Friday, July 31, 2009
“Yes,” came a slow evil hiss from the other end of the line. “I understand you offer, eh, ‘special’ vacation packages for the, er, discerning hunter?”
“That’s right, what did you have in mind?” I asked.
“Well . . I’ve always been partial to hunting . . Quayle. Dan Quayle, that is. ”
“I believe we can accommodate you . . Mr. Cheney, is it? We’ll have the shuttle pick you up at 5pm, provided our fee has been delivered in full.”
“I’m doing the transfer now. Whaa, hah, hah!”
Spooky. I dispatched a team of X-Men to pick up the former Dan Quayle and bring him bagged to the shuttle for the ‘hunt’.
No sooner was that done then the phone rang again. I rolled my eyes. It had been ringing all day, mostly from big game hunters looking for the "unusual prey" Jon had been advertising. I have four doctorates for Heaven’s sake. I cannot be playing secretary. “Jubilee!” I yelled. “You’re turn at the phones!”
“Suck it, old man!” The young mutant yelled as she gave me the finger and turned up her IPod. Teenagers.
I placed the image of a giant Noah Bennet in her head. Jubilee shrieked, jumped off the couch and ran to answer the phone. “That was just mean,” she said sulkily.
“Hey, Professor!” Cyclops shouted, a little too enthusiastically. “He’s here! He’s really here!”
A shape appeared in the doorway behind Scott, pausing in a dramatic silhouette.
“Jones is the name,” came the manly voice. “I understand you need my help on a dangerous mission?”
“That’s right,” I answered. “Thank you for coming on such short notice.”
“No problem. I am always willing to help those in need. All part of being a selfless hero. Do you have my fee?”
“Of course.” I mentally summoned Nightcrawler to bring Indiana Jones his fee – a complete set of Transformer Happy Meal toys. The man is such a collector. Then I had Jones pose for some publicity pictures before we headed off to Dagobah.
“So there’s a big party at this place?” he asked as the shuttle was landing on the alien swamp planet.
“A party?” I asked. “Um, sure, we can have a party.”
“Didn’t you say this was a Swab?” he asked as he started walking down the ramp.
“Swab?” I lamely repeated.
“Right, Swab. Ancient Mayan for orgy. I brought a ton of extra jelly butter.”
“Er . .” before I could explain that he had probably misheard "swamp", Indiana Jones slipped off the ramp and flopped down deep into the muck that is the surface of all of Dagobah. When he re-emerged, several long, thick snakes were draped over his muddy body.
“Snakes!” he screamed in a high-pitched girly voice. “I hate snakes!!”
With that, he ran hysterically deep into the swamp. I didn’t see him for several more hours, until he was carried back to the resort hotel we had built for the tourists. Indy was slung over the shoulder of a very tall walking carpet.
The carpet came up to me and let out some kind of strange bellow. I looked into his mind and saw him saying that he had married Indiana using the ancient Wookie ceremony of fluid exchange, and he wanted to rent the honeymoon suite. I let him have it with my compliments. I also had the whole, sordid night video-taped and made into a commercial to be run on adult entertainment outlets with the tag line – “Dagobah, For Those Who Thought They Had Experienced Everything.” For the sleazier outlets, I had the video run with the line, “Dagobah, When A Donkey Just Isn’t Enough.”
As I was heading to the shuttle to take me back to Earth, a naked, screaming Carrot Top came running past, flailing his arms madly over his head. Jon Stewart dressed in camouflage hunting gear hurried behind him, carrying a large bazooka launcher on his shoulder. "You're toast, Red," he muttered as he aimed the weapon.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
And whatever this is.
No one wants to see that...well maybe the Discovery Channel.
So up came up with another idea advertsin' to rednecks. that went pretty well, Yea lot O' them became stuck in the swamps when they tried to go mud truckin' but that ain't my concern, they were warned, another odd thing I've never gotten is rednecks like to shoot zombies I don't get it but hey they're payin' their money.
At first I had a Witch Doctor create zombies for them to shoot, but well there was a dispute about money and he somehow ended up savagely clawed to death.
That was okay but I wanted more so when another member of the team created a mud based amusement park I pitched the Wolverine Experience.
