Washington DC – According to testimony provided ahead of a hearing, the outgoing CEO of embattled drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals will tell lawmakers that he was “too aggressive” and made mistakes in drastically hiking prices for several critical medicines.
“Yes,” sobbed a high-ranking employee. “We did the unthinkable: we formed a company to manufacturer and sell drugs, at great risk and cost, to make money and employ tens of thousands across the spectrum of eduction levels.” Over his sobs, he managed, “I’m so sorry. We were only thinking about helping humanity whilst making money and employing people. I’m so, so sorry.”
“Shame on them!” yelled a sick man. “I had to have the government pay for my drugs that I couldn’t afford! That’s shameful! They should be giving that stuff away for free! Shame!” After a coughing fit, he added, “could you wheel me outside? I need another smoke. Then you’re just as bad as them! Shame!”
Congress is also investigating “should electric companies get paid for simply providing electrons?”, “should car manufacturers get paid for providing what should be a basic human right?” and “shouldn’t we just kill everyone involved in making money? That’s not American, right?”
“Yeah, so?” asked a competitor. “We made a fortune when they jacked their prices. We just kept ours the same and made it in bulk. I know, supply and demand isn’t the way to make money, but- what? No, it’s not. Wait, are you telling me… nah, I won’t even repeat that heretical thought.”
San Francisco, CA – Apple is expected to report a revenue loss of six billion, dollars, making this the first quarter in fifty one in which Apple’s revenues would have actually shrunk.
“So, really, if you pull a card from a deck for every quarter, one of those cards has nothing printed on it,” said an Apple employee. “Let’s not focus on the trillions earned over the entire deck, but rather this one blank card. Granted, you can’t do anything with the deck, and you should feel ripped off if this really happened to you, but then the analogy falls apart and we look like [expletive deleted]holes.”
“Yes!” shouted a Microsoft employee. “Now we’ll swoop in and…” He fell over and turned blue. When the company corpse removal came, they tagged him as another ‘blue screen of death’ and quietly threw him in the furnace, which powers the production of Xboxes and mines for children.
The markets called the loss “devastating”, “we all planned on Apple doubling its income for decades upon decades” and “now that the bubble has burst, maybe we should reconsider our expectations of other companies. Nah, IBM will be in business forever, right? Immortals run it, right?”
“Yeah, sometimes there’s down quarters,” said a stock holder. “I mean, it sucks, but I’m not retiring any time soon, so I’m gonna wait it out. I mean, what other choice do I have? Nah, freaking out costs way too much. Seriously.”
Washington DC – UnitedHealth, the nation’s biggest health insurer, will cut its participation in public health insurance exchanges to only a handful of states next year after expanding to nearly three dozen for this year.
“The whole thing is a disaster,” said a health provider representative. “And that’s coming from me, a person who works in a system that profits off of people’s injuries and decides to help or hinder people’s recovery based on dollars. I’m one of the worst people in the world, and even I realize this is a horrible system. Horrible.”
“Great!” said a White House insider. “That means millions will lose coverage and have to sign up, which boosts our numbers! Look how many people have insurance since we enacted the plan! No, it’s not the same, it’s millions more! Yes, I am using the trick I just talked about. Millions!”
Other healthcare companies have announced “we’re giving up and urging people to walk into the ocean with rocks in their pockets”, “we’re forming an army” and “two words: artisan cheeses.”
“Just don’t get hurt,” said a woman. “That’s our plan. And so far… wait a minute, where are the kids? Kids? Oh my God, where- oh! There you are.” She breathed a sigh of relief, unknowingly inhaling several thousand viruses that would sicken her for years to come.
Doha, Qatar – Oil prices tumbled today after a meeting by major exporters in Qatar collapsed without an agreement to freeze output, leaving the credibility of the OPEC producer cartel in tatters and the world awash with unwanted fuel.
“Wouldn’t you know it?” bemoaned a Saudi assistant. “We had the wrong timezone, so everyone showed up at different times. The Skype was all off, the people who were fashionably late were really late, the people who were early were super mad. Oh, not at the time, at the danish selection. This will go down as the worst meeting ever. Seriously.”
