Entry 847: Chief Eccentric Officer

Recently, in a post about the overuse of the word “curate,” I mentioned a drink called LaCroix.

“LaCroix,” I wrote, “a brand of the beverage formerly known as seltzer, rather than mix flavors, has come out with a line of ‘cúrates,’ not only turning the word ‘curate’ into a noun but adding a refreshing French accent mark.”

Soon after I posted that remark, the stock of LaCroix’s parent company NBC (that’s the National Beverage Corporation, not the TV network, which is much less bubbly) tanked, dropping 20 percent in one day of trading. I can’t tell you how proud that made me, knowing that my innocent little humor blog had such influence over the financial markets. Of course, it means I really have to be careful what I say from now on, as I could inadvertently cause a major corporation to lose billions in capital and, with my luck, it would be a company buried somewhere in one of the mutual funds in my 401k. In that case . . .

Wait! I’ve just been informed that the precipitous drop in National Beverage Corporation’s stock price might not have been caused by my satiric citation as much as by its earnings per share, which came in at 53 cents instead of the predicted 76 cents. In financial circles, that’s the equivalent of a weatherman forecasting a temperature of 76 degrees and, instead, we get 53 inches of snow.

If the earnings report wasn’t enough to make investors lose faith in the company, the subsequent ravings of its CEO might. His name is Nick Caporella (shown here being attacked by one of his brands), and his screwball statements in the wake of the disappointing financials seem to indicate that he is consuming something much stronger than his company’s products.

“Negligence nor mismanagement nor woeful acts of God were not the reasons,” he said by way of explanation. “Much of this was the result of injustice!”

Nick didn’t elaborate on the injustice, but he may have been referring to a class action lawsuit against the company alleging, among other things, that rather than containing only “naturally-essenced carbonated water,” LaCroix also has several synthetic compounds in it, including a chemical used to kill cockroaches.

Another reason the company may have underperformed is increased competition in the essenced carbonated water category from the likes of Coco-Cola, Pepsi and Raid.

But this post isn’t about bug-murdering soda pop. It’s about bonkers corporate executives. So let’s see what else Nick Caporella had to say about the earnings report:

“Managing a brand is not so different from caring for someone who becomes handicapped. Brands do not see or hear, so they are at the mercy of their owners or care providers who must preserve the dignity and special character that the brand exemplifies.”

Wow. I wonder what group will be the first to boycott the company: the blind, the deaf, the care providers, or the cockroaches. The graphic at right shows some of National Beverage Corporation’s brands, none of which are exactly household names. Maybe if “Rip It Energy Fuel” could see and hear . . .

But right about now you may be hoping that there was more to Nick Caporella’s statement, in much the same way you might watch a multi-car accident to see if any additional vehicles plow into the crash site. Well, you’re in luck.

“There is no greater passion than the kind that creates the wonderful refreshment and contentment described as unique! No doubt, the sound and personality of the word LaCroix, coupled with the awesome experience of its essence and taste… is unique . . . Just ask any LaCroix consumer … Would you trade away that LaLa feeling? ‘No way, they shout – We just love our LaCroix!’ I am positive they respond this way each and every time.”

To paraphrase Rob Reiner’s mother, “I’ll have what he’s having.”

This might be a good time to remind you that we’re talking about freakin’ seltzer here. “LaLa feeling?” Nobody is that invested in the can of soda they just bought at the 7-11.

Caporella is just the latest example of lunatics being in charge of things. There’s Elon Musk, of course, who thinks that the Internet gives people superpowers.

“You have more power than the president of the United States had 20 years ago,” he said. “You can answer any question, you can video conference with anyone, anywhere. You can send messages to millions of people instantly. Just do incredible things.”

While the Internet may give you 20-year-old presidential powers like being able to convince an intern to have oral sex with you, it’s doubtful that the average person can use Facebook to start a war. At least I hope not.

And when you hear Trumpian quotes from leaders like Caporella and Musk, it’s impossible not to think of the Trumpian quotes we get on an almost daily basis from a leader whose every utterance is literally Trumpian. I think you know who I’m talking about.

I don’t know what’s gotten into the rich and powerful. But I do know this: Nick Caporella would have sounded saner if he had said, “We blame our poor performance on a stupid humor blog with a couple of hundred followers.”

He also would have made me feel really important.

See you soon.

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