Pretty much while the kiddies, are enjoyin' the park, and the ladies are soakin' in mud I take out the warriors, and the wimps who fancy themselves warriors out into the jungle. What they don't know is I film them, and sale the footage ( givin' a cut to Yoda.) As a type O' survival game show.
After I let them out into the swamps I unleash wild animals, alien warriors, and rabid Twilight fangirls onto the unsuspectin' tour goers. On the first tour, Someone yelled out ' Where's the exotic women? Twilight fangirls don't count!"
Well I left a bit out they are exotic, and women but they're also crazy red alien amazon warriors that can crush boulders between their fingers here's me first meeting one.
Only two didn't get crushed. or run away screamin' to their mommies. Bobba Fett who was annoyin' the me with his constant " Yeah Bobba blasts the synthiods How can Bobba escape the fangirls? He can't have plasma grenades on him? Oh yeah Bobba has plasma grenades!"
And this guy who reminds me O' someone.
Hmmm I know someone who keeps babbling' about yellow text boxes.... Deadpoool! Ya gotta be kiddin' me him again?
He glares at me " Okay bunky you're gonna pay for dropping a safe on me in the last challenge!" He shoots me a couple o times in the chest " I'm going to bag me a Canadian clawed wolverine Crikey!"
" Crocidile Hunter jokes Wilson? Really He's been dead how long now?" I growl popping my claws but Pool was grabbed up by the red warrior women. " We love You Ryan Reynolds!" They scream and drag him off to where ever they go when they ain't crushin' people.
" I'm not Ryan Reynolds this is just a disguise....aaaah! My ribs you crushed my ribs no don't kiss me aah! My face!"
I snicker as Bobba Fett walks up to me Bobba is awesome! he lived through he's the greatest warrior ever what did Bobba win?" At that moment he was attacked, and eaten by a giant snake. I hear he has a problem with being eaten by giant animals. Oh well I'd better get ready for the next tour.
He assigns me the task up setting up the travel agency and then takes off to set up some sort of amusement park, all the while muttering about synthoids. The man is cracked I tell you. He didn't even tell me what our slogan was to be!
Setting up shop at a busy space station, where there is lots of traffic. I set to luring as many people to Daogobah as possible. Of course, I hire a gaggle to answer the phones:
And I even hire a couple of guys to go out on the street to lead people to us:
"Bill," I say, "I don't care what you have to do, kidnap people in a van if you have to...just...get...me...people!"
Happy to have work, he stutters and then takes off.
"I'll just tell them that it's the will of the Force!" he said almost cheerfully. He disappeared from sight. Man, death sure has changed that guy.
While the girls are giggling, waiting for the phones to start ringing, I post the poster I made:
It's not the best, but it's simple and straightforward. Maybe if Koma had had a few moments to spare for me- no doubt he wants to ruin me...either that or my challenge to mud wrestle him scared him. Sometimes I come on too strong!
So we wait...and wait...Soon enough Bill pulls up in a van and drops off a bunch of people.
They have no problem taking vacations, but they don't want to go to Dagobah. "Too dark and slimy," they said.
"Slimy?! Yoda's home it is!!" I replied.
The first two groups didn't budge, they all wanted to go to Yavin or Endor. I've never seen what's so great about little Wookiees anyway. They are going to be pissed when they discover that the Starlite Shuttles I sent them on land on Dagobah...and even more pissed when they learn that the refund fee costs more than the actual ticket.
Finally a bedraggled family wanders in.
The father walks up to me and introduces himself. "Hi, I'm Clark Griswold. That's my family over there. We're on our family vacation, but the theme park we wanted to go to was closed. There's this creepy ghost out there that said you could help."
"Of course I can! Here at Starlite Express we charter cheap flights to some of the most exotic locales this galaxy can offer. This week's special is a trip to Dagobah."
"Dagobah? I've never heard of it."
"Wonderful!" I exclaim. "What an opportunity to discover one of the galaxy's diamonds! There's something for everyone. There's Koma's theme park for the kids, there's a lovely health spa for the missus, and for yourself sir - you have the choice of exploring the deep woods filled with adventure in the iscover The Wolverine Experience...or..." I lowered my voice just a little. "If you look hard enough, I'm sure you can find some mud wrestling."
"Well sign us up!" he says exuberantly.
He didn't even wait for the bit about Gyro's gryos or the hotdogs!
I send the happy family off.
No doubt he's thinking:
To bad he's gonna find:
And so...with a smile, I move on to the next group of people driven in...
"Yeah! Right on! All the way with Captain K!" I screamed hoping that the congratulations would spur the others the join in.
"So how are we doing this Koma and what can we advertise with Dagobah?" complained the red haired harridan Ciera.
"With one simple word." I replied "Mud."
Then I showed them the genius of my plan to turn Dagobah into THE health spa planet.
"Snort! Huh! You finished Koma?" he asks being awoken by the silence.
"You didn't hear any of that did you?" I ask rhetorically.
"Nup!" replies the hairy diminutive Canadian.
"So what are you going to do?" I ask him.
"I'll think of something..." says Logan getting comfortable in the chair. He takes a sip of whatever is in the bottle he's been holding and goes back to sleep.
Oh well I hope the others take my vision and run with it. Hang on did they even hang around to hear it?
Oh well never mind.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
It was a position for which I was destined. I'm also the only member of the team that hasn't yet been E.J. But at least I'm sober, which is one up from Jon's condition when he was in charge.
"So Dagobah it is." I said. "That place is a hell hole." I commented shaking my head, throwing the file on the table.
"Yoda must be off his rocker," Jon commented.
"Well, we always knew that though," Xavier added.
I picked up the file once again. Thumbing through it, I started mumbling: "Let's see, what line items we must accomplish on this challenge:
- Come up with a catchy slogan;
- Come up with advertising campaign materials;
- While running our own travel agency, convince travelers to visit Dagobah; and
- If possible, initiate other methods of driving more tourism to the planet."
I stood for a moment, just thinking a bit.
"I wonder if scheduling it for demolition and inviting the rest of the galaxy to watch would work?" I said outloud. "We could sell tickets -- that might bring in enough money to satisfy Yoda and rid that sector of a planetary eye sore."
"Working on the 'two birds with one stone' principle, are we?" Xavier asked. "However, you definitely could not have a repeat performance."
Kill joy, I thought at him then sighed heavily.
"Jon," I began, "I'm putting you in charge of the advertising materials. You have a talent for coming up with reasons to do the unreasonable.
"Xavier, you've got the travel agency. You're good at convincing people to do whatever it is you put your mind to."
"Personally, I think this is a rather easy challenge," I commented.
"How do you figure?" Jon asked, skeptically raising an eye brow.
"Look at your planet, Jon," I began. "Someone has convinced people to enjoy taking vacations to places like Mexico and Louisiana! It's not going to be that far a stretch to convince those same people to travel to Dagobah.
"It's definitely a wild place," Xavier said.
"No," I contradicted, "It's unspoiled."
"So what would you call a place where you have to carry a blaster to fend off the local fauna?" Jon asked.
"That," I suggested, "is an adventure."
"I think I know where you're taking this," Jon sat forward in his chair. "We definitely need to make it sound so much more exciting..." he trailed off in thought.
"Oh, that's it Jon!" I exclaimed:
Experience Adventure. Experience Excitement.
They both nodded.
"Now, if we could only work into some sort of hunting safari, it would be perfect," I commented. "But, honestly: how does one mount a 30-foot swamp monster?"
"Who cares," Xavier said. "I've met some of those big game hunter types who would give up their eye teeth just to have the bragging rights."
"Perhaps you could come up with a few packages based upon that theme?" I said to Xavier. "Just use your imagination."
"We could probably recruit some of those adventurers to get more press for Dagobah," Jon added. "I'm pretty sure I can wrangle some celebrity endorsements as well."
"Perfect," I said. Pacing round the room, I thought some more. "Maybe we could even arrange some sort of celebrity hunt to get rid of those useless celebrities on your planet that people love to hate. You know, someone like Paris Hilton, or...who is that couple with all the kids that are on TV?"
"Heidi and Spencer?" Jon guessed.
"Yes, that's them," I said. "We could release people like those three into the swamp and people with guns can go hunt them. No experience required -- it would be open to everyone, not just those with hunting skills!"
"Ahem," Xavier started, "The authorities might take issue with that."
"What authorities?" I responded. "This is Dagobah we're talking about. Once they are smuggled off your planet, there won't be any problem at all."
"Right," Xavier said. "I'll have to see just how well that type of, er, vacation package would be received. I'll also look into frequent fly miles available for any type of travel to Dagobah."