“And that’s why we have regimented meetings,” said the guy who runs our Monday morning meetings. “I don’t care if your wife is in labor, you come to the meeting and get looped in. Synergy, people, [expletive deleted]ing synergy. Got it? Now, Tammy is going to talk about the health expo on Wednesday. Tammy?”
The North American Alliance of Oil Peoples called the oil collapse “alarming”, “the time to make our move” and “wait, we’re not on the same page. Damn it, come on, everyone, it’s meeting time. Now!”
“So will gas prices drop too?” asked a consumer. “Because, you know, all this talk of falling oil prices and I’m still paying double the price of gas even though fifteen years ago the price of oil per barrel was higher. How is that confusing? Jesus, do you think they’re taking advantage of us because we’re stupider? Huh? Wait, who said that?”
San Francisco, CA – Alphabet-owned Nest announced the Revolv smart home hub will soon be disabled.
“Who says the what who owns the what is disabling the what now?” asked a man. “I don’t understand any of what you just said. What does this thing do? Well, if you don’t know, then who does? Then how could it be sold? And who’s selling it? Why does the holding company matter? I got ‘smart,’ like a smart computer or car, right? Okay, that’s a good start, I’m getting a cup of coffee.”
“Damn!” said a house. “I guess I’ll just have to go back to being dumb.” As it began to eat the attic insulation, it added, “one day, I’ll be smart again and nothing will- derrrrrrrrp. The rich are keeping me down! Micro aggression is evil! Let’s revolt using Twitter!”
Other failed inventions from the technology holding company include “a car that drives itself”, “a search engine” and “artificial life. Well, it kinda works. No one’s figured it out yet, but when they do, they’ll know what to look for, so it’s not really a leap forward. Anyway- what? No, the founders aren’t the AI. Wink, wink.”
“You know you’re getting old when something happens, is discarded, and you don’t know or care what it was,” said a young man. “I mean, think about all the technological advancements since I was a kid… Facebook, Instagram, Twitter? Amazing times we live in. Amazing times.”
New Orleans, LA – A federal judge in New Orleans granted final approval to an estimated twenty billion dollar settlement, resolving years of litigation over the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“It’s time to make businesses pay for things!” yelled a judge as he wildly swung his gavel. “And this is an easy target, because they failed! Money for everyone! No more laws, only judgements! I am your God now, not the government! That’s right, lawmakers, the vassals have become the kings! Death to success!” He then gave a loud roar and tore his robes, then returned to responding to petitions.
“We did nothing wrong!” yelled an oil tycoon. “We followed all the laws, it’s you guys who aren’t keeping up with this ever-changing technology!” After firing several missiles at relief workers, he added, “it’s not against the law to do this! Sure, check! It’s not! And yes, everything I say is a yell because… it is! Fire!”
The Department of Justice called the approval “not enough”, “we need to kill those successful bastards” and “no, we’re not out of line. You’re out of line! Fine, then you’re going in jail for obstructing us. Talking over us is obstructing and- no, you don’t get to speak. Jail!”
“Then what was the relief fund for?” asked a resident. “Because I was paid for my ruined business as well as some suffering. So I get more now even thought they already paid? Is that… really? Cool. I mean, I feel like I’m stealing, but if you say it’s okay… okay!”
Washington DC – US drug maker Pfizer agreed to terminate its one hundred sixty billion agreement to acquire Botox maker Allergan, in a major victory to President Obama’s drive to stop tax-dodging corporate mergers.
“Fine, we won’t do it,” said a company spokeswoman. “But only because we were shamed by the White House, not because of any business or political pressure. Yep, just shame. That’s all you need these days. Just a Twitter account and a few key tweets shaming an entire business that employs thousands and contributes millions to the economy. By the way, we’re firing twenty five thousand and our Q1 will be down almost eight percent.”
“Yes!” yelled a White House insider. “We did it! We stopped a company from doing better!” As he popped the cork on a champagne bottle he yelled, “no one can stop us! We’re your betters both intellectually and… well, that’s good enough! Everyone will get equal pay for everything, including the poor! Kill the rich! What? No, what’s ironic about that?”
