Transmissions from the alternate universe

Posts Tagged ‘Business news’

Eight Companies at Risk of Bankruptcy

Posted by oldancestor on January 9, 2011

By Eric J Baker

When businesses run out of this, they go "out." Science has yet to discover where.


America’s worst economic recession in almost 80 years may be over, but its aftermath is still being felt by countless businesses struggling to stay above water. These are the eight companies at greatest risk of failing before the end of the year:



When U-Haul, the do-it-yourself truck rental company, decided to apply its successful business model to the air-freight industry last year, economists hailed the move. In a tight economy, they said, average Americans would rather fly their own stuff across the country than pay some cargo company and an overpriced pilot.

But when eighty percent of U-Fly’s fleet was destroyed in crashes on the first day of business last August, the company was forced to ground the remainder of its aircraft. They still sit today, rusting.

“What we found out,” says company CEO Zap Crossin, “is that it’s really hard to fly an airplane when you don’t know what you’re doing.”

Seven/sixteenths Foods

With upscale supermarket chains Whole Foods and Wegmans competing for the attention of heath-conscious shoppers, executives at Seven/sixteenths Food Markets decided to target the blue-collar consumer who still cares about quality, but only sometimes. Sounds like a giant, untapped audience, right?

Wrong. It turns out that there are tons of ordinary supermarkets out there that don’t sell imported cheese and gourmet desserts. Seven/sixteenths is finding the competition rather stiff and continues to search, in vain, for a market share. Their nonsensical TV ad slogan, “Slightly less than half,” isn’t helping.


The one-stop-shop for Clark Nova, Martinelli, and Krupp Dominator typewriters was one of America’s most powerful corporations in the 1950s and 60s. Then, in 1967, they made the mistake of firing a young clerk by the name of Bill Gates, who vowed to create a software program that would one day render typewriters useless.

“I didn’t even know what the words ‘software program’ meant,” Gates wrote in his autobiography in 2002, “but once I said them, I knew I had to come up with something.”

TypewriterMax hasn’t sold a single unit since 1981, when movie director John Landis needed one for a movie prop.

Johnson & Johnson

Not to be confused with the massively successful global pharmaceutical firm, this Johnson & Johnson (the “Johnsons” are reversed) sells paper bags full of dog poop. Customers place the bags on their cranky neighbors’ porches, set the bags on fire, knock on the door, then run away. The neighbor comes outside and, in a panic, stomps on the… well, you know.

It’s all in good fun. Until the target of the prank is wearing dynamite shoes, as was Edward Gymteacher of Calumet City, Illinois, on the day he was killed in October, 2008.

“We live in a very litigious society,” notes company president Johnny “John” Johnson.

1M and 2M

1M invented little yellow squares of paper. 2M invented strips of mild stickiness. But unlike Reese’s brilliant union of chocolate and peanut butter, these two companies never thought to join forces, and the rest is history.

“It seems so obvious in retrospect,” says 2M executive Jan Brady. “But someone else got there first.”

1M, on the other hand, refuses to look back, instead devoting its resources to promoting pale yellow as the confetti color of choice.


Binocular maker IndirectTV, which asks its customers, “Why pay for TV when your neighbor already does,” has struggled for years to invent a lens that can penetrate curtains and blinds. And with the ubiquity of home surround sound nowadays, the product’s total lack of audio is turning off tech-savvy buyers.

“I thought I was getting a deal,” says unhappy shopper Jacques Voyeur, “but my neighbor hardly watches TV at all. She just has naked pillow fights with her lingerie model friends all day.”

The company says it will have to close its doors if it can’t think of a new marketing pitch for the device.


This upstart equipment manufacturer has yet to sell a single one of its $3000 pet chipper units and will likely cease operations by late spring.

“We drastically overestimated consumer interest in a product that grinds up fluffy, cute animals and blasts their bloody pulp all over the wall,” laments company owner Jeffrey D.




Posted in Business | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Satan ousted as CEO of Hell

Posted by oldancestor on August 8, 2010

Is Wall Street interested?

By Eric J Baker


Satan, being escorted from his office by security demons shortly after learning of his termination this morning

THE UNDERWORLD – In a move many economists and theologians are calling long overdue, the board of directors for Hell announced today that Satan is being replaced as CEO. The once-profitable corporation has seen its stock value tumble in recent years, and a series of questionable business decisions has left many investors wary, leading to the devil’s ouster.

Pazuzu, chairman of Hell’s board of directors, told reporters this morning, “We thank Satan for his millennia of service and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Satan, the only CEO Hell has ever had, leaves behind a rich history of corrupting the human race and propagating evil. But he also faces criticism for being too slow to respond to changes in market trends and society in general.

“Where’s the ‘net presence?” asks economist Regan MacNeil. “How about Twitter? Facebook? Other than a few 1980s heavy metal bands and the High School Musical movies, Hell hasn’t been doing a very good job of getting its message out.”

Others point to devalued holdings and costly expenditures as the key culprits behind the organization’s woes.

Says Princeton University business analyst Herbert West, “Satan collected way too many souls. They’re like junk bonds now. All those people were going to Hell anyway, so he was just buying his own stock, in a sense.”

West also says the purchase of several black holes at the center of the Milky Way galaxy was a gross misuse of funds.

“In theory, if you’re a destroyer of worlds, what better to way do that than with a black hole? In practice, though, no one cares about black holes. The nearest one is a gajillion miles away.”

Some of Hell’s staffers aren’t disappointed to see Satan go.

“It was always ‘Jesus this’ and ‘Jesus that’ with him,” says Footumpsh, a demon who throws the damned into a lake of fire for a living. “Frankly, I don’t believe in all that religious stuff. I’m an atheist and don’t want god shoved down my throat all day.”

So far, Hell has been able to avoid the layoffs that plagued so many other companies during the recent recession, and because of its unique status as the sole provider of eternal damnation, it can’t go out of business. Still, some will face an uncertain future without Satan at the helm.

Brother Sean, an Irish monk, worries about the fate of his archrival, the friar. “Everyone knows friars live next to Satan’s arse-hole,” he says. “So will they go with Satan or have to find a new arse?”

Hell has yet to hint at a candidate to replace the outgoing devil, though many experts believe it will be either Dick Cheney or the comedian Carrot Top. If the rumors are true, it would be the first time a human or a human-vegetable hybrid has held a position of authority in the underworld.

“I think going with a human is a forward-thinking choice,” says MacNeil. “Who better to understand what tempts a human than a human?”

Using the parlance of Hell, can the board of directors afford to let the CEO seat go vacant until Cheney’s or Carrot Top’s current earthly “engagement” ends?

“Not a problem,” Footumpsh says. “Two things you need to know about Hell. One, we’re very patient down here. Two, there’s always room for one more.”



Posted in Breaking News! | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »