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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Things I Submitted To McSweeney's That Were Ultimately Rejected

On rare occasion, fozzy the chair submits writing of a silly nature to McSweeney's Internet Tendency. He has only had one thing published there so far. These are the things that have been rejected.
Page 48 of The Coffee Bean Employee Handbook
By fozzy the chair
The Coffee Bean is proud to offer its customers free wireless Internet access as a perk. However, once in a blue moon, you may be confronted with a customer who is there to simply abuse your Coffee Bean location’s free WiFi without purchasing delicious Coffee Bean products. These customers are often easily identifiable as those who sit in the cozy chairs, plug their laptops in and do not move for hours on end. Perhaps they make a small purchase upon their arrival at your Coffee Bean location, but just as often they purchase nothing.

Here are some handy guidelines on how to deal with such customers.
Approach the customer in a non-threatening and friendly manner, and ask if he or she would care to purchase a cup of coffee, or perhaps a trademark Coffee Bean Sc'zone™. Perhaps a wink and/or a nudge of the elbow will accompany your question. This gently communicates that he or she will be more welcomed at your Coffee Bean location if they were to stop “freeloading” and make a purchase.
If the customer in question does not get the hint to make a purchase, you may ask whether you can borrow their computer to “Google” something. Make a remark along the lines of, “You don’t mind if I just go ahead and use something that belongs to you and don’t give it back until I am done abusing my privilege, do you?” Make sure that the customer understands you are really talking about them, only in a passive aggressive manner.
If the customer still does not relent or even physically prevents you from touching their personal computer, you may communicate to other customers that a ruse is officially underway. Discreetly let them know that you are going to turn off the wireless router, and on your signal they are to act as though they are upset at the lack of a wireless Internet signal. Once the plan has been properly communicated to each customer—EXCLUDING the customer in question, I cannot stress enough how important this point is—then things get real. Hit the off switch on the wireless router and really sell the idea that the Internet is down. Say things like, “Boy, our wireless Internet sure is broken today!” or “Uh oh, the repair man can’t make it out until next week!” Feel free to get other customers as involved as possible. Remember to continually wink at those involved throughout the ruse, so that they do not become confused and think the WiFi is actually broken. Eventually, the customer in question will grow disappointed and leave, at which point you may turn the wireless router back on. This may result in a celebratory round of Coffee Bean purchases, in which case you may try to upsell customers with Coffee Bean products such as the Coffee Bean Trap-agel™, the only bagel in the shape of a trapezoid!
If involving other customers in an elaborate ruse does not work, you may try calling your local police department. Ask about any unsolved crimes in your area, such as kidnapping or murders. Really listen to the details of the crimes, and find out if there are any details on suspects, comparing them to the WiFi-abusing customer. Once you have heard about a suspect that even loosely fits the description of said customer, hang up and dial 911. (NOTE: It is important that you dial 911! You are trying to create the air of an emergency!) Tell the 911 operators that the missing murder/kidnapping/rape suspect is in your Coffee Bean at that very moment. When the police arrive, direct them to the customer and he or she should be taken into custody—and out of your hair—immediately.
If all the above methods fail, then it is time to get serious. Lure the customer into some nearby woods with promises of drugs, sex or whatever. Everyone has a price. You should already have a pit dug and loosely covered with leafy branches (see page 36). Direct the unknowing customer ahead of you, saying you’ll catch up once you are naked or have the drugs ready, BUT MAKE SURE TO STEER THEM IN THE DIRECTION OF THE PIT. Once the customer has fallen 10-15 feet into the pit, provide them with enough food to last for a week and assure them that you’ll be back to check on them periodically. (NOTE: DO NOT come back to check on them periodically. You will be in the process of joining the Coffee Bean Hide-A-Bean™ program, where you will be relocated to a separate Coffee Bean location in a different city. You will be given a new home and identity as reward for your loyalty to The Coffee Bean.)
McSweeney's response:
Hi, fozzy -
This has some fun moments, but I'm afraid I'm going to pass. Thanks for considering us for it. Hope you'll keep trying.


  1. That does have fun moments, like the whole big moment when I was reading it. That was fun!

  2. I enjoyed all of the moments. Except for when it was over. That was a bad moment.

  3. There are no words for how much I love this.

  4. Thanks guys.

    On a separate but related note, do you think there's a market for Sc'zones out there?