Droning it In

Doris and Keona Krabalsky need to try a new marketing tactic to sell their pyramid schemes.

They call up local yokel Robbie Hurlbutt, known for his mediocre-at-best Elvis impersonation act.

“Sorry babe, I am booked solid this month. I am making love to the audience every night this month.”

“Get lost, Robert.” Doris disconnects her phone.

“Maybe we can contact Smokey Ashe to teach us how to make smoke signals with her cigarette collection. I am certain she needs the dough now that she has been fired from CRASS for smoking at work.”

“Too stinky, Leona. I give a hoot and don’t wanna pollute. Oh, wait she’s dead!”

The pair share giggles.

Doris spies a small drone in the clearance aisle at a shop the strip mall on the main drag in Bourbannais. “Ah-ha! Perfect.”

Doris heads home to her apartment, where Leona is in the kitchen washing dishes.

“What dumb, new-fangled thing bring you now, sis?”

“Hey look, Leona! I bought this drone.”

“A who?”

“Have you seen one of these before?”

Leona gives Doris the side-eye, hands on her hips.

“I came up with a great marketing idea for our business opportunities. We can attack Kankakee County with flyers, drone style! All we have to do is take these flyers we got from our upline leaders, attach them to the drones, fly them over town and let them loose! These opportunities will sell themselves!”

“Meet me at the bridge, Doris and we will launch our new venture!” Leona jumps up and exclaims.

“Yeah, Bossbabe!”

Doris leaves her Kankakee apartment to meet her sister Leona at her home, the I-57 bridge underpass near Exit 315.

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“I think this idea will really fly!” Doris tells Leona, drone in hand. Leona attaches the PryMerica brochures to the bottom of the drone. Off it goes.

Doris flies the drone and drops PryMerica business opportunities all over Kankakee County. Leona and Doris share memories of letting balloons go as kids in school, wondering where they went.

“Think of all the mail, Leona, all the money. All the people we can serve I mean sell to.”

“Serve ourselves,” Leona quips. They share a laugh, and part ways.

Doris comes home to an answering machine full of messages. Could this be the moneymaker she has been hoping for?

“Oh dear, it is clouding up. I need to close the windows.”

Doris closes all her windows and checks her answering machine, landline first.

“Beep. Um hi. I need you to come pick up this mess you left on my lawn. I found a pile of brochures with your number on it. Please come right away. Thanks.”

“Not a chance.” Doris giggles and pushes “next.”

“Beeep. Yeah, thanks for the kindling. You dropped it straight on my lawn. I am calling to say thanks…your number is printed right on it! I have enough for the end of the year to put in my fireplace. Thanks again, Doris!”

Doris growls and hits “next”.

“Hi. This is Mack. What are you wearing?”

Doris smashes the “next” button.

After clearing all her messages, Doris’ phone will not stop ringing. Not a single person shows an interest in buying her business opportunities to sell to friends. Doris pulls the plug on her phone.

Thankfully, she did not give out her mobile number…or did she? Oops.

Shop Till You Drop, Sybil!

It’s a sunny day in Kankakee and Sybil is out for a walk. Sybil is strolling to the beat of auto-tuned mumble-country in her earbuds, when she spots a green cloth bag with a dollar sign on it lying on the ground near the Last National Bank of Kankakee County.

“Hmmm, what should I do?” Sybil wonders for a moment. 

“Should I go on a shopping spree, or take it home and shove it away in a drawer. I know! Shopping spree! I will pretend I am on Shop Till You Drop and go crazy with it! It’s my lucky day!” Sybil tells herself. She grabs the bag off the ground and heads home to her McMansion, gets in her Chrysler LeBaron and heads out.

Sybil pulls into the Bradley strip mall, containing the only Starbucks in the USA that went out of business. She walks into Miser & Co. Collectibles. “SALE! BUY ONE ITEM, GET ONE HALF OFF” reads the storefront signage.

Sybil gets the biggest cart she can find and starts loading it up. “Oooh, fat free oil. I cannot have enough bottles of this.” 

Sybil spies another item she supposedly cannot live without. “Dehydrated water. How keen. Must grow my collection.”

Sybil continues to add to her cart. “A seat belt belt? I could rock one of those. Oh and what is this? A golden mustache earring? Hot dog!”

“Hey Sybil, m’lady, m’lady” says a nearby Damien Hurlbutt, looking over the store’s record collection with his younger brother Robbie.

