A newsletter on audience research and development for cultural leaders. One reader calls it, "sometimes funny"

(Reading time: 2m, 32s)

Last night, Jasper asked me to tell him a story as we were getting ready for bed — “Story, Dada! Story!”

“Have I told you the story of the nonprofit About Page?”

He looked at me, hoping I’d start making sense.

“Well, for a long time, About Page felt depressed and neglected. Whenever a visitor stopped by her house, she just coughed dust and repeated a mission statement over and over.”

Dom, the director of marketing, called up Carousel.

“Go over there and see if you can cheer up About.”

Carousel, always eager to help, galloped over to About’s house.

When About opened the door, Carousel sat down on top of her and began vomiting pictures onto the carpet.

“Look at this and this and this … NEWS! News about us — right here! EVENTS! Events we are doing! Events we will have and events we have had! Look! Look!”

Just then, Value Proposition knocked on the door.

“Everything alright in there?”

About struggled under Carousel’s weight, wiping the spittle off her face: “Come in — please, hurry!”

Value Proposition walked in and hit Carousel over the head with a well-tuned persona. He dragged Carousel’s body into the kitchen and stuffed him in the oven.

“Who’s hungry?”

The phone rang.

About hoisted herself onto the couch and lit a cigarette.

It was Dom.

“Is something wrong with Carousel?”

“Almost ready!” Value Proposition was drizzling social proof over Carousel’s torso.

About flicked her cigarette into a blood puddle and exhaled.

“We’re good here, Dom.”

“Because he isn’t picking up his phone or answering my texts.”

“Check the break room. He’s probably having coffee with the folks in development.”

About hung up and turned to Value Proposition.

“I just bought us some time. What are we going to do about this mess?”

“Call White Space, he’ll know what to do.”

White Space arrived with Newsletter Popup.

Popup bounced on the La-Z-Boy: “What’s up, y’all?”

Value Proposition: “What’s he doing here?”

Popup: “Oh — Am I in your way, VP?”

White Space: “Everybody shut up. I’m here to help. If my help’s not appreciated, then lotsa luck to you.”

Everyone stared at White Space.

“If I was informed correctly, the clock is ticking, is that right? I was led to believe that if your boss Dom finds this mess here, he won't appreciate it none too much.”

“He wouldn't like that.”

“All right, you got a corpse in the kitchen, half eaten. Good. You two, take those cleaning products and get to work. I'm talking fast, fast, fast. You need to go in there, scoop up all those little pieces of brain and skull. Get it out of there. Wipe down the floors and countertops. You don't need to eat off them any more than you already have — just give them a good once-over.”

About: “What happens when Dom gets here and Carousel’s nowhere to be found?”

White Space: “Doesn’t matter. Once Dom sees Value Prop, he’ll forget about Carousel just like everyone else. I’ll take care of the rest. Now, pretty please with sugar on top, clean the carpets.”

Value Proposition and About cleaned her house. Popup stood guard outside, annoying visitors until they went away, while White Space stretched out on the couch.

White Space was right — When Dom arrived, he was relieved to see that About was in good company. He left, taking Popup with him.

And About, Value Proposition, and White Space lived happily ever after.

I looked down at Jasper.

He turned to Christie. “Story, Mama! Story!”

Have an above-average weekend,


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