November 22, 2005
Week 30 - Hero Worship 2
The staff of Fiddle and Burn is gathered around the conference room table.
"Ladies and gentleman," says Harry, "may I present to you our newest editor... William Kagen!"
Kagen waves his arm and grins. "Howdy, folks!"
Powell stares at him. "Um... the William Kagen who wrote 'The Pale Damsel of Beta VII'?"
"This man is a liar and a fraud!" Celeste says.
Harry grins. "You bet he is! That's why he's going to be editing our new section... The Fringe!"
"'The Fringe'?" repeats Rantz.
"That's right. We're gonna focus on all the La La's out there... Psychics, Cultists, UFO freaks... Kagen here is an expert."
Rantz pops open his laptop. "I like it," he says, looking at the screen. "The New Age wave peaked a few years back, but if we play it right, it's still strong enough to give us..." He types some numbers into the computer. "Say a seven percent lift..."
"That's a mighty fine little machine you got there, son," Kagen says.
Rantz smiles. "Thanks. I love this thing! Couldn't function without it." He rubs his hand gently over the keyboard. "Just got it upgraded over the weekend. I doubled the hard drive space and added some memory. It's running better than ever now!"
"Mighty fine," Kagen repeats.
"This is terrible!" Celeste says. "This whole idea! It's a disgrace. You're planning on taking advantage of people's sincere hopes and beliefs!"
"We're just gonna broaden our subject matter a little," Harry says. "You always say we should check things out before judging them... so that's what we're going to do."
"You're going to cynically exploit the naiveté of the public!"
"Sweetheart," Kagen says, "if there's one thing I've learned in all my long years on this planet of ours, it's this... You can never go broke overestimating the stupidity of the human race..." He looks at Harry. "But I do have one little problem. My lady Doreen changed the locks on her apartment. I need to fix me a new place to stay. I wonder if you could pay me my first two month's salary in advance?"