"Harry is the main protagonist and C E O of a Dog and Pony industrial presentation business as run in the world of onstage marketing and says:" The industry is so crazy. I have even housed dogs and ponies in my offices. The good news: dogs were house broken; the bad: ponies weren't " - Scarlett J.
Dog & Pony: Volume I - Aloha
Genre: Humor and Satire, General Humor, Fiction
Publisher: Prankish Publications; 1 edition (February 6, 2014)
Publication Date: February 6, 2014
Publication Date: February 6, 2014
Harry Chatham’s company puts on corporate presentations, otherwise known as Dog & Pony shows*. When he hires a Traffic Manager to make his work easier, he finds the opposite happening. His new employee displays extraordinary skills and perceptions that drag Harry into realms he didn't know existed.
Harry is thrust into plots to take over both this world and another that was previously invisible to him. His life becomes mixed up with CIA plots, corporate counter plots, strange evil mages, lovely green-eyed young ladies, and numerous otherworldly beings, both pastoral and predatory.
Dog & Pony follows Harry on a comic romp through fantastic perils as he tries vainly to return to his life to the way it was before the strangely-named Traffic Manager joined his company. Fortunately for the reader of this series, he never seems to escape the Trouble he's found himself in.
*Dog & Pony Show - A term that evolved in early 20th century America. Traveling presentations, advertised as full-fledged circuses, would turn up with only a trained dog and pony. The present-day meaning describes any presentation that delivers more flash than substance, containing meager truth.
“Harry, we quit,” Laura proclaimed.
I looked around the table to see if she spoke for all of those assembled. They had the same look as when I'd last seen them yesterday. Only drier. The hysteria in the pit of my stomach leaped up. My life was getting complicated.
“Laura, darling,” I pleaded, “what's wrong?”
“Harry, we had a small village as our union crew yesterday. They never got the notice about the crew size.” Laura attacked the subject. “I had the requisition all set and in the outbox weeks ago.”
“Laura, these are Broadway stage hands! They never listen to anyone.” I supplied a lame excuse.
“I specifically put those color choices into the server to be e-mailed to the scene shop,” Joel said. “They claim they never got them.” He pouted down into his latte, which he ordered from one particular coffee house.
“You probably got their e-mail address wrong,” I stated.
“Harry, I was replying to their e-mail,” Joel said.
“You know, I never trusted that new version of Windows!” I pounded my fist down on the table.
“Harry, our version of Windows is so old, it's written in Latin,” Laura stated.
“And that's why Rome collapsed!” I launched another lame excuse.
“Aw, man, none of the stuff is working,” Sidney said. “The only reason why the set piece wasn't thrown out of the theater was because the thing arrived too damned late for anyone to check for the flame-proofing certificate.”
“You see, it helped us to be late on delivery,” I said. I had a whole herd of lame excuses limping around the room.
“Harry,” Laura reached over and grabbed me on the arm with both hands. She was starting to get angry, and I didn't want that. She leaned forward and brought a searchlight-like stare boring into my eyes. “We've already got a whole lot of clients who are misinforming us; we can't misinform ourselves. You've got to fix things.”
A siren wailed down below in the street, a normal sound in New York. Its clarion call confirmed that I had an emergency exploding around me and needed to get on this problem, fast. As owner and operator of a small business, my unofficial but actual job title is: President and Janitor. I was reverting to the latter and listening to what my bosses had to tell me. “What's the fix?” I asked.
“You've got to get one of those things for this office,” Laura stated firmly.
“One of those things?” I probed.
“You know,” she said, waving her hand around vaguely. “What are they called? Oh yeah, a Traffic Manager.” She implied the initial capitals in her tone of voice. Like all of us in the biz, she had a PowerPoint Title Case accent.
“A Traffic Manager?” I'd heard about such things, but had never met one in the flesh.
“You want to add someone to the staff? But we've always been a group,” I protested. “The Fab Four. We can't mess with our chemistry.”
“Harry, we're the Frustrated Four, right now,” Laura said.
“We're the Frantic Four, trying to catch up,” Joel complained.
“We're the Fucked-up Four, with all this confusion,” Sidney pointed out.
Laura bore her gaze into me. “Harry, a Traffic Manager.”
“You bet!” I enthused. “I'll get right on it.” I paused and looked around at the faces surrounding me. “By the way, what does a Traffic Manager do?”
“Circulates all of these messages to the right people on the network,” Joel announced.
“Gets the jobs flowing smoothly through the office,” Laura proclaimed.
“Gets all the gear trucking to the right place at the right time,” Sidney pronounced.
I stared at them. When you have people ready to quit, you don't tell them they just gave you three different answers. “Is that what a Traffic Manager does?”
“Yes!” they affirmed together.
I smiled and nodded. The faces in front of me were quite resolved. I decisively slammed my hand down on the table. “I'll get right on it.”
About the Author
Richard Herr has had a varied career as actor, comedian, musician, stage manager, computer graphics expert, and stager of Dog & Pony shows, otherwise known as corporate presentations. Stemming from this eclectic background, he has recently turned his attention to writing comic fantasy novels. He has had three books published by Prankish Publications: Invasion From Fred, Dog & Pony (Vol I), andTales from the StarBoard Café. He lives in New Jersey (which apparently offers asylum for lame jokes) and has two daughters and five grandchildren.
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