Now With More Chunks of Stuff Than Ever!

First of all, I want to thank everyone for making time this morning to attend this meeting; I know we’re all very busy with the March deadline fast approaching. Secondly—and I don’t want anyone to panic here and try to be a hero—I need to tell you that I’ve booby-trapped everyone’s chair, and if our parent company tells us during this imminent conference call that they’re shutting down operations on the only publication that ever mattered to me, we’re all going sky-high in a multi-colored eruption of office furniture and leftover candy corn from Joanne’s birthday party. Okay? And don’t think I don’t KNOW that all of you are totally against me. In my opinion, the editorial decisions that you people have made over the last few months have all but brought Hostess Individually Wrapped Apple Pie Magazine to its knees. By making our central theme a virtual afterthought and watering the content down with feature after feature about lesser Hostess products, you’ve alienated our core readership, disrespected the third greatest snack in American baked goods history, and just plain phlegmed on all the hard work I’ve done since 1983. I see you snickering, Jeremy---but can you tell me what January’s interview with Wes Anderson had to do with the tasty goodness and undeniable cultural influence of Hostess Individually Wrapped Apple Pies? And can you tell me what sort of new audience you hope to win when you enrage our current one by adding color photography to our pages? Because I’d REALLY like to know. So here’s the way it’s going to be, folks---if I hear the wrong words come out of this little speaker in front of me, we’re all going to ricochet off the side of George Washington Carver Elementary School. But if I get the support I need today, we can move directly to plan B, which consists of an unabashed re-embrace of the things that made this magazine great---1) fun Hostess Apple Pie trivia, 2) the most delightful two-panel comic strip about responsible snacking since What’s Chet Chewin’?, and 3) subliminal messaging on the Sweet Tooth Club page which stresses the importance of keeping our government informed of the activities of subversive groups and individuals who would collude to undermine our national ideals. There will be no more “web sites” for this magazine, no “social networking,” no “interactivity.” Let me tell you what there WILL be plenty of: word scrambles, puns, and letters to the editor from eight year olds telling us how much they enjoy riding their bicycles, even if I have to forge them myself.

All right, there’s the first ring. I hope you don’t mind if I unwrap this delicious Hostess Individually Wrapped Apple Pie and clench it tightly in my gritted teeth as I pick up the receiver, because if I’m going to be catapulted at four hundred miles per hour over Burlington Coat Factory, I’m damn well leaving the coroner a little message about what I stood for. Now before I pick up, someone please tell me how to pronounce this woman’s last name. Is it FAH-ri-day or Fa-REE-day? Is it the middle syllable that’s stressed? Don’t set me up for failure here, people. Okay, okay…I hit RECEIVE, right, then 4, then RELEASE, then….ANNOUNCE? No?

Okay. She’ll probably call back, right?