Sunday, November 4, 2012

Nano 2012: Top Dog, Chapter Two

Good morning again Blog Fans.

I've returned immediately with Chapter Two of Top Dog. Chapter Three will follow a little later this morning. I won't waste anymore of your time because I know you're itching to find out what happens next!


Chapter Two

Hello and welcome to chapter two. After leisurely walking through his beautiful neighborhood followed by a brisk strut down Main Street, Hal has arrived at his company: Meaty Teeth's Leisure Wieners.

Whoops I seem to have gotten ahead of myself a little bit. I know probably all of you are anxious to get to Hal's company and learn the ins and outs of his fine wieners, but first we need to stop and see the local baker. It seems that Hal needs to have a little chat with the owner of this fine bakery to discuss the rumor going on about the quality of the buns. I'll just step back for a little while and you can watch this conversation unfold.

"Good morning Andre."

"Well, hello to you Mr. Leisure."

"I trust your day is off to a good start."

"Yes it is, Mr. Leisure, but then, I wouldn't have it any other way."

"Well that's good to hear, Andre. That news is good to hear."

Now I know I said I would leave you be and give you space to watch this conversation between Hal and the baker Andre unfold, but I feel, before I let you continue, that I must cut in here for a moment or two to bring attention to the fact that Hal is visibly uncomfortable with the fact that he is about to have what could possibly be an awkward confrontation with Andre regarding the quality of his buns. I feel for Hal, I really do because I know if there's one thing in this world that Hal Leisure does not like it is finding himself in a confrontational situation with a local business owner. You see, Hal really prides himself on getting along with all the business operators in Blue Sky. When he opened his company, Meaty Teeth's Leisure Wieners, he made sure that all the businesses were on board with having a wiener company in their town. He made sure that his company and the products that he wanted to sell would not take away from any of the products that the businesses in Blue Sky were already selling to the townsfolk.

Hal, being a very serious minded businessman, he held a meeting and gave a talk to all the business owners in Blue Sky about how the quality of the products they sold needed to be top notch 100% of the time. He intended to use their wares to help sell his own products, but he would only do so, if they maintained the highest quality of standards with their products. To those townsfolk business owners he said,

"I think that working together can bring success to everybody and if we are going to work together then all of our products should be of the highest quality. Actually no, forget that! I don't think this. I know this!"

Now, this may sound to you like sentimental hodgepodge but believe me the townsfolk and business owners of Blue Sky ate it up. Never before have they seen a man, an outsider, speak with such conviction and looks so fine in a leisure suit. Nobody at that meeting said no to Hal. The entire town of Blue Sky agreed that working together they would mean success for everybody.

So you can understand why Hal was a little uncomfortable with having to talk to Andre about the quality of his buns. What could this mean for their relationship? What would this mean for the town? What would this mean for the upcoming annual Meaty Teeth Leisure Wieners parade?

Well let's get back to their conversation and find out. Hal has a lot to do at work today and I know you're anxious for me to get a move on.

"I'm happy to hear that you're happy that I am all for having a good start to my day, Mr. Leisure."

"Hmm...are you sure you're happy. I'm sensing some tension. What's wrong, Andre? You seem more that a little anxious."

"I… I'm fine Mr. Leisure."

"Again I ask you, are you sure?"

"Well yes I…"

"Look Andre, I think we both know why I'm here... Well obviously I know why I'm here. I came in to your shop your bakery, your fine establishment with a purpose. Not that I never stop in your bakery, your fine establishment because I do often. I know that  you know how much I love your lemon cakes. They are at a delicious combination of sweet and slightly sour and they take me back to a time when I could really, really count and something to make me feel that the world wasn't, that it wasn't just a good place to be in, but that it was good to live in but... Today, today there is a dark cloud hovering over my lemon cake and it is with a heavy heart and not a jaunty step that I enter your bakery, your fine establishment. Do I need to tell you why Andre? Do I need to explain the little black cloud over my lemon cake to you?"

"Oh Mr. Leisure I… I don't know what to say."

"You could start by saying out loud why you think I'm here just so the world is on the same page."

"Do you mean that you think that I may not know why you are here?"

"Well I can't assume 100% that you are clear about my motivation for coming into your bakery today, again your fine establishment, on this what I hope once I leave here is a wonderful day."

"Ok, I'll give it a shot. Does your visit today, does it have anything to do with, with…"

"Yes, Andre? Come on now just spit it out. We're both men here so let's just lay our yellow cards out on the counter."

"Yellow cards, Mr. Leisure?"

"Did I say yellow cards?"

"Yes I'm afraid you did."

"It's funny I don't even remember saying that but, if you heard it than I must have said it. Perhaps I meant yellow as in scared or cowardly. It's not a bad thing because I think we both have every right to be yellow right now, or a bit scared because this situation that we need to discuss is about integrity, honesty and trust. Yes, this situation that we have yet to discuss has definitely made us both a little scared, a touch yellow. So, if we're now displaying our cards on the table, if we are laying our fears on the counter a deed that is sometimes a little daunting, if that's not too strong a word to use here in your bakery this this fine establishment, let's get on with it."

