Issues With Corporate Culture

[OR] So Goeth the Dogfish: A Salty Tale of Non-conformity

Once upon a time, there was a dogfish. A creature apart from others, he was a genus unto himself.

Because of his unique evolutionary stature, and because he was a sensitive prick, the dogfish felt mocked by the relative normalness of other beings.

You see, the dogfish isn’t like other creatures, say, the popsicle-eel or the manta-stick. It is not content to swim around the coral reefs or frolic amongst the seaweed.

No, the dogfish’s passion was car insurance.

All day long, dogfish would call up the good people at the car insurance companies to receive as many rate quotes as he possibly could.

“How many years have you gone without an accident?” the GEICO girl would ask. “Sixteen,” cooed the dogfish. This was a lie. He hadn’t even been behind the wheel of a car since his nanny, Estelle, taught him how to drive on their summer estate.

And so it went for many years: dogfish lying, companies quoting. Some say he was in search of the perfect quote. I think he was just kind of a prick.

One day, after asking State Farm how much his deductible would be if he docked his houseboat on a porcelain dry dock and made sure he moved the boat every 14 hours to ensure that it only resided in a part of the world where it was October, he found a little boy washed up on the shore.

This was all very unusual for the dogfish, and instinctively he began asking it for auto insurance quotes. The boy awoke, startled but alive. “Where the heck am I?” the boy said.

“You’re safe here,” said the dogfish.

“Whereth here?” the boy lisped. He had a lot of seaweed in his mouth.

“It’s a safeplace, you’ll be… safe” said the dogfish. “I call this place Trimfandalbador.” This was another one of dogfish’s lies, and if the boy were born with eyes he would have seen the sign that read “Myrtle Beach” 15 yards from where he lay.

“Oh, that sounds grand, it really does!” the boy squealed, “we can swim and frolic and play in the sun all day!”

A skilled marksman, dogfish was already aiming a pistol at the boy’s eyeless head, as it bobbed up and down excitedly, like a bobber. Why did this boy have to intrude upon his life? The dogfish had given up on companionship long ago and believed in capital punishment.

Suddenly, looking at the boy, with his mouth seemingly packed with seaweed, a great swell of emotion bubbled up into dogfish’s chest and he lowered the pistol. “OK boy,” dogfish said, “lets go for a swim.”

And with that, the two began a long and fulfilling relationship. Dogfish had never felt so alive, and after awhile, his need to compare auto insurance quotes faded. He basked in the fullness of his affair with the boy, who seemed to know the dogfish better than himself. It wasn’t sexual, per se, but, you know.

And so it was for many years. Do you think you know what happens next?

No, of course you don’t, you impudent piece of shit. You’re starting to think like that fucking dogfish, aren’t you? Listen:

One day, as the dogfish and his boy were napping on a sea cloud, a great rumbling shook the sky and the sea opened up before their sleepy eyes. Out of the spray and the noise, a giant hermit crab arose and addressed the two beings with a voice so loud that it made D’Angelo’s mother pregnant.

“I AM BUMBACRAB, WARRIOR OF THE SEA, AND I HAVE COME FOR THE BOY.”

Both the boy and dogfish were trembling with fear. “Oh! Dogfish! What does he look like?” whimpered the boy. “Um,” said the dogfish, “he looks like a hermit crab but with all these tacky college posters painted onto his shell, it’s like he’s a little poseur who–”

“SILENCE!” bellowed Bumbacrab. “GIVE ME THE BOY OR I WILL BE FORCED TO RECITE FROM THE ANCIENT SCROLLS AND CURSE YOU BOTH FOR ETERNITY.”

Dogfish knew that this was serious, and that if he didn’t give Bumbacrab the boy, his soul would never reach the Green Shrine.

But he loved the boy. This was his boy. No one could take him away from dogfish without killing him first. “Very well,” said the dogfish, “recite all you can but you will never have the boy!”

The boy giggled and bobbed his head up and down in joy, and for a moment, the dogfish’s soul felt as light as a featherfish.

Suddenly, one of the Bumbacrab’s arms reached inside his shell and withdrew a knife, and Bumbacrab began stabbing the boy over and over again.

“WELL I AM STABBING YOUR BOY THEN,” boomed Bumbacrab, as he stabbed even faster, his arm becoming a crabby blur. “OH MAN HE IS BEING STABBED A LOT.” And that was true.

Dogfish was shocked, and did not move for what seemed like eternity. A coolness enveloped him, and without turning to look at his dead friend, he pointed his pistol at the exact place on Bumbacrab’s shell that was vulnerable: Che Guevara’s face.

“Now you will feel the weight of your choices, Bumbacrab,” said the dogfish, and with that, he ended Bumbacrab’s life with a single, tear-stained bullet.

“OH!” gasped Bumbacrab, as he hit the snooze on his blaring alarm clock. It was 8:45am, and he would be late to his 9:00 class at Myrtle Beach Tech if he didn’t hustle downstairs for breakfast.

“OH, JESUS, oh Jesus, it was just a dream,” said the Bumbacrab, wiping the sweat off his shell. He quickly threw on a pair of Wallabys and grabbed his Marx-Engels Reader and bounded down the stairs, eager to learn new and exciting things.

But as soon as he hit the landing of the staircase, his shoes slipped in the blood of his dead mother, who had apparently been brutally murdered, a frying pan full of eggs still in her hand.

As Bumbacrab struggled to comprehend the grisly scene, he noticed a business card that was bisecting his mother’s skull. Cleaning the skull juice off the card, he saw it was printed with a GEICO insignia, and bore only three words:

“FOR THE BOY.”

So remember, fretful executives, that corporate culture is important. While iconoclastic hires can provide a unique viewpoint and useful skill set, they can also leave you holding a business card with your mother’s skull juice splattered all over it. After all, dreams are only dreams when you’re awake.

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  1. Joy Moon on November 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I love the Bumbacrab, and hope I make it to the Green Shrine one day.

  2. Marybeth Gramer on December 17, 2010 at 12:53 am

    I think this article speaks to everyone’s desire to fit in, and with how difficult a process socialization can be. Just goes to show that there’s a place for everyone in this crazy marble we live on!

  3. doofmann on December 19, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    my God, i believed you were going to chip in with some decisive insght at the finish there, not depart it
    with ‘we depart it to you to decide’.

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