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The licks and the Pop biz

March 28th, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments


HUGH REMNICK: (grunting and panting while pulling a large wooden crate through the door) Whew! Finally got it here!

MELINDA GHANI: What’s in there?

REMNICK: This place needs a freight elevator, I can tell you that. Ever try pulling 200 pounds up a flight of stairs?

KIM SABO: No, but wouldn’t it make more sense to push something that heavy up stairs instead of pulling?


GHANI: But what’s in it?

REMNICK: Never mind the stairs. I brought this in for today’s experiment. You see, the folks in marketing think it would be clever to d-

DELRAY BROWN: (rushing in) Sorry I’m late! Some idiot broke the elevator door and put it out of commission. I’m not sure what happened but there were splinters everywhere. Looked like someone tried to shove something through the door before it was open and just obliterated it.

SABO: Wonder who that could have been.

REMNICK: Why didn’t you take the stairs?

BROWN: There was a bunch of really weird cursing coming from the stairwell, so I climbed the fire escape and crawled in through a window instead.

GHANI: So what’s in it?

REMNICK: Anyway, those goofy folks in marketing have decided to relaunch the “how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?” campaign and they’ve asked us to determine the solution.

SABO: But this has already been done! Students at both Purdue and the University of Michigan built custom licking machines and determined the answer is somewhere between 250 and 410 or so. What’s the point of this?

REMNICK: The point, Kim, is that those studies are all well and good, but the range is too wide for anything definitive. Also, they want us to prove the answer in 15 seconds to show our experiment within a 30-second commercial format.

BROWN: What? How are we ever going to do that? Those licking machines were fairly quick from what I remember reading, but nothing like that. There’s no way we can pull this off.

GHANI: What’s in the crate?!

REMNICK: Delray, never underestimate what we at Tootsie Pop Industries can accomplish, and Melinda, I’m glad you finally asked. Let me show you.

(REMNICK removes a crowbar from his duffel bag and pries open the front of the crate)


SABO: Okay, I’ll bite. What is that thing?

REMNICK: It’s a sex robot, of course. This beautiful machine is going to be perfect!

GHANI: How is a robot going to help, let alone a sex one?

BROWN: It looks more like a demented ferris wheel.

REMNICK: And it sort of works like one. You see, these flap extensions at the end of each spoke on this meter-wide wheel essentially serve the purpose of tongues. There’s a pool of water for moisturizing at the bottom that each “tongue” is dipped in every time around. Then you turn it on and the “tongues” start spinning at whatever rate you choose! Brilliant, right?

SABO: How is that a sex robot?

REMNICK: Technically, it’s an oral sex robot. For women.

BROWN: How does that work?

REMNICK: I have no idea. My girlfriends always leave me before I can try any of that stuff. (whispering to Delray) I was hoping we could maybe hit happy hour after work and you could explain a couple th-

BROWN: I meant, what is the robot supposed to do?

REMNICK: Oh! My understanding from the diagrams is that a woman lies with her legs open in front of this and the wheel somehow does the rest.

BROWN: No, I meant, how does the exp-

SABO: Who would even have one of these things? It’s huge!

REMNICK: This is a very early model. The new ones are apparently handheld.

GHANI: We’re doing what, exactly, with it?

REMNICK: We’re going to affix a Tootsie Pop in front of the robot so the tips of the “tongues” each hit it on every revolution. Then we’ll put a laser-eye counter nearby to count every time the pop is “licked” and we’ll have our answer!

SABO: This is insane.

REMNICK: Oh, you always say that.

BROWN: She gets more right every time.

GHANI: And we’re going to film this?

REMNICK: Of course! It’s for a TV ad!

SABO: Won’t people recognize this robot for what it is when they see the commercial and complain?

REMNICK: I don’t see why. It would most likely run during kids’ programming, and they’re too young to recognize this old thing.

BROWN: But any parents watching could. It just takes one person to notice and then it’s everywhere. We’re going to get killed on Twitter for this.

REMNICK: That’s marketing’s problem. Okay, let’s get started. Kim, here’s the laser eye. Melinda, position and secure the Pop. Delray, give me a hand with pulling the robot closer.

(they all set up the experiment)

REMNICK: We’ll start testing in the high range at 500 “licks” and move down from there. We’ve got 15 seconds, so let’s set it at 2000 RPM. You’re clear to go, Melinda.

GHANI: Seriously, why are we doing this? (presses button)

(the Tootsie Pop is immediately launched toward the wall, then ricochets around the room several times before skidding to a halt at REMNICK’s feet)

REMNICK: (picking up the Pop) Well, there you go. We got to the Tootsie Roll center already. How many was that?

BROWN: (looking at the laser-eye readout) Three.

SABO: This is so weird.

GHANI: Yes. I’m beginning to question everything.

REMNICK: (whispering to Delray) Is that how oral usually goes? Must be crazy!

SABO: No, I mean, the owl was right along along.

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