"Well, Mr. Leisure I have to admit that I have been a little scared, or yellow to use your term. You are a very powerful man in this town and I would hate to be on your bad side."

"Well I appreciate that Andre but it would take a lot more than you producing a batch of stale buns for your customers, our customers to eat my wieners off of to get on my bad side."

"Oh – Mr. Leisure, that's why you're talking to me? That's why we're laying your yellow cards on the table because of stale buns?"

"Well, yes why did you – is that not why you thought I was here?"

"No, no I but, yes I, unwittingly sold the, the batch of stale buns to that group of unfortunate souls last weekend. I sold them to out of a group of unsuspecting picnickers that were enjoying a barbecue, in the hot sun, and eating your wieners with those buns. Yes, I know that is the reason you came in to see me today. I saw it in your eyes as soon as you walk through the door of my bakery, my fine establishment, as you do so love to call it."

"There's no need to be nervous Andre. It is I who am nervous. I don't like having to tell people how to fix things about their business but, we have discussed in the past how important the bun is to the wiener. If you have a lovely soft bun in which to place your Meaty Teeth Leisure Wiener into, the taste experience is incomparable to other experiences one may have with food. You agreed with me when we talked about this before so I just need to know why the slip; why that batch was not up to par."

"Well Mr. Leisure, it turns out that, that, that the flour I used that day was off. Normally I checked my flour very, very carefully. I can usually tell by scent coming from the bag if the flour is good or not but I was in a rush. That morning, I'd slept and as a result I fell behind in my duties. I didn't take the time to notice that the quality of the flour was, was not up to par, as you say. When I first got wind about the, the staleness of, of the buns from one of the picnickers who, as it turned out was planted there  by you to keep an eye on quality, I felt much shame. Running behind was no excuse for producing a bad batch of buns. I should have politely told the clients, our townsfolk that the buns were going to be late because I needed to start again with fresh flour. No doubt, they would have understood. I hope Mr. Leisure that you will believe me when I say that this mistake was a tragic oversight on my part that will not be repeated. I appreciate you taking the time to come in and discuss this with me and I promise that stale buns from my bakery, my fine establishment, are a thing of the past. Well, buns from my bakery that you or one would buy and take home and store properly. I'm sure you understand that I have no control over what people do with their buns once they get home. I think we can agree,  Mr. Leisure that if one of our fine patrons was to buy a pack of fresh, non-stale buns and once they got home leave them on the counter with the bag open, that they all run the risk of creating stale buns and that is not something I can control. Would you agree with that?"

"Yes of course Andre I'm not that much of a control freak that I would put watchers in people's home to make sure they do up their bun bags properly. Although, to aid in the fight against stale buns you could put on the bag a label saying something along the lines of 'To ensure constant freshness please close the bag after you have gently squeezed the bag to rid the bag of air.' I realize the part about the air makes the sticker particularly detailed, but one could so easily do up the bag believing all the air in it was not harmful and they would wind up with a closed bag of stale buns. It would be a real shame because you do have such delicious buns and they do so complement by wieners."

"Thank you Mr. Leisure, for that fantastic sticker idea. I will look into that."

"Excellent, Andre! Well I must be on my way. I have a big day ahead. We are shooting a new commercial for Meaty Teeth's Leisure Wieners so if you see us out and about and notice a camera pointing at you, give us a jaunty wave and if we feel your enthusiasm for being on film fits the commercial we may put you in. Of course, as all Blue Sky is aware, you never know when you will be watched by a member of the Meaty Teeth's Leisure Wieners staff! So be on your guard!"

"Thank you Mr. Leisure it would be wonderful to be in one of your excellent wiener commercials."

"Well who wouldn't want to be in one of my national commercials? After all, Meaty Teeth's Leisure Wieners are loved by the people of Blue Sky and beyond."

"Yes that's a well-known fact in Blue Sky Mr. Leisure and one that we are very proud of. You and your company put our little town on the map. "

"Well, I wouldn't say that, but yes it is a fact and we all should be proud. Well,  as I said, I must be off Andre but,  before I go...I hate to ask again, but are you sure that you knew what I was going to have to discuss with you when I walked in here? Are you sure you didn't think I had come into your bakery, into your fine establishment to discuss the vicious rumor streaking across Blue Sky that you're sleeping with my wife? And that, that is the actual reason why the buns were stale because you had to rush to make the buns because you lost track of time fooling around with my beautiful Blue Sky wife?"

"No, no Mr. Leisure! That is it absolute falsehood. I would never— no, no, no, no, I... That is a horrible rumor and one that contains no truth."

"Ha, ha! I'm just teasing you Andre. My wife only has eyes for these baby blues. You have yourself a good day now."

"I will Mr. Leisure and you too."

A well now, that wasn't quite the intense scene filled with moments that may or may not turn into something larger further on in the book that I was hoping for. I was really hoping for a good ol', knock em' out drag out. After all, Hal has suspicions about his wife that may or not be true and many men would let their fists do the talking before they got the information out of the man maybe having relations with is woman. However, now it not the time to dwell on the scene in the bakery, that fine establishment for we need to get back to Hal who has just arrived at Meaty Teeth's Leisure Wieners. Let's join him there, along with his devoted staff members, in Chapter Three.

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