‘your new biz partner’s name is spike’

Sometimes the spikes point up; sometimes they point down.

Gregg Bagni, a smarty-smart and one of the legendary characters in the old velocipede-propagation game, has channeled himself a bit of alien archy over at Medium, and if you are operating a business of any sort in these dark days — and even if you aren’t — you might like to give it a squint.

Quoth the Bag-man:

sorry there will be no illustrative graphs or bad power point presentations today

instead the simple observation that this 5 min of our lives everything seems to be “spikey”

The piece reminded me a bit of an old joke, one that became part of a folklore project during my college days at the University of Northern Colorado:

• • •

Guy walks into a bar (as they often do in these tales). He is accompanied by a drop-dead gorgeous woman of the female persuasion and a surly-looking little fella ’bout a foot tall.

Guy sits down, woman sits down, little fella sits down. Guy sez to the barkeep he sez, “A round for the house, please,” and pulls a hundred-dollar bill out of his wallet.

Barkeep sez to the guy he sez, “I can’t break that, got anything smaller?”

Guy sez, “Keep the change.” Well, all righty then.

Barkeep sets ’em up for the house, but before anyone can take a sip the little fella jumps off his stool and onto the bar, and runs up and down kicking all the drinks over.

“Sorry about that,” sez the guy he sez. “Set ’em up again.” And he pulls out another hundy.

Barkeep sez, “Pally, I told you I can’t break a C.”

Guy sez, “Keep the change.” Well, all righty then.

Barkeep sets ’em up, but before anyone can wet his whistle the little fella plays footy with all the beverages again.

This goes on for a while, as these hoary old gags will, until the barkeep finally slams his rag on the bar, gets up in the guy’s grille, and sez, “Lissen, y’mutt, I’ll set ’em up at a hundy a crack all day long and nighttime too, but I gotta know what the hell is it the story here?”

“Glad you asked,” sez the guy. “Long ago I was a lost and lonely soul, alone in the world, down to my last few drachmas, rummaging through the detritus at this second-rate thrift store looking for items I might buy cheap and sell dear, when I found this old lamp. It spoke to me for some reason, so I spent my last sou on it and fetched it back to my shack.

“Well sir, I started in rubbing the dust and whatnot off of it and lo and behold! A genie appeared! And as is the custom, he granted me three wishes.”

“And these were?” grunted the barkeep.

“Well, first, I wished for the most beautiful woman in the world to be my constant companion,” our man replied, pointing at the knockout parked on the stool to his left. “And here she is.”

“So she is,” admitted the barkeep. “And?”

“Second, I wished that every time I opened my wallet, there would be a fresh crisp hundred-dollar bill inside. And as you see?” He opened the wallet and therein resided a lone Benjamin, seemingly fresh from the Mint.

“Blimey,” expostulated the barkeep. “Curiouser and curiouser. But where does the little guy come in?”

“Ah,” says the guy, gesturing to his right. “Well, my third wish was for a 12-inch prick. And there he is.”

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12 Responses to “‘your new biz partner’s name is spike’”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    That joke is powerful and it stinketh.

  2. JD Dallager Says:

    Unrelated, but out of curiosity: PO’G you were a newspaper journalist Back in The Day. What are the criteria for a reporter getting their name used instead of the article topic? For example, “See O’Grady, p6” vs, “See Cycling, p6”. I’ll assume it’s credibility, tenure, etc. but have always wondered. Thanks!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hey, JD. Are we talking about a jump off the front page to an interior page? Back in the Day®, the copy desk would generally write a jump line that reflected the topic and/or the jump hed, like “See Cycling, Page A-6.”

      If it was a personal column, the jumpline might use the columnist’s name: “See O’Grady, Page A-6.”

      Some papers these days are trying to personalize the game, forge relationships with the readers, get people thinking of reporters as, y’know, actual, like, people, an’ stuff. So you might see a straight news piece getting the columnist treatment. This is also why you sometimes see reporters’ email addresses and/or phone numbers either under their bylines or at the bottom of the story.

      • JD Dallager Says:

        PO’G: Thanks. Here at The Gazette (Bibleburg) it seems only a very few have “earned” the columnist name jumpline. Every article (e.g. sports) they write has their name as the jumpline and so I was curious. I understand there’s quite a hierarchy in that sector and wondered how/why someone earned that “honor”. Most all the articles now have the writer’s email address at the end of the article.

        I’ve often wondered if what I call the headline (tagline for each article) writers should have their name in small print below it so as to put some accountability there. Many I peruse are “clickbait” and misleading. Let the reader beware, eh? 🙂

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Glad to oblige from my outdated store of industry knowledge. Soon my limited chops may be even less useful. The news from that corner of the business world just keeps getting worse.

  3. BruceM Says:

    Patrick, I thought you were going to talk about the guy who wanted to be a stud. I think he is in the wall of a utility room somewhere in Wyoming.

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