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"Commercial Affection"

Corporate sales and customer relations people get a daily memo: 
"Be happy, or else. And love everybody, even the jerks." 
But, they don't really love us. 
What they give us is called "commercial affection". 

On that line, I just found an old newspaper article I wrote a century or two ago. 
about The Walt Disney World groundbreaking, 

The truth can be funny. 
     *     *     * 

It was a Rolaid morning. 
At 8:37 AM I remembered why I stopped getting up early, 
when stomachs growl, 
and the breath of man strikes fear into the hearts of moose. 

The Parkwood Plaza Cinema was packed with people snapping pictures, 
and interviewing the dickens out of each other. 
At the Disney press conference 
mice and ducks were conspicuous in their absence. 
Not an animal spoke, and not a magic wand waved, 
as the affair proceeded with the hilarity of a funeral in the rain. 

One by one, executives confessed to inner excitement 
undetectable to the human eye. 
(MEMO: All employees WILL be excited.) 
The audience reacted with a round of apathy. 

There were speeches 
about hydro-pneumatic modular electromagnetic prefabrication, 
followed, two or three days later, by a question and answer session 
and a spirited race to the rest rooms. 

Technology, capitalization, and projected profits were the subjects of the day. 
No artists or magic. 
I think Scrooge McDuck is running the company. 

We stood in awe of cardboard models 
hovered over by cardboard dignitaries, 
while cameramen kneeled and stretched in their native dance. 
News people talked reporter talk into phones, scooping each other. 
I was amazed to see many of them typing. 
I do all my writing with a brown crayon. 

Buses carried us to a two-hour presentation of mud, through Disney property, 
where holes were being dug, and balloons represented motels, 
the project's main theme. 

I awoke with a start when the bus door opened, 
thinking we had reached Cincinnati, 
only to find us at a Ramada Inn. 
I checked my watch. 
It had rusted to a stop. 

A nice luncheon awaited us poolside, 
with a Latin band and some cat blowing harp. 
There was no shade, 
so we sat, ate, glowered, and watched each other burn. 

I was in such a bad condition when I got home, 
my dog tried to bite me. 

The family asked me how it went. 
"Disney magic was all around", I said! 
"The entire day was one of beauty and song." 

And commercial affection. 

Copyright  July 29, 2002 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.

 

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