Sybil and the Lawnmower

While on her break from a particularly demanding — but successful — day at Kankakee craporation 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 yellow article, thinly disguised as news, 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 slid back into her seat and logged into the autodialer.

As soon as Sybil makes her last collection that day – making certain to double down on that fake debt – Sybil slams down the headset and peels out the CRASS parking lot driving her Chrysler LeBaron. 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 dog bone 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 lawnmower 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 does not even turn on.

Sybil screams 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.” 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 working retail, having put up with customers like Sybil.

Do It Yourself Mike

CRASS Employee of the Year, Mike Philips

The CRASS Maintenance Chief and Building Manager Mikey Philips is a real do-it-yourselfer. In charge of security, maintenance, and all building operations at the Kankakee bill collection factory, Mike wears many hats (just not fedoras). However, Mike has no problem ordering other people to do his work and often does the bare minimum to satisfy his job description, or less.

“Knock-knock. Hi Mike. It’s Clio from HR.”

“Come.”

“The ladies’ room garbage has been overflowing all day. This is an ongoing, systematic problem. Can you please look into it?”

“Do it yourself,” Mike tells Clio.

“You are in charge of building operations. Can you please look into it?”

“I am busy, do it yourself.”

Clio walks away and Mike picks up a newspaper.

A loud pound is heard on Mike’s door. Mike grumbles and crumples his paper.

“Who goes there?”

“Tara Bull from Accounts Receivable. I need to speak with you.”

Tara opens the door.

“Yes.”

“The vending machines in the breakroom have been busted for two weeks. Get on it.”

“Do it yourself,” Mike tells Ms. Bull.

“What is the status of my request I put in two weeks ago? I sent you three emails.”

“Can you do it? I am busy, got running around to do.”

Tara storms out.

Mike logs onto the DullerImage web site to order some Craptocoins, Pet Petters and some nonfunctioning trinkets (NFTs), however his credit card is declined.

“NSF, why is that? How can I buy my NFTs if I have NSF?” Mike logs onto his Last Bank of Kankakee account and discovers he was not paid today.

Mike calls up Mr. Mack E. Avelli, CRASS CEO, to complain.

“Yes, hello. I just found out I did not get paid today. It is Friday. Why not?”

“I can pay you but you have to work to get money first. Want to earn money? Do it yourself, Mike.”

Beanefits of Being Morons

Doris Krabalsky is bored waiting in her bed for her meal and medication. Who knew staying in the hospital could be so boring? Doris decides to go for a walk to the nice skin cancer patient she met earlier in the day.

“I have the perfect solution for you.”

“Is it the stinky pink drink?” the lady asks?

“No, I drank that for four years.” Doris replies.

“I am not using essential snake oils because I am smell-sensitive,” the elderly lady replies.

“Nope.”

Doris’ nurse walks in. “What is going on here? Patients are not supposed to go into other patients’ rooms. You all signed and initialed an agreement when you got here.”

“She was just telling me about a new treatment for my skin cancer.”

“Oh no, selling stuff is strictly prohibited here.”

“I am not selling, I am recommending.”

“Recommending? Only licensed medical providers are allowed to do that here, per your agreement Doris. Now you broke three rules. Three strikes, you are out. I am afraid we will have to release you.”

“Waaaaah! What about my bum knee?” Doris growled.

“Oh, ma’am your pain was not that bad anyway. I will be back shortly with your discharge papers. Are you calling for a ride home or shall we have Security escort you?”

“Hrrmph.”

Five hours later, Leona Krabalsky walks in the room.

“Bustin’ outta here?”

“They are sending me home too soon,” Doris sighs to Leona.

“You say? How so?”

“They told me not to suggest our fine products to other patients.” Doris says to Leona.

“Oh, you should see these magic beans!”

“I have tooted enough, Leona.”

“No Doris, magical beans, not musical.”

The two sisters head out after Doris signs her discharge sheet.

Doris walks into her home and Leona meets her in the den.

Leona opens up a small paper bag and pulls out a handful of dried beans.

“You see, Doris, these are not any beans. They are magic beans.”

