislav Govorukhin's movies a 1 out of 10 on a rating scale. This virus made frogs appear on the top right corner of their computer screen and slowly eat up the user's hard drive. After the frogs ate up a folder, they would flip off the user. It also changed the user's screenname to a picture of Stanislav Govorukhin eating a plumb with cherries in it. When he hacked into the IMDB he pirated their email addresses. Then he persuaded them over the Internet to give him their credit card numbers and home addresses. He then began to harass them over the Internet 24/7, and got various friends to do so too. After a while of doing that he killed them and stole all their money.

Everybody bought our story of Charlie going psycho because he was never mentally stable in the first place. After a month we changed all of our spatula prototypes to cheaper ones, and began to watch more money roll in. Charlie was let out of the hospital in 10 years and began to deal illegally obtained weapons in Arizona. He bought four dogs and trained them to bite whomever he told them to. I know this because two years after he was released from the hospital he sent me a package. It had a CD and a video inside, and I took it out and popped it into my television.

The video started with a picture of Charlie, and then the picture faded out and DMX's "Ruff Ryders Anthem" began to play. He showed footage of his four dogs biting perfect strangers in the streets of Arizona outside of his gun store. He then led the camera into his store and held a Desert Eagle in his hands. He said, "the CD contained in the package is Will Smith's 'Big Willie Style," his first sellout album. Quite fitting, don't you think? As for this CD," he said, holding up DMX's first CD, "you will never own. For you are the sellout, I the buy-in. You are Will Smith with clean albums. I am DMX with biting dogs. I am happy with who I am and the role I play in society. Are you?" he asked. Then the video faded out.

Epilouge

Ben and Alutaps died as multi-millionaires respected by the business and consuming worlds. They could have been billionaires, but they spent too much on Prozac, for they were depressed just as Charlie foresaw.

Charlie died the year after sending the package. His dogs became so vicious that they turned on him, killing him. It's funny how in two situations being DMX with biting dogs brought along his fate.

Fluminum died before the Sherene's sellout, and so he died happily because he was sure that the spatula industry was in safe hands.