Had Your Cup of Happy Today?
SEATTLE, WA – Early morning: a solemn crowd gathers outside a construction site. As traffic outside the zone picks up, the group holds its signs up for the passers-by to see. They're not your usual protest signs. One has a picture of what looks like an alligator, crossed out. Another depicts several stick men being sucked into some kind of vortex. Several bear slogans like, "Return Someplace Else" and "No More Lloigor."
These protests are becoming more and more common as the popularity of the Happy Cattle coffee house chain increases. Protestors cite the corporation's use of overseas sweat shops, its union-busting tactics, and the fact that a controlling majority of its stockholders are prehistoric alien despots, in their list of grievances. Happy Cattle Inc. (HCI) has retaliated with a public relations campaign of its own, pointing out its charity work and revealing embarrassing personal details about its critics in television ads. However, the company denies any connection to the strange amputations and tentacle-like tumors which have stricken some protestors.
"I used to work for Happy Cattle," says David Travers, head of Psychic Parasite Watch, one of the largest organizations of anti-lloigor activists. Holding up his left hand, which is missing one finger and part of another, and has a strange flabby projection growing out of the wrist, Travers continues, "There was nothing wrong with this hand when I started. Then one day at the water cooler I complained about the health insurance. I felt the presence of some kind of unholy immaterial thing nearby just before I blacked out and... well, you've seen what happened."
Travers is not alone in making such complaints. Overnight deformities appear to be startlingly common among Happy Cattle critics. Irving Carlson lost half of one foot and gained strange lumps all over his ears after writing an unfavorable analysis of HCI's stock performance. Katrina Wilson lost four large patches of skin from her legs and torso after a blog post in which she said that Happy Cattle coffee tasted like antifreeze. Jacob Marino's head was changed into a celery stalk when he tried to organize a union of HCI workers.
HCI Marketing Officer Jim Brinker is dismissive of such claims, calling them, "a campaign of vindictive slander organized by anti-American labor unions." Brinker adds that all of the alleged overnight deformities have perfectly natural medical explanations. When asked to suggest a natural phenomenon that might turn a man's head into fresh produce, Brinker responded angrily, "Look, I'm not a doctor."
Brinker also dismisses claims that HCI is allowing alien entities to drain the life force from its employees and customers. "We sell coffee for goodness sake. Coffee gives you energy, right? Especially our new ginsing-guarana-espresso blast, available at all locations next week. It wouldn't make sense for us to raise energy levels if we were just going to harvest... er... take them back later. The simple truth is, HCI is a successful company, with or without any 'lloigor,' and some people just can't stand that. And they'll suffer for it. I mean that in a psychological sense, of course."
That Travers guy had some responses but they're pretty stupid and not worth talking about. In fact, I'm going to go down to Happy Cattle and have a cup of that new espresso drink as soon as they start selling it. Really. I like my limbs the way they are.