“How are they magical?” Doris asks her sister.

“They can make us lettuce.”

The two sisters look each other in the eye and grin.

“By convincing our customers that these beans I bought at the grocery store they have special health benefits which they do not, and persuading them to pay more than they need, we can make a lot of green!” Leona tells an intrigued Doris.

Doris and Leona get busy setting up a Fakebook page. Since Pat Splatt has left town for South Africa and is unreachable, the Krabalsky sisters develop a marketing plan on Utube.

“Since Grammarlee did so well advertising their overpriced Autocorrect program before every video, I thought we could make an even longer commercial with even more annoying music and sound effects!” Leona tells Doris.

“Let’s do it. Add a slide whistle, boom clappity music and a vuvuzela.”

“Done,” Leona tells Doris, feeling accomplished.

Emails come in and so does money. Beans go out. As the word gets out, so do more beans.

“Soon we will have to hire a bean counter!” Doris jokes to Leona.

“Ding!”

“Ahhh, we got our first review. Hopefully it will not be our last!” Doris tells a nearby Leona.

“These beans did not work at all. I thought these were magical and I did not feel a thing. I did not see a thing! Not recommended!”

“Ding!”

“I planted these magic beans and my beanstalk did not lead me to find a giant. I want my money back!”

“Ding!”

“I ate these musical beans I did not even toot even once. What a ripoff!”

Doris and Leona log onto Welp to read their reviews and they are even worse. Every customer wants their money back and contacts the duo for a refund.

“What do we do now, Doris?”

“I guess our product is a ‘has-bean’.”

I Do Not Like Spam

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“I’m With Stupid” reads the graphic tee Leona Krabalsky wears to the Kankakee job fair. She along with her younger sister, Doris, are busy manning their booth.

“I hope we sell truckloads of these here essential snake oils, you oily mama!” Leona slyly says as she slaps her sister on the arm.

“I hope we sell lots of these here business ops too. After all a sucker is born every minute! But don’t tell them that, Bossbabe! Shhhh.” Doris whispers in Leona’s ear.

The day is almost over and the ladies have yet to make a single sale. Tired, hangry and frustrated, Leona grabs her pack of unfiltered smokes and gets ready to head out to burn one. A 40-something gent with long, straggly, dark brown hair and round, blue, plastic glasses approaches the booth. Leona hides her cigarettes, dons her cheesiest grin and locks eyes with the only person who approached the booth all day.

“How may we improve your life today?” Leona says with a huge, fake smile.

“Hi. I am Pat Splatt. Nice to meet you” he says as he tightly shakes Doris’s hand, and clasps his left hand over both hands.

“Our essential oils can change your life.” Doris says to Pat.

“Can they get me la-…dies?” Pat giggles.

“They sure can!” Doris says with a smile.

“All right!” Pat pumps his fists.

“We have patchouli, try this out, I bet you will love it.” Doris tries to persuade Pat.

“And we can make you rich! Let me tell you about our business opportunity!” Leona chines in.

“And I can make you richer!” Pat exclaims.

“How so?” Leona asks quizzically, finger to her lip.

“I can make sure your oils and opportunities are known by every person with an email address!” Pat says with a smile.

“I tell you what, I will give you that a set of oils in exchange for you marketing our stuff.”

“Deal.” Pat says and the three exchange handshakes.

The next day, Pat goes down to his basement and fires up his email harvester, stealing massive numbers of addresses across the Internet. After loading the addresses, he imports them to his Spam-o-Matic 2000 program.

“I do not like spam. But I do not care. It makes me money and gets me free stuff” Pat says to himself as he clicks the “Send Spam” button.

Over a billion emails spew out Pat’s basement server to unsuspecting people all over the world, advertising Leona and Doris’s unsolicited snake oils and pyramid schemes. Pat kicks back in his dark basement and falls asleep after eating a box of cheese doodles and drinking an entire bottle of pop straight from its two liter bottle.

Meanwhile, Doris and Leona are getting flooded with angry emails and calls.

“Take me off your rotten list!” states one message.

“Stop spamming me! I hate this crap!” writes another.