"Good idea," I answered. "Who knows, they might be able to accumulate enough to get a free dinner at Jack in the Box or something."
"One last thing...maybe we could get a YouTube video channel and create a few viral videos. Even Vader knew the value of such things:
"Nice," Jon retorted.
"Oh, I haven't even gotten started," I said as we walked down the hall, "You know, we can even import indigents who will practice slash and burn in the rain forests, and then development companies can come in after the land is no longer good for farming and set up casinos ... they'll create a 'Las Vegas of the Outer Rim'...."
“Good afternoon, Mr. Yoda,” I stretched out my hand towards him.
“Remember you I do,” the diminutive wizard spoke. “Sing to me that lame song you have and crash into my backyard in your spaceship you did.”
“Heh heh, yes of course,” I chuckled. “Now that the introductions are out of the way, I would like to show you a little presentation on the campaign that we’ve been working on. Before we begin, would you like some refreshments? We have some delicious sandwiches made with toasted pumpernickel.”
“Those sandwiches I cannot eat,” he replied. “Dark toast intolerant I am.”
“Of course of course,” I replied. “Then how about some lizard skin wontons?”
“Not good for me all that cholesterol is,” he shook his head.
“Then perhaps some fruit,” I offered. “I believe we have some mixed fruit right here.”
Yoda waved his hand “Too much fresh fruit, I cannot take.”
“Then perhaps I should just get on with the presentation.”
“Nice that would be.”
“Here it is, four words, one which is used three times: Experience Adventure, Experience Excitement, Experience Dagobah.”
Yoda was silent for a moment. Then a moment more.
“Adventure? Excitement? A vacationer craves these things?” Yoda asked after a third moment.
“Yes they do!” my eyes lit up. “We’re talking about extreme vacations, surrounded by thousands of acres of untamed natural wild lands. Bush piloting through the swamps, hunting ravenous creatures, fishing for giant water beasts, giant swamp beasts, giant bog beasts, you name it.”
“An interesting idea this is,” Yoda conceded.
“Now as for your restaurant,” I continued. “We’re going in a slightly different direction with that, we want these vacationers to dine there, but we don’t necessarily want to make it part of the ‘extreme’ experience.”
“I see,” Yoda said. “Er, see I.”
“Right, so we’re using a few different methods to get the word out for that,” I explained. “We’ll have fortune cookies.”
“Fortune cookies I like,” Yoda nodded.
“And we’re not scared to try a little viral marketing as well,” I added.
“Er, you’ll have to forgive us on that one,” I smiled weakly. “These are high school kids, you know.”
“Perhaps lose Dooku to the Dark Side I would not,” Yoda sighed. “If drop out of high school he did not.”
“We’ve got our troops excited over the idea of going to Dagobah. Ooops, and uh never mind about this next slide. I don’t know how it got in there.”
“Hmmm,” Yoda scratched his chin.
“And of course, no trip to Dagobah would be complete without souvenir bumper stickers,” I said. “It will be like the Wall Drug of a galaxy far, far away.”
“Nice this is,” Yoda smiled. “Many good ideas you show me, but complete your campaign is not.”
“Of course not,” I assured him. “We’re lining up celebrity endorsements even as we speak.”
“Speak we even as?” Yoda repeated.
“Yes,” I nodded excitedly. “Dave’s in, G.I.Joe jungle expert Recondo is in, Kraven the Hunter is dying to come to Dagobah, well not literally. I admit they’re not the biggest names in--”
“Size matters not.”
“You’re right, Master Yoda. In addition, we have Taarna, last of the Taarakians signed on.” I pointed to her picture in the presentation.
“A fetching creature she is,” Yoda smiled. “If a hundred years younger were I and a hundred years older was she…”
“And that’s not all. We still have a few more ideas up our sleeve.” I tugged on the cuffs of my shirt as a visual cue to what I was saying, like a magic act. All the good magicians do that, like that guy who does birthday parties. What’s his name? The great Flukini or something?
“Meditate on your campaign I must.” Yoda scooted off the chair and worked his way towards the door. “But looking forward to your next part I am.”
Monday, July 27, 2009
Hmm, so, Darth Horn-Rimmed, those who would become your apprentice in the dark art of paper sales, these people are, hmm? With the job market so poor, less goofy-looking candidates you could find, I would think. Hmm, yes.