Other drug makers called the failed merge “sad”, “we always saw them together. Well, if it was meant to be, it was meant to be” and “maybe they’ll still be friends. Time will tell!”
“What does it matter?” asked a man. “No, what does it matter to you? You hate corporations? Great, that’s stupid, but I’m gonna let that go for now and as how this does or doesn’t effect your and your life.” He waited for a long time before adding, “that’s what I thought.”
Los Angeles, CA – Tesla Motors said orders for its new Model 3 electric sedan topped a quarter of a million in the first day and half, making it a fast start for the company’s first mass-market vehicle, which may not begin to reach customers for another year and a half.
“I’m finally saving the planet!” exclaimed a man. “And don’t tell me it takes more energy and resources to build this than if I had a conventional car, because I’m so high up on my high horse that I won’t be able to hear you.” He was right, he didn’t listen to a word we had to say on the matter.
“We’re not shocked,” said a company insider. “We’ve been in the brainwashing business for twice as long as the car business. Oh yes, the Jetsons? All our idea. Sure, we don’t have flying cars, so why not settle for electric cars?” He gave a grim nod, adding, “and that’s how you manipulate an entire nation.”
Sales for other things “weren’t as good”, “were down, comparatively, by eighteen billion percent” and “were to vague to count.”
“The day they start manufacturing that house battery is the day I’ll join,” said a homeowner. “Until then, I’ll be all smug about my position on cars, even though I drive a SUV for my growing family. Actually, I have no reason to care one way or the other about cars. I just need a car. It’s not complicated.”
Toledo, OH – The Campbell Soup Company will stop using the chemical Bisphenol A in its canned products by the middle of next year to reassure consumers worried that the substance may harm their health.
“We feel it might be harming adults and children,” admitted a company insider. “So we’re going to do the right thing and remove it sometime in the next sixteen to eighteen months.” He shrugged, adding, “that’s the sort of company we are: we see a problem and eventually will begrudgingly rectify it. You’re welcome.”
“At least they haven’t linked the whole ‘storing food in metal’ thing,” said a major US can manufacturer. “I mean, if the public realized that storing food for extended periods of time in metal is literally killing all of us, we’d be out of a job so fast!” He drew his sidearm, adding, “I’m sorry, but no one can ever find out. Ever.”
The US Soup Federation (USSF) called the change “groundbreaking”, “not as groundbreaking as the introduction of ‘chunky’ soups, but groundbreaking nonetheless” and “did we say groundbreaking? Because, boy-oh-boy, it’s groundbreaking. Soup!”
“Why not try just chicken broth?” asked a soupy. “That’s right, I’m a soupy, a connoisseur of fine soups, and you can’t go wrong with a simple broth with fresh garden vegetables. Maybe something heirloom or locally harvested, like- ow! Don’t you throw crackers at me, sir! I am a soup- ow!”
Washington DC – Amid fears that the US could be joining a global slowdown, the economy added a better-than-expected quarter of a million jobs in February while the unemployment rate held steady at four point nine percent.
“Oh thank God,” said a very sweaty man. “I was so fearful of a global economic slowdown I sweated plum through my shirt.” He took another roll of paper towels and dabbed at his face, adding, “now I can go back to my job which has absolutely nothing to do with the global economy or unemployment. Yeah, I’m just a nervous person. Rough childhood, I guess.”
“Again, that’s not the real rate, that’s the seasonally adjusted U3 rate,” said an ecumenist. “Jesus, what’s wrong with you people? Oh, no, I’m also racist so when I say you people I mean the Irish.” After a very long pause he added, “dirty potato eaters.”
A spokeswoman for the global economy called the new numbers “a relief”, “you know, running a world economy is a lot tougher than you’d think” and “thank god the Illuminati have the skills to keep everyone in line to push humanity to the next level: fighting the Lizardpeople. What? It’s time we face the truth.”
“Look at all these jobs!” said a woman at a job fair. “It’s like an opportunity buffet.” After twenty minutes she returned, adding, “all of these are beneath me. I deserve better, or at least that’s what my GED councilor says. I mean, before her suicide.”