March's Disgruntled Employee of the Month: Evan Kessler
Gary Newbrunswick: So, Even, they tell me you're Amalgamated Humor's chief lobbyist in Washington?
Evan Kessler: That's correct. I represent the company's interests on Capitol Hill.
GN: Why, if you don't mind my asking?
EK: Why what?
GN: Why does Amalgamated Humor need a lobbyist? We just manufacture humor-related products.
EK: Gary, do you realize what sort of regulations would get in our way if I wasn't out there? Why, I can name a dozen senators who'd like to outlaw whoopee cushions alone! And the website! You know how many dinners I had to buy Bill Kennard when he was Chairman of the FCC? I can't get this Powell guy to return my calls.
GN: Wow, I had no idea. It's really that bad?
EK: Listen, son. I've worked for R.J. Reynolds, the US Asbestos Manufacturers Coalition and the American Land Mine Production Association. This has to be the toughest one of all.
EK: You'd better believe it. It's not just sweet talking congressmen and procuring call girls for foreign dignitaries- Remember Mr. Brockie's IRS problems a couple years ago?
EK: Of course not! Because I worked night and day to convince them that church he set up in the Cayman Islands was real. I had to hire 350 kid actors to pose as orphans. Spent a fortune on torn and dirty clothing! You shoulda seen the look on Secretary Summers' face when I showed up, fake urchins and news cameras in tow! Saved Mr. Brockie about $600 million that year, I did.
GN: I see. So you just keep the company from getting into trouble?
EK: Oh, no. I get our hat in the ring when big government contracts come around. Huge VA facility being built in Oklahoma. I got us an big contract to provide utensils and glassware.
GN: But we don't make those.
EK: No, but we had a warehouse full of dribble glasses and Cap'n Wacky No-Eat-Em Collapsible Tableware® we haven't been able to get rid of since the bottom fell out of the novelty utensil market in '88. Cost us about $300,000 to make them if I remember correctly. Uncle Sam gave us a smooth $800 million for the whole lot.
GN: I don't know, the whole thing sounds kind of dishonest, even by my standards.
EK: Don't be so naive, Newbrunswick. It's no worse than any other industry. Take that coffee you're drinking, for instance.
GN: What about it?
EK: Think it comes from beans down in Columbia? Guess again, buddy boy. Made from cat.
EK: Few hundred mil here and there, proper pressure applied and the FDA looks in the opposite direction.
GN: You're just making that up.
EK: Am I, Gary? Am I? How come you're not drinking your coffee?
GN: You're evil.
EK: Eh, comes with the job.