“Who is this? You’re a moron! There is a special place in Hell for people who send out junk emails!” shouts a third.

Doris Krabalsky and Damien Hurlbutt arrive at Hell’s in-processing line, both wanting to take over.

Leona and Doris decide they have enough of the thousands of messages and change their contact info.

“That’s a bust. I guess we will have to try telemarketing next,” Leona says to Doris.

“Naaaw, I will go back to selling this stuff on the street like I did before…” Doris snickers and grins.

Sirens are heard in the background and flashing lights are seen. What was that about selling on the street? The world may never know.

Doris Krabalsky Wanna Buy an Oil 2

Wally’s Wacky World of Inventions

Wally Green cooks up his next idea

Wally Green is so proud of his inventions, which he made after graduating bottom of his class with a double major in Engineering and Pharmacy Sciences. He now proudly sells these things in Wally Green’s Pharmacy Stores all over Kankakee County.

Double zippers

Wally invented the double zipper — along with superfluous pockets — to increase prices without increasing functionality. Who needs that, right? Wally figured, who cares if bags were to unzip when you zip them, and zip when you go to unzip them? As long as Wally makes his money at his stores, he is happy because he loves cold hard cash.

Half ply toilet paper

Have you gone into a store or stayed in hospital and gotten enraged at the dirt cheap toilet paper supplied for the bathrooms? Thank Wally Green. He invented Half Ply Toilet Paper to save money for stingy retailers who do not care about their customers, but do care about cutting costs and increasing their bottom line. It breaks off one piece at a time, but who cares if the customer or patient cannot get it off the roll, if Wally is not the one peeing?

Extra-Clingy Pad Wrappers

Have you had a hard time getting pad wrappers to stay in the garbage and not fly away? Thank Wally Green. Wally invented a way to make sure that pads cost the same but are cheaper to make. He has been sellingthem for the same price in his stores, of course, and did not care how frustrating it can be for the wrappers to fly up, up, and away in the air, even without wings to soar.

Doris Studies Scheming

Doris Krabalsky is getting frustrated at the lack of interest in her pyramid schemes, despite her best attempt to convince strangers on the street that essential snake oils can cure all the ailments. She heads to a local cafe to read up on marketing tactics so she can hopefully become the bossbabe she wants to be when she grows up someday.

Sybil Kibble Runs For Office

Sybil decides that she can make some extra dough by running for a local office.

Since she is too cheap to run political commercials, and too lazy to interact with people for the purpose of handing out political palmcards, she decides to hold a rally at the local civic center.

Visions fill Sybil’s mind of a room full of her supporters; huge red, white and blue signs carried by men and women emblazoned with the text “Vote for Sybil” as the crowd chants and claps in sync. As Sybil envisions her supporters lifting her off her feet to carry her around the room, her fantasy bubble is burst to the solo voice “may I ask a question?”

A young man, one of four people in the entire room, looks to the floor and utters “do you know where the bathroom is?”

Sybil points toward the exit sign and out he goes.

Left with three people, an elderly frail woman, and a fragrant transient couple, Sybil realizes it is five minutes past the hour and needs to start her talk.

“Let’s get this party started, huh?”

Crickets chirp during the awkward silence.

“Heheh…yeah. My name is Sybil Kibble and I am running for sixth ward alderman.”

Giggles erupt from the crowd.

“If I can count on your vote, I will make magic happen for the city. I will not only lower taxes, I will get rid of them entirely! Just think of how much money you and I will save, how much more we will have to buy food, pay our bills!”

“Ms. Kibble may I ask a question?” asked a member of the crowd.

“Not yet. If you vote for me, I will make the people so happy! I will…”

“Ms. Kibble?” he pleaded.

“Can I finish my talk?”

“No. How the heck do you plan on plan on paying for city expenses if you eradicate all taxes?”

“I will do a little dance! Spell out my name! And magic coins will fall from the sky…” Sybil bursted with great enthusiasm.

The crowd erupted with laughter.

It is safe to say that Sybil lost the election that year.

The ironic part of the story, is that the alderman seat was volunteer only. No salary was ever offered. I guess we all know what happens when we assume, huh?