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November 01, 2007

A Series of Emails Between Executives

Hi Jim,
Thought I’d shoot you a quick email to let you know I got the “projected revenue growth” report you sent over. Thanks for getting it to me so quick. I’ll look at it in the next couple of hours and give you my thoughts.

Bill

Hi Jim,
Just finished reading the report. Thought it was very well written and concise. Nice job! However, I have to question the wisdom of your conclusion.
While I agree that our new line of frozen diet entrees needs “zippy” new names to make them stand out in a crowded market environment, I strongly disagree with your choices.
Did you talk to Vicki in marketing before coming up with these?

Bill

Jim,
Got off the phone with Vicki a couple minutes ago. She says she did NOT discuss your ideas with you before you forwarded your suggestions to the CEO. I would have preferred if you had my okay before doing that, because as I indicated in my last email, I do NOT think “Chicken Poops and Farts” is a good choice for our “Southern Fried Chicken with Creamy Mashed Potatoes” frozen entree. Nor do I think our “Classic Spinach Lasagne in Old World Marinara Sauce” would be “funnier” if it were called “Boogers ‘n Cheese.” 

As you know, our goal with this line of frozen entrees is to appeal to single women and working moms who are looking for “comfort food” that will also help them shed unwanted pounds. “Funny” is not what we’re going for here.

Bill

Jim,
This is really getting out of hand. I had no idea that you presented your ideas as my ideas to Frank and the rest of the Board. These are NOT my ideas! I do NOT think the words “Poopy” “Barf,” “Sanitary Napkin,” “Purple Penis Eater,” or “Ebola Virus” have ANY PLACE in our new line of Mama Marino’s Frozen Entrees.

Nor do I think the mock-ups you made of sample packages were appropriate, They were excellently rendered, yes, and I especially liked the reworking of the Mama Marino logo and typeface, but other than that, I have to say I am utterly bewildered as to what has gotten into you. I’ve asked Human Resources to arrange a meeting between you, myself, and the head of your department.

Bill

Dear Bill,
Hi. This is Mick Taylor, head of marketing. I understand you’ve exchanged some pretty heated emails with Jim regarding his suggestions for the new Mama Marino’s Frozen Entrée line. Let me start by saying, I agreed with several of your thoughts and expressed as much to Jim. Yes, the reworking of the logo is excellent, and yes, using the words “Sanitary Napkin” as a possible description for cornbread probably crosses the line.

However, I have to disagree with you about the overall tenor of your criticism. Yes, working mothers and single moms are the target demographic for this new product line. Yes, we may turn off some potential customers by calling our new “Succulent Homemade Meatloaf” a “Big, Steaming Turd.”
BUT, have you at all considered the potential press we could receive as a result of this new direction? For every customer that decides NOT to buy these new entrees based on the name, consider that probably a hundred or more POTENTIAL customers will hear about the product through increased press coverage. If just two of those hundred customers then decides to sample our product, that’s a net gain of one customer, a sales increase of 100%!!!

I’ve had my people run the numbers, and it looks very promising!!!

Mick

Dear Mick,
Thanks for the thoughtful response to my email. And thank you for putting this in perspective for me. I read and reread your email, and I have to say, I think you’re crazy.
Let me explain: Mama Marino Foods was founded over a hundred years ago to make good, simple, high quality food available to everybody. It is the Mama Marino tradition of excellence that has seen this company through a turbulent century, and it is that reputation that we anticipate carrying us into the next century and beyond.

To sully that name with these utterly puerile and sophomoric stunts is tantamount to spitting on her grave and then, excuse the expression, fucking her skull.
For fifteen years, I have devoted my career to carrying on the proud tradition of Mama Marino, and I will continue to do so until the board sees fit to replace me. I am forwarding this email, along with our entire email chain to Mama Marino’s grandson and CEO Frank Marino with the hope that he will terminate you and Jim ASAP.

Bill

Dear Bill,
Thanks for forwarding me the email chain between yourself, Mick Taylor, and Jim Verplotz. I am CC’ing both Mick and Jim on this email so there is no confusion about what I am about to say. First of all, forgive me for being under the impression that this new marketing strategy was your idea. I should have known it was not.

After reviewing all the documentation, I have come to the conclusion that you are absolutely correct about equating these new product names with skull fucking my grandmother. Mama Marino would never have approved anything calling the pork tenderloin a “Snot Dick,” and certainly would have frowned on our popular tuna steak being renamed “Mama Marino’s Stinky Vag.”

All of this is absolutely correct, and yet I can’t help but find the names refreshing, funny, and a perfect way to distinguish ourselves in, as you pointed out, a very crowded marketplace. Mama Marino always believed in going against the flow of conventional wisdom. If conventional wisdom dictates that frozen food companies make their entrees sound as delicious as possible, it is incumbent on us to make them sound as undelicious as possible.

You may respond, as my secretary Kate just did while I dictated this to her, that “undelicious” isn’t a word, but that is exactly the kind of unconventional thinking that we need around here! We also need a pool table in the break room, and I’m having some guys come by at three to look at that.
Now I know that a lot of people in this company were upset when I took over as CEO, considering that I don’t even have an eighth grade education, and I know that some people might frown on my relationship with Mick Taylor and Jim Verplotz, considering I met them in “Juvie Hall.” But that’s why it’s so great to be CEO. Because I can do whatever the fuck I want.

Anyway, thanks for all your hard work. As always, your thoughtfulness and regard for the Mama Marino legacy is appreciated. I’m having Kate run over to your office with a fifty dollar bill. Please use it to buy yourself a big double-headed dildo and then go fuck yourself.

Yours truly,
Frank Marino
CEO, Mama Marino’s Frozen Entrees

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Susanna

So, are there 2 guys named "Jim" in this story? All I know is, I got a little confused...and now I'm hungry.

Therese

The 'Boogers and cheese' line really tickled me.
The double headed dildo reference also won me.

You win the internet, I'll have it shipped over.

Susanna

Thanks for clearing that up. It gives me great solace to know that I'm not entirely retarded (everyone, hold your tongues!).

Camille

SOunds like Jim forgot to take his bipolar meds.
I giggled aloud at the entree names, although cornbread never reminded me of a sanitary napkin. Of course from now on it will.Thanks alot!

Reen

Very funny. I love it.

And in a perfect world, sentences with 5 star words would roll off everyones tongue:

"To sully that name with these utterly puerile and sophomoric stunts is tantamount to.."

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