Friday, June 13, 2008

#409 The Association

#409 The Association

The big corporations all have monitoring services. They scan the Internet, air-check radio and TV broadcasts and read every newspaper and magazine on the planet. And they tell their clients about every mention, good, bad or indifferent.

These words will probably draw a lawyer letter from Coca Cola. So before they issue a cease-and-desist order and the names here get changed to protect the innocent, on with it:

On the table sits a water bottle with the following printed on the label: "Bottled by a member of the Coca Cola Bottlers' Association..."

The fond hope is that such is a member in good standing, which means adherence to the Association Code of Conduct, no dues in arrears, and one who attends every meeting and is fully practiced in the Secret Handshake.

The sentence conjures images of a bunch of guys sitting around the reverse osmosis machine, turning on the spigot and letting the water fall into the bottles. After that, they do their closing ritual, sing the final hymn and send the bottles off to the capping factory. (The label doesn't say the bottles were capped by a member of the Association, after all.)

Maybe it's just one member. But that would be one busy person, so probably not.

Associations used to be just that. Groups of people associating. Now it's groups of companies associating. Well, corporations are legal people so why not.

Members of associations used to be called members. The word "associates" never applied. But why under use a good word like that. And that is how the unemployment rate grew to 100 percent. Ah, you say, the unemployment rate is nowhere near that. But it is. However, the rate of association is about 95 percent. See no one's an employee anymore. They are all associates. So rather than an unemployment rate, we should have a disassociation rate.

The Labor Department reported today that the disassociation rate climbed to 5.5 percent in May, 2008, up one half of one percent from April.

People who lost their jobs were shown the front door rather than the "associates' entrance," because if they were ushered out the "associates' entrance," that would be rude reminders that they once were associates, but aren't any more.

Careful of those doors marked "Associates Only."


--Welcome, vegans. You now can share one of the great joys of meat-eating without violating your principles. That round red thing in your refrigerator may be a killer tomato, right up there with chicken and beef in the salmonella department.

--Good news: The real estate slump hasn't hit Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Bad news: In order to take advantage of same, you have to live in Baton Rouge. Louisiana. But, hey, living in mosquito netting is an exercise in character building.

--Got a note from the IRS. Says a stimulus check's in the mail. And they'll respect me in the morning.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(r)
(C) 2008 WJR

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