Corporate Man is called in to investigate reports of vile, unethical business practices at Great American Business Company. What he finds there just might destroy him (except we all know the ending to The Tragic Death of Corporate Man so it should be fairly obvious that it can't really destroy him, though it can come close).

Enslaved by the Bonus Whores is an all new Corporate Man Adventure Serial. Chapters will post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

After nearly a decade of imprisonment, Corporate Man returns to find the economy in ruins and his deadliest enemies in control of all but a fraction of society's wealth. He embarks upon a quest to set right the wrongs of the business world; a task that will ultimately destroy him.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chapter 220

“Is anyone thirsty?” asked John Q Public.  Without waiting for an answer he gestured and an apparatus dropped from the ceiling.  It set out crystal flutes and filled them with a sparkling, faintly bluish water.  John Q Public lifted one of the flutes to his nose, inhaled deeply, and then drank the contents in a single swallow.
“Water.  Trapped inside veins of sapphire.  I could build three Jacob Center Towers with what it costs for just one glass of this stuff.”
Reluctantly, everyone drank.
Everyone except Corporate Man.
John Q Public’s grin widened and then he gestured toward a blank wall.  A holographic image appeared in front of it displaying a graph featuring a thick, up thrusting arrow.
“Note the chart,” said John Q Public.  “In the past ten years the increase of wealth for the rich in this country has made a steady climb.”
He gestured again and another arrow appeared next to the first.  This one sagged downward, sad and emasculated.
“This graph depicts the financial standing of the middle class during the same length of time.  What do you notice?”
“Two dicks,” said Business Woman.
“High returns are erect and obviously virile.  Diminishing yields are flaccid and underdeveloped,” John Q Public said.  “And yes, this is intentional.  Not just for the inherent humor, but subconsciously it preys upon the fears of male board members and executives.  Particularly those related to inadequacy and impotence.  In other words, if you don’t show large returns you have a small penis.”
John Q Public paused and stared directly at Franklin Buck.
“What?” Franklin Buck said.  “I don’t have… diminishing yields.”
“And there you have it,” John Q Public continued.  “This is the basic primal level of thinking that the Union has been up against all these years.  That initial drive for alpha male status.”
“What about all the women coming into high level positions?” asked Business Woman.
John Q Public laughed.  “Yes.  It’s a big problem.  Now, I suppose most of you are aware of a popular cry that is being voiced these days, calling for the deregulation of business.  It’s being pushed by us, of course, but middle class Americans are really eating up this line of thinking, saying crap like, ‘Oh, those big, greedy corporations will do right by us.  Let ‘em run fast and loose.  They’ll fix things up for us little guys.’  Sure.  How quickly they forget the prime mortgage disaster and other wonderful gifts from the deregulated sect.  They buy in deeply to the propaganda that regulated businesses are automatically stunted whereas deregulated ones will grow and prosper.  Why yes, they do grow and prosper.  At the expense of the little guy.  Pushing beyond the limits of sustainable greed at the detriment of economic health.  Worried only about the big dick on the graph.”
“But that’s you,” said Corporate Man.  “You’re doing these economically unhealthy things.”
“So what is this?  What are you doing?  Bragging about how you put one over on the rubes?  What?”
“Illustrating a point,” John Q Public said.
“I see no point,” said Corporate Man.  “I see a lot of excuses for bad behavior.”
Corporate Man’s face pinched, “What?  Make sense!”
“Let’s look at it this way.  Deregulation of business is like a man not wanting to wear a condom.  Sure, the business is better without the hindrance of protective regulation.  But then what happens?  Oh no!  And STD or an unexpected pregnancy.  That diseased and potent business splits leaving behind an infected wreck of an economy with a huge poop machine to take care of.”
“And that poor economy used to be a sought after, hot piece of ass, too,” said Business Woman.
“Right, and Big Business is just a dirty-dick man with a dishonest tongue, hiding behind a pleasant face, maybe a sixer in the abs department, and nice twinkly eyes.”
 “And now has his eyes on some perkier, Asian fair,” said Business Woman.
“Hey!  Don’t start agreeing with him,” Corporate Man shouted.  “He’s the dirty-dick man in this situation.”
“I’m not denying it,” said John Q Public.
“Then what are you doing?”  Why are we here?” asked Corporate Man.
“Well, it seems to me that you’re wasting your time trying to stop dirty-dicked men,” said John Q Public.  “But then, what can you really do?”
“When you can’t change the pig-animals you have to protect and educate those they prey on,” said Corporate Man.
“You mean, the dumb Americans we’ve been discussing?”
“Your term, not mine,” said Corporate Man.
“And by the time you educate them, they are old and invalid.  Indoctrinated with the message that old is weak and dumb and youth is to be forever worshipped.  An entire crop of eager-beavered bimbo children conveniently awaits our harvesting.  The cycle repeats.  Maintains.”
“No!  People will only take so much,” said Corporate Man.
“Not if they’re too stupid to notice,” said Senior Executive.
“Don’t you start, too,” said Corporate Man.
“What?  It’s true.  People don’t even question anything anymore,” said Senior Executive. “Genetically modified foods.  Vaccines for anything and everything, needed or not.  Pills to counter the negative effect of other pills.  They think its good because it medical science when it’s actually shady business.  The populace at large doesn’t know how the foods we’re being served have been modified and what the resulting product might do to a person’s body.  Science magic did it.  And it’s cheap so that’s good too.”
“You know who you sound like?” asked Corporate Man.
“Who?  John?”
“No. Him,” Corporate Man said, pointing at General Apathy.  “You were under his sway once before.”
“That was different.”
“And you,” Corporate Man said, turning toward the General, “You’ve been suspiciously quiet during all of this.”
“I’m just here for ambience,” said General Apathy.
“And to distort the mental state of everyone gathered around this table,” said Corporate Man.
“I’m a part of every corporate transaction.  The phrase, ‘it’s just business,’ is rooted in apathy.  Capitalism and I are indistinguishable.”
“I want his out of here,” said Corporate Man.
“Do you think that will help?” asked John Q Public.
“He’s infecting everyone.”
“With what?  Himself?”
John Q Public cocked his head slightly and said, “Two things.  One.  As he said, all business is infected with him.  Two.  This is my meeting and he stays.”
“Then I’m leaving,” said Corporate Man.  He stood up and marched toward the door.
“You’re as free to go as you were free to come,” said John Q Public.  Corporate Man halted, mid step, and then turned back toward the table.  John Q Public continued, “Yes.  I see the dilemma.  What would all of the effort have been for then?  What of the sacrifices?  The colleagues lost?”
“I should kick your ass,” said Corporate Man.
“Ah yes.  Might make right, does it?”
“That’s not what I’m saying.”
“I am.  Isn’t that what we were already discussing?  Except financial might as opposed to the physical,” John Q Public said.  He smiled without sneering.
Corporate Man sat down.