The following paid commercial advertisement is brought to you by SpineSaver(TM)!

I work as a laboratory technician at the medical research division of the local university. My particular area of specialization is animal care, which means that I am responsible for the overall health and well-being of many thousands of mostly rodent-type critters. As one might imagine, this sort of work involves a fair amount of highly repetitive physical exertion during the course of the day. I'm on my feet a lot of the time.

A while ago, my supervisor came up with a nice idea to address this problem. Henceforth, every room in the facility would be equipped with a designated Comfy Chair; a plush work stool reserved for the use of animal technicians, allowing us to take a load off even while changing cages or what-have-you. This gesture was a generally well-received little morale booster in an otherwise rather clinical environment.

So far, so good. However, my supervisor then made the fatal error of involving me. For some profoundly occult reason, she asked me to come up with a presentation for the next staff meeting that would introduce this innovation to the rest of the division. The form and content of said presentation was left to my discretion.

Just to review: my supervisor instructed me to create a presentation that would explain the concept of a stool.

"Be creative," she advised.

I had about a day and a half to put something together. Having limited PowerPoint skills, I opted for a "dramatic skit" format, and enlisted the aid of three other technicians with an appropriately unprofessional work attitude.

I therefore share the following script, in the event that this exciting new "sitting-down" technology might one day arrive at your place of work.

(Explanatory note: the "dying Native American guy" segment below is a reference to "GUNG HO!" --a management program which purports to document the deathbed legacy of productivity guru Andy Longclaw in the form of homely animal-themed motivational tips handed down from his ancestors. My supervisor forced the staff to watch the video even though it was pretty explicitly directed toward management. If one begins to discern a pattern of strange decisions on the part of my supervisor, I would not presume to correct one in this matter.)

SpineSaverTM promotion (draft)

Presenter 1
Presenter 2
Assistant 1
Assistant 2

Feather headdress
Tape recorder
Small tablecloth
Toy rats
Devil cloth
Clever disguises

P1: Good afternoon. We’d like to take a few minutes of your time to tell you about a revolutionary new product that could change your life.

P2: That’s right. Say, here’s a riddle: as a lab animal technician here at the university, what would you say takes the most damage from your job?

P1: My holidays and weekends?

P2: No…

P1: My will to live?

P2: Ha ha! No! It’s your spine!

P1: My spine?

P2: That’s right. Scientists agree that the spine is the most important organ in the human body. Ever since the first lab technicians evolved from the primordial ooze thousands of years ago, the spine has been essential to researchers everywhere. Even today, over 85% of lab technicians have a spine, or know someone who does.

P1: Gosh, I guess I never really thought about my spine before!

P2: Well, you’re not alone. Not many people do! And yet, can you imagine trying to perform your job without a spine? You see, your spine aids you in countless ways: keeping the body in a firm standing position, providing attachment points for limbs and muscles, and maintaining a safe, comfortable distance between the head and butt regions.

P1: Say, you’re right! I had no idea how important my spine really is!
P2: Yes, it’s all too easy to take your spine for granted—until it’s too late. But the job of a modern lab technician places an enormous strain on even the healthiest spine. Let’s watch this brief dramatization.

(P1 and P2 step aside. A1 moves center stage and mimes placing bottles on shelves or something. A2 stands just offstage.)

A1: Gee I’m sure glad I have this job as a laboratory animal technician.

A2 (from offstage) Say, could you hand me that piece of solid neutronium?

A1: Why sure! (bends as if to pick something up, then suddenly stops) Aaugh! My spine! (collapses to floor) Help! Help! I’ve become paralyzed from a massive spinal rupture!

(A2 moves over to A1 and moves toy rats around like puppets, while making faint squeaking noises)

A1: Oh no! Now the very animals I was caring for are starting to devour me! What bitter irony this is. If only I had taken better care of my spine! Sweet Jesus I pray for death.

(P1 and P2 move back onstage)

P2: So you can see that proper care of your spine is vitally important to a healthy work environment.

P1: It sure is! If only there were some way to help protect your spine from injury on the job. But how?

P2: Look no further. Introducing—the SpineSaver!

(A1 and A2 play fanfare on tape recorder and unveil SpineSaver, then smile and pose ostentatiously as if game show presenters)

P2: Yes, the SpineSaver combines state of the art technology with the very latest in modern ergonomic design. Its durable alloy frame and plush, stain-resistant synthetic upholstery provide a firm, cushioned support for even the most active spine.

P1: Amazing! How does it work?

P2: Ha ha! Well why don’t you just try it out and see for yourself?

(P2 places SpineSaver on the floor; P1 gingerly sits down)

P1: This is unbelievable! I feel like I’m standing up even while sitting down!
P2: And that’s not all! Tell me, what would happen if you had to change a cage behind you?

