November 24, 2005
Week 30 - Hero Worship 2
The staff meets in the conference room.
"All right," says Harry, "how much do we have to boost sales to get back to break even?"
Rantz looks at a sheet of paper. "Considering the postage increase last year, we've got to raise direct mail response at least ten percent. I estimate that adding 'The Fringe' section could get us about half of that."
"Where's that slick little computer of yours, son?" Kagen asks.
"I left it in on my desk, over in my office. I'm trying to avoid lifting anything I don't have to. I've got a bad back and it's been acting up this afternoon."
"Is that so? Sorry to hear it..."
"Let's stay on topic," Harry says. He looks at Kagen. "Did you prepare a list of possible articles for the new section?"
"I sure did, friend! But you know what?" He stands up. "It's kind of embarrassing but... I'm an old man, and, if I'm not careful, my faucet has a tendency to get a little leaky, if you know what I mean... I'm gonna have to excuse myself for just a moment..."
Harry nods and Kagen steps out.
Several minutes pass. "All right," Harry eventually says, "let's continue. We'll fill Kagen in when he gets back." He looks at Rantz. "You think 'The Fringe' will boost sales five percent? I think that's pessimistic. How'll the budget look if we can get eight?"
Rantz shakes his head. "I can't figure it without a computer... My back is feeling better, let me go grab it." He stands up and steps out.
"What is it, today?" Harry asks. "Can't anyone just sit still? And where's Kagen anyway? How much time does it take to pee?"
Powell pulls an old paperback out of his pocket. The cover shows an illustration of a scantily clad woman firing a ray gun at a multi-tentacled monster. "Um... remind me to have him sign my copy of 'Fire Fiends of Phobos'."
After a few more moments, Rantz reappears, his face completely white.
"What took you so long?" Harry asks. "Where's your laptop?"
Rantz shakes his head. "It's gone, Harry... My laptop is gone!"