Thursday, 7 February 2008

Import, Export

Last month was not a great month for business. My business is... well, it's eclectic. I import stuff, I export stuff, and somewhere in the middle there's a margin and I take a small percentage of that. I'm a middleman, very definitely. Butter won't melt in my mouth, snow won't melt on my chest, and my fingers aren't sticky, they're just not squeaky clean. Which is good, because who'd trust a man whose fingers squeaked?

But yeah, last month. Not so good. First of all I got a tip-off from my friend in Customs and Revenue that they'd had a tip-off about an import of mine, and so we had to abort the mission. That meant eighty-five nuns parachuting out of a 767 over a Pacific atoll, and that made the headlines. The nuns are cool, they're survivalists, and radio contact tells me that only 3 of them have drowned or been eaten, so most of the merchandise will get back eventually. But it doesn't count towards my bottom line for this month, and that does hurt a little.

After that, our efforts to shift a ton-and-a-half of irregular piping ran into problems again. All we need to do is get somewhere to legislate than the mathematical constant Pi is now equal to 4, and we're home and dry. You'd think it would be easy, but even the American states are dragging their heels now. I'm having to reopen my options on using them to make mortars and selling them to the dimmer variety of terrorist, who probably won't notice the unfortunate taper at the firing end.

And then there's the penguin problem. We've been painting penguins brown and orange and training them in acrobatics so that they can assemble themselves into a giraffe shape. Then we're selling these giraffes to zoos around the colder parts of the globe, where giraffes are rare and penguins thrive. We ship the penguins in suitcases as carry on luggage, and make a tidy profit out of it. Only now we're getting questions about giraffes that spontaneously disassemble and eat fish rather than leaves, and frankly, I'm running out of excuses.

Finally, my secretary's been acting pretty oddly lately, and that has me more worried than anything else. Without her, I'd be in a real pickle and no mistake, she could organise a charity chastity evening at an orgy and have everyone looking happy about it. I've been reading her email and her text messages to see if she's being headhunted (I have a couple of exploding poodles to deal with this kind of thing) but there's nothing there. I'd fret, if that didn't involve woodwork.

So I'm looking for business ideas for the coming month, something with no heavy lifting that a good-looking guy with a silver tongue can really turn into something hot. The laxative pancakes for Shrove Tuesday sold well (feast and purge! The only food that'll really set you up for Lent!), and we've passed off the hair loss as divine revelation (yeah..., turns out they were laxative because of the heavy metal content...) and might yet be able to sell off some of those Latvian bibles I've got in the back room (the only bible that'll give you the gift of tongues! Babble with the best!). But I need a killer sale, something that'll really knock people off their feet.

Best keep thinking!

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