Business news from Tokyo, stuff you saw on Koppel's show
In business news:
Things retailer Bed, Bath And Beyond reports over twelve percent of its employees are now in the ``And'' division. A workplace survey says the And employees regard their greatest stress as ``keeping everything together''. Their second-greatest stress is the Material Sciences division pointing out, in increasingly condescending tones, what they feel is tension, not stress, and strain is right out. In response And asks why they have a Material Sciences division, ensuring conflict in the strategically important Towels Too Impractically Small To Actually Use Which Are Therefore Left For Guests To Stare Fearfully Out aisle, which has reported growth of over eight percent over the same quarter next year. They hope this isn't something to worry about.
Snapple reports twelve percent increases in old commercials drifting back into the minds of consumers ages 25 through 39 suffering mild nostalgic moments. They credit the occasional popping up of nearly-forgotten images with a recent surge in sales to 1995, which they hope will continue for years until the nostalgia wave moves on. Novelty sales of Crystal Pepsi to 1993 have slackened in a related development. The futures market expects this valuable demographic will soon be haunted by the impression of Barry Bostwick asking, ``Who's Barry Bostwick?'' and having no idea why such a thing should be in their minds. Barry Bostwick is enthusiastic about the prospect too.
It's Not Easy Being Green Tea, Inc, is taking a charge of over $1.20 regarding its attempted development of red-and-green candycane spiral teas and hiding it underneath the carpet where it may be unnoticed except by the cat that's always swatting at these things. According to an off-the-record comment from the chief technology officer, ``The whole thing was silly, which we realized when something fell down the wall and we looked at each other and couldn't stop with the giggles.'' They considered a project to produce green tea ink, which is believed to be very good because of one of those things they keep talking about in the Science column that we never read all the way through.
Gasoline prices fell slightly over the week, with the price of $2.49(9) selling on average for $2.17(5) nationwide, while $2.63(9) dropped from $2.33 to $2.31, then bounced back to $2.33 but written smaller. Meanwhile using dot-matrix or seven-segment LEDs to display prices instead of plastic signs is reported ``tacky'' for the 26th quarter (65th dime) straight.
The Office of Keeping Track of Minor Statistics reports the average number of times you get through the automated number-menu system of a company to which you regularly pay over $50 per month, only to learn you need to dial a completely different number, which is either read out a single time by a prerecorded message you're not ready for so you have to go through the whole menu again or else is from a live person who's read the number so many times today already she doesn't want to wait for you to recite it back just to get it right, has increased to four from its mark last month of three. The mean time spent getting these numbers and following their chain until you get anyone who can help with whatever you thought about calling for is up to eighteen minutes.
The count of people trapped in these phone chains who give up after forgetting what they wanted or deciding it isn't worth it anymore has risen to fourteen percent. This is usually an indicator of economic growth and one should plant the tomato seeds as soon as the soil is damp. The so-called Hermit Peak, people going through at least eight phone numbers before getting what they want, has declined to twelve, although they don't say twelve of what. About one in three people reaching this point conclude civilization is not really working out, and move to caves. Survivors still in developed areas can claim their possessions and better wages in the tighter labor market and occasional Boccacio composition.
In all, it could be worse, particularly if you can't find that pebble in your shoe. It's in your sock instead.
Trivia: From September 1939 to May 1943, Allies lost 2,452 merchant ships and 175 warships in the Atlantic. Germany lost 696 out of 830 U-boats, almost all in the Atlantic. Source: The Second World War, John Keegan.
Currently Reading: Taking Flight: Inventing The Aerial Age From Antiquity Through The First World War, Richard P Hallion.