Get Stoned, Inc.
(originally posted 1/12/2015)
WARNING: This story is pretty profound. And I’m not saying profound relative to my other stories. I mean this is the kind of story that will have you mulling things over. You’ll be at a cocktail party later tonight and someone will approach you and ask why you have a faraway look in your eyes and you’ll have to explain that you’re mulling.
You’ve been warned.
Gary was a psychology major in college, so the dream left him more than a little perplexed as to its meaning. He dreamt that he was on a bus travelling through Texas, trying to convince himself that moving there wasn’t going to be all bad. As the bus moved through the beauty of the mountains all around him, he thought about what a nice place it would be to hike through. It would get him in better shape.
The problem is was soon the mountains gave way to an ancient burial ground that was equally picturesque but completely out of place. Then the bus started to drive through what appeared to be Incan or Aztec ruins. Scenic as all hell but as far as he remembered from his history courses neither the Incans nor Aztecs had ever been in Texas.
He awoke with the feeling that some great change was coming.
Gary owned a kitchen countertop company. People would come into his store and select a nice granite or marble top with a sink and then his installers would go out and transform their kitchens. The problem was, at least until recently, that it was a very competitive industry and it had been difficult to make enough money to keep everything humming along.
That was when Gary put his psychology degree to use. He realized that a large percentage of the population was uncomfortable with both confrontation and offending people. Given that premise, he realized that he could make more money if he did the work three times for every client. To accomplish that, he hired a crew of installers that were all midgets.
Who better to install stone than dwarves? Just look at their work in Lord of the Rings.
Not only did it make the process of installing more whimsical for the client (when the dwarves march in with their little tool belts) but when the work was finished they were usually, 72% of the time, too embarrassed to voice any displeasure that the midgets had installed their counter tops at a height of 26″. They would walk in and there would be the midgets leaning against the countertops beaming with pride- they practiced in front of mirrors- and the home owner would try and keep their smile plastered on their face as their mind ran through various scenarios wherein they would try to make a sandwich without throwing out their back.
Hours later, Gary would get a sheepish “Isn’t there anything you can do?” phone call. He would offer them a small discount off a new kitchen countertop and dispatch a new group of installers.
Installers that were all 6′ 8” or above.
38% of the time these same clients would make another phone call after the project was completed to say the work was outstanding but the 44″ high countertops are a little tall and is there any way that Gary could have a normal-sized crew come out and perhaps install countertops at a standard height?
And could he not mention their dissatisfaction to the group of enormous men still milling about their home?
If the customer wasn’t interested in getting a stool to stand on for all future kitchen endeavors, Gary was quick to offer a crew specializing in standard-height countertops.
The math is a little tricky, but given Gary’s mark-up on a new kitchen sat comfortably at 50%, this little business scheme paid off handsomely.
Before you start mulling, I’d like you to take a minute and think about how funny a crew of midgets installing 26″ high countertops is. You were so busy looking for something profound, I fear you might have skipped over just how amusing this scene is.
Now picture the frustrated consumer’s face when they walk in to see 44″ high countertops.
Ok, now you’re free to start mulling.
Just like Gary was doing when he woke from his dream. Texas and buses and mountains and graveyards and ruins. What did it all mean?
And no, I don’t really think you’re going to a cocktail party any time soon. Your mulling will probably be interrupted by a teenager wearing a paper hat and standing in front of a register.
Sorry. Continue your mulling.