“Oh, tell your mother I said hi.”

“Yup. Will do.” says Damien. A silent Robbie has his nose buried in the Elvis LPs.

“Almost time to check out, just need to get a few more ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ signs. They are buy one, get one half off, y’know.”

“I know.” Damien says.

Sybil heads to the checkout counter, her basket almost overflowing with useless crap. She waits in a long line to check out. As she approaches the clerk, reaches for her money bag.

“That will be $413.83.”

Sybil opens up her bag and pulls out the bills. However, they do not look right to her. They are smaller, thinner, and printed on different colored papers. Sybil’s frown stretches to her crown and her face turns red from embarrassment.

“Ma’am, did you really think you could pay us with Monopoly money?” says the clerk. Sybil nearly faints. She almost shopped till she dropped.

Sybil and the Lawnmower

While on her break from a particularly demanding — but successful — day at Credit Recovery Associates, LLC (CRASS), Lead Collections Representative Sybil Kibble takes a break from her usual dog food lunch to check out the online news.

Sybil logs off the autodialer, sets down her headset, and logs into the daily Kankakee newspaper’s web site. A new article catches Sybil’s eye immediately:

“Step up your lawn mowing game with a new, AutonaMower by SteppinUp Technologies! Make your neighbors jealous by being the first person on the block to own the new AutonaMower! Feel the power of its remote control technology while you set it to mow your lawn, walk away, and forget it! Never has been mowing your lawn been so easy! Now, the Joneses can keep up with you!”

Sybil was hooked.

“Break time is over. Get back to work!” Tara Bull growled. I should not have to babysit you.

Sybil slithered back into her seat and logged into the autodialer.

As soon as Sybil made her last collection that day (and she made sure to double down on the debtor, raking in that commission), Sybil slammed down her headset and peeled out the CRASS parking lot. Off to the Buckethead’s Hardware in Bradley she went!

Sybil walks into Buckethead’s and looks around. “Welcome to Buckethead’s, where we save you money!” said Samantha, a bright eyed, bushy blonde wearing a green shirt.

“I like the sound of that!” squeals Sybil as they skip back to the lawn and garden department.

“Tony will be able to assist you” Samantha says and walks away.

“Hey Tony, I need a lawnmower that mows the lawn for you.”

“Ha, well we just got those in. They are pretty cool. We have this one operated by remote control. It hooks into your smartphone and even tells time. And then, for just 40.00 more, we have the deluxe model that has a built in radio! It even has a cupholder!”

“Hey Tony, they’re great.” Tony rolls his eyes slightly.

“However, I am not looking to spend a lot. Just gimme the cheapest model.”

“Oh-kay. We have in our economy section the AutonaMower. It mows the lawn for you. It’s our only gas model on the floor and it is on sale. $299.99”

“I’ll take it.” Sybil can barely contain her excitement. She checks out and heads home to Kankakee.

Sybil finishes up her bowl of dog food for dinner and cannot wait to unbox her new toy. She is so excited, she skips her Milk Bone for dessert.

Out to her oh-so-slightly overgrown, manicured lawn she heads. Sybil opens the box. “Instructions? Who needs these?” Sybil chucks the manual in the trash.

Now, how do I turn this thing on? Sybil starts pressing buttons. “Crap.”

“Hey Tony?” Sybil says on her cell phone, on speaker so all the neighbours can hear.

“My lawn mower is not working.”

“Did you try putting batteries in the remote?” Tony asks.

“Oh. Nevermind.” Sybil presses the end key on her phone.

Sybil puts the included two AA batteries into the remote and presses the start key. The remote is programmed and ready to go. However the lawnmower is not. It does not even turn on!

Sybil screams out a string of expletives.

Clouds roll in. As people say in the Midwest, if you do not like the weather, wait five minutes.

It begins to pour.

Sybil gets so infurated that she packs up the AutonaMower, grabs the instruction manual out of the garbage, stuffs it in the box and heads back to Bucketheads in Bradley.

Sybil struts in and straight to Lawn ‘N Garden. “Tony, you sold me a broken model. This thing is crap, your store is crap and you are crap.” She slams it on the floor.

“Did you put gas in it?” Tony asks.

“Ohhhh, grrrrreat.” Sybil says.

Tony laughs and rolls his eyes. It is all he can do after a long day of putting up with customers like Sybil.