"You know, Henchy, he's right," I said. "You do wear a lot of yellow."
"He does," agreed The Haitian.
"What can I say? I like looking good," Henchman explained.
"And Koma, you wear a lot of purple," I observed keenly.
"Fire Ciera!" Koma replied.
I knocked the hard wood of the boardroom table with my knuckles and exclaimed, "I've made my decision." I looked over the three losers. "Your performance has been lacking in creativity and excitement. You have all the unexpected plot twists of an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, but without the Governator. I don't know if you really want this job or not. Maybe you're comfortable with what you've got going on right now, I don't know. Let's hope, though, because, Henchman432, you're fired."
Gyrobo and Koma saw him out the doors, then got up to go out behind him.
"Not so fast," I said. I hit the intercom button on my speaker phone and said to my assistant, "Gather the rest of the contestants."
"Whaaa???" Gyrobo spouted.
"What crazy scheme do you have up your sleeve this time, Bennet?" Koma wondered.
The rest of the candidates soon arrived and I made my announcement. "Your new task starts now! We have a special, very important, very influential and powerful guest judge to give you this week's task. This is somebody I personally have a lot of respect for."
Ciera yawned, "You woke us up for this?"
I pulled out my cell phone and dialed up our guest judge's stupid intern. "They're ready," I said, then coolly flipped the phone shut.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Gyrobo entered first, followed by his two picks for the boardroom: Captain Koma and Henchman432. The three took their seats.
"Well, guys," I began, "why did you lose?"
"Ciera," said Koma.
Henchman grunted, "Koma."
"Überdale!" shouted Gyrobo.
"Like," Claire interjected, "I thought Brad Pitt was so totally hot, but he wasn't a good choice, like, at all."
"Yes," I agreed. "You picked a lame kidnapee, and the ransom demand was only mildly more creative than Team One's. You could have kidnapped Joan Rivers and ransomed her back to her doctors for the secret of immortality. But Brad Pitt?"
"Don't look at me," Koma spoke up. "I was all about Michael Jackson."
"Now, I did like the teamwork this time around. The organization was good. It was structured. There was intrigue and even an overall plot. Thanks mostly to Gyrobo. But the elements making up that plot were where your team was weak. Koma and Henchy, you two both dropped the ball there."
"Hey," Henchman replied, "I got the guy, right?"
"You did," I answered, "but all you did was show up, pistol-whip the guy and throw him in a van."
"Well, what else did ya want? Should I have bought him some ice cream?" asked Henchman.
"Wolverine fought ninja brats," The Haitian added.
"Looking back at past performances, though, things have been similar. Your no nonsense, straightforward approach is fine, if this were a Taco Bell. Take my order and hand over the burrito. But we're looking for people who can think outside the bun, who are quick on their feet, who can deal with any situation, who do more than simple pistol-whipping and keggar-killing."
I moved on to Koma. "And then there's you," I said. "In the past, you've been the exact opposite of Henchman. Perhaps even taking too much risk without the payoff. This week, though, you joined him in serving up a platter of bland penguinless food. The picture of Brad Pitt was a good touch, though. Henchman missed an opportunity there, but you didn't."
"Don't forget the neural destabilizer," Koma tossed in.
"Oh, I'm not," I assured him. "Gyrobo, you handled being lost in time well. I always hate dying in alternate timelines, so I'm glad you ultimately remedied that. If I do ever die, it should be a bullet through the glasses, not crushed by nondescript waste. Not only did you manage to deal with a trickster genie, but you also managed to continue your Body Parts of Artemis side quest. You've done consistently well, and I'd like to know who you think I should fire? Koma? Henchy? Or maybe you since you were The Boss and your team lost? If you were me, who would you fire?"
We all waited eagerly for his response. This was indeed a close one, and it will probably be up to what's said here in the boardroom.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
"But, like, you all did really good," Claire added with a smile.
"Victorious Secret," I started the judgment. "You worked well together as a team, with Gyrobo effectively pulling it all together at the end. For once, Koma, you didn't completely screw up. You netted your team ten million and even got some painted rocks through a side deal of your own."
Koma looked at me distrustingly.
I continued, "Wolverine, a ransom note taped to a safe on top of a Deadpool is a great way to deliver your message. However, you could have ripped apart the Ninja Brats easily, and that would have sent an even stronger message. When you listen to that female voice in your head, nothing good comes from it. I've been married for over 15 years. I know these things."
Wolverine growled something under his breath.
Moving on, I said, "Ciera, maybe you're not thinking enough with your head and instead thinking with...well, whatever it is you females have. Brad Pitt was a terrible choice of target. Other than him being a celebrity, and your attraction to him, there was no reason for it, was there?"
"Uh," Ciera said, "Umm...he's hot, though."
"Henchman," I gazed over at the man in the biohazard outfit. "Pistol-whipping Brad Pitt...that almost gives a reason for picking him in the first place. Otherwise, it was bland, generic, like an everyday henchman. If you want to make it in this business, you have to be World's Toughest Henchman. You got your guy, though, and that's what counts."
"Does that mean we won?" Henchman asked.
Ignoring him, I looked over at Team One. "Now, there's the issue of you people, who chose to kidnap me."
Jon looked nervous. Now that he was sober, it seemed he was thinking more clearly and possibly regretted his actions.
"Jon, I'm concerned about your drinking. Or I was, until it made you man up and pull an impressive stunt like this."
He smiled nervously.
"Kidnapping me was an interesting choice, which is why I let it happen. Obviously, Nepharia, your womanly wiles would never work on me. I'm a nerd. Notice the glasses?" I pointed to the horn-rimmed frames. "But I decided to go along with it to see where this would lead. That, and I wanted to lure out Abrams. At any moment I could have killed your entire team."
Claire balked, "Ugh! You could have, like, told me you were faking. I was, like, so worried! Me and Mr. Muggles even formed a search party."
"Relax, Claire Bear. I'm very well-trained in the art of selling paper," I explained. "I was in no danger whatsoever. But that brings me to the issue of the ransom. In my line of work, if you're captured, nobody knows who you are. Primatech would never, ever pay a ransom. They only went along with it because denying any knowledge of me wouldn't make for good television. You didn't really think that through, it seems, and for the ransom, the best you could come up with was a 'big bag o' cash'. This is Primatech. You could have demanded an unlimited supply of paper and paper products, or vials of mutant-making serum, or The Haitian."
Jon replied, "With a big o' bag of cash, we could get our own Haitian."
I nodded and turned toward the Professor. "A very action-oriented scene for a crippled. Holding your own against The Haitian, impressive work, Charles."
"Thank you," he replied lifting a glass of cognac.
"Now, let's get to the winning team," I said, changing tones. "The kidnapping. Jon and Nepharia's infiltration of Primatech and teleportation of me was far more engaging and exciting than Victorious Secret's simple, pistol-whipping Brad-snatching. One point for Team One."
Nepharia grinned evilly.
"Next up, the exchange. Professor Xavier's epic three-way with Primatech agents and Trekkies was excellent. Kicking Brad Pitt out of a van in a parking lot can't come close. Team One, two points."
Koma began looking at me suspiciously again.
"Ransom creativity. We had a big bag o' cash versus ten million and remembering something about egg machines. It turns out the big bag was stuffed full of singles, and Gyrobo's confusing demand tips the scale in his favor. One point for Victorious Secret, two points Team One.
Jon looked inside his big bag o' cash, then let out a, "Good grief!"
"Target creativity. I suppose you could argue kidnapping me was an obvious choice," I began, "but then so too is kidnapping a celebrity. I think Jon's team showed some real initiative by coming for me, and doing so first. Another point for Team One. Three points Team One, One point Victorious Secret."
Ciera frowned, "I'm not a mathematician, but this isn't looking good."
"Last point," I said, "teamwork. Both teams worked very well together this round. Gyrobo, even though he was in some other place and time during most of the task, was able to pull his team together and orchestrate a mediocre kidnapping. Jon, despite being drunk, was able to execute a grand kidnapping with each teammate playing a vitally important role, and doing so superbly. The truth is, I don't know who should get this point. Either Victorious Secret by a nose, or both teams get a point. It doesn't really matter, since either way Victorious Secret loses."
"Aww, shucks," Gyrobo buzzes.
"Gyrobo. You were The Boss on this task. Pick two people to join you back in the boardroom. One of you will be fired."