November 15, 2005
Week 29 - Hero Worship 1
The staff of the magazine gathers around the conference room table.
"Okay," Harry says, "our resident Tarot reader here," he points toward Rantz, "has pulled out the Death card. Apparently, we're all doomed."
"Actually, Harry," Celeste says, "I believe the Death card is best interpreted, not necessarily as a portent of destruction, but rather of transformation."
"Yeah, well, we're all gonna be transformed into a bunch of unemployed yahoos if we don't figure out a way to increase sales..." He looks at Powell, whose eyes have closed. "Hey! Speedy! It's reveille! Get with the program."
Powell's head snaps up. "Oh, um... Sorry... I had a late night... Coyote Man and I were... um... we were battling with evil, interdimensional duplicates of ourselves..."
Harry rolls his eyes. "Sure, why not? This is what I pay your salary for! Am I ever gonna see any copy from all these exciting escapades I'm funding?"
"The board meeting's in three weeks... I can write whatever I want after that."
"In three weeks we could be out of business!" Harry rubs his forehead. "We need something new, something exciting. The public's just not interested in traditional science fiction and comic books anymore."
"Maybe we should expand our coverage of manga," Rantz says. "Have you read the sales charts on that stuff from the book store chains? It's super hot."
Harry spits. "Manga! I hate that doey eyed crap! What's wrong with good old fashioned American superheroes?"
"The Japanese stuff sells, Harry."
"What are we, General Motors? 'The Japanese stuff sells...'" He shakes his head. "The day we start covering manga is the day I put on a tie and go to work on Wall Street. That's not the answer anyway. We need something radically different. Something that'll really shake things up." He presses his fingers against his temples. "Jesus, I have such a headache..."
"Why don't you come with me at lunch?" Celeste asks. "I'm going to try out a new type of stress reduction treatment, called TVT, Thermal Variance Therapy. It's supposed to work wonders."
Harry sighs. "So this is what I'm reduced to. Getting medical advice from a woman who thinks Shirley Maclaine should be surgeon general!" Celeste glares at him. "Sure, why not?" Harry continues. "I'll go with you. It's always fun to meet the freaks."