P1: I guess I’d have to stand up and turn all the way around, to avoid twisting my body in such a way that would make my spine explode.

P2: Not anymore! Try turning around now.

P1: But that’s crazy talk!

P2: Just try it.

(P1 spins around a bit.)

P1: Incredible! It’s like magic!

P2: Those are 100% Korean milled steel bearings at work. SpineSaver provides 360 degrees of unobstructed rotation.

P1: It’s like something out of the future! But where did this remarkable idea come from?

P2: That’s a good question! Let’s watch this dramatic re-enactment.

(P1 and P2 move aside; A2 is sitting slouched on a chair, or lying on a table, or whatever is convenient to give the impression of lying down, wearing a feather headdress and covered with a bedsheet. A1 enters and faces A2.)

A1: Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. If only there were some way I could repay you.

A2: (points at A1) Now you must carry on my legacy. Teach others the Secret of the SpineSaver.

A1: I will do that, Dying Native American Guy. (turns toward audience, looks over their heads into the distance) I remember it like it was just yesterday…

(A2, no longer wearing bedsheet, stands next to A1.)

A1: Say, Native American Guy, what’s your secret? How do you keep your spine looking so full and healthy?

A2: It’s easy… with SpineSaver!

(P1 and P2 move back onstage)

P1: Wow, that was heartwarming.

P2: Yes, and now the secret of the SpineSaver can help you lead a healthier, happier work life in so many ways.

P1: I wonder how SpineSaver could improve my job as a lab animal technician.

P2: Let’s watch!

(P1 and P2 move aside; A1 is standing center stage)

A1: Well I certainly have a lot to do today as a lab animal technician.

(A2 enters, wrapped in devil cloth)

A2: And soon you will be my willing slave!

A1: The devil!

A2: Yes! Soon you will injure your spine, and be consumed with agony! Despair and suffering will drive you into my clutches, until at last I bend your soul to my will!

A1: But wait! With SpineSaver, I can easily perform my job without risking injury to my spine!

A2: Curses! All my plans have been foiled! Curse you SpineSaver!

A1: Yes, thanks to SpineSaver, I saved my spine… and my immortal soul!

A2: Well, I must go; I’m lunching with the Universtiy budget committee. (exits)

A1: Thanks, SpineSaver!

(P1 and P2 move back onstage)

P2: It’s stories like these that demonstrate how SpineSaver can improve your life.

P1: Absolutely. I wonder if other people feel the same way about SpineSaver!

(A1 and A2 enter, in disguise)

P2: Say, look who’s here! It’s TV’s William Shatner, and a reticulated giraffe!

A2: I used my spine to perform many of my own stunts on the set of the Emmy-nominated police action-drama “T.J. Hooker.” Thank you, SpineSaver!

A1: As a reticulated giraffe, my spine helps me to reach the tastiest leaves and shoots when I browse on fever acacia. Thanks, SpineSaver!

P2: Well, it looks like we’re almost out of time. We’d like to thank you all for taking the time to learn about this remarkable new innovation. From all of us here at SpineSaver, have a spine-tastic day.

P1: And remember: keep your feet on the ground, and your spine pointing at the stars.


And terrifel was never, ever asked to design a staff meeting presentation again. The End.

PS. I noticed that today is William Shatner Day! This is a pure coincidence, this was indeed one of the disguises. The performer in question could probably have used some Shatner impersonation tips, but she was extremely enthusiastic and that's probably the most important thing.

The disguises in question consisted of large color photocopied heads of William Shatner and a giraffe, pasted onto paint stirrers and used as masks. Keep in mind I only had like a day to throw all this together.


I don't know how to say this, so I'll just come right out with it:

May I worship you as my god?


This is literally the greatest thing I have ever read on Mello ever.

Please Please Please PLEEEEEEZE come work at my office and do all the presentations on creating quasi-governmental local companies to manage infrastructure projects.

It would be an enormous improvement.

Seriously, that was phenomenal. I don't know why you haven't been asked to do any more presentations.

Umm, I think I just got an idea for a one act.

::Slow and long golf clap::

Brilliant, simply brilliant.

But one disturbing thing, was TJ Hooker really nominated for an Emmy?


Quote Originally posted by terrifel View post
And terrifel was never, ever asked to design a staff meeting presentation again. The End.
I have to wonder: Is this truth, or simply a pious hope on the part of our Hero?

:: applauds wildly ::

A1: Oh no! Now the very animals I was caring for are starting to devour me! What bitter irony this is. If only I had taken better care of my spine! Sweet Jesus I pray for death.
I love this.

Standing O!