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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1318916-Waste-Not-Want-Not
Rated: E · Short Story · Comedy · #1318916
836 words: How a hospital makes back its money from a mistake in inventory
Acme Comedy Contest - CLOSED  (ASR)
Comedy contest for short stories. A monthly contest with Kudos + GP's and prizes!
#1300753 by Acme


When medical supply orders go awry and Lana ends up with an item that the hospital can't use and can't return, she turns to the hospital's damage control sales specialist, Don Sharold. With his scintillating, manic voice-overs, he's produced some of the hospital's finest sales pitches. However, this time, Lana was sure he'd met his match.

"I bet you can't move this one out of inventory," Lana dared as she slipped him the new list of rejects.

Don looked at the item at the top of the list. Lana always enjoyed putting the tough ones where they can't be missed. "No problem. See you next week with my presentation," he told her.

Two thousand stainless steel bed pans? How in the world did she order so many? But knowing hospital policy, Don knew this must have been one of those special closeout doozies where the buyer can't return the goods.

First, he phoned all the public medical facilities in the area. Then he called the private ones. Finally, he contacted redistributors, but no one seemed to be in the market for even one hundred stainless steel bed pans below cost.

He considered hawking the product on the street. Maybe then, he'll be rid of a few dozen.

Standing on the corner of the street, Don approached one pair of pedestrians. Before he could even utter a word, the man next to the woman pulled a few dollars from his pocket and dropped it into the bed pan in front of them. Surprised and speechless, he watched the couple walk away before turning his attention to a little old lady waiting for the light.

Don walked up to her. It happened again. Before he could speak, she reached into her purse and dropped her change into the bed pan. The coins clinked loudly against the stainless steel interior.

Dumbfounded but intrigued, he approached more people. Everyone more or less did the same thing and put money into his bed pan. A few people looked very upset. They cried out, "Get that thing out of my face," and threw their money at him, missing the bed pan as they did so.

Elated, Don now had an idea of how he could move two thousand bed pans.

Next week.

Lana shook her face. "I can't believe you pulled it off. All two thousand, gone?"

Don nodded his head. "Yep, and we're ordering more to fill the back order."

Wow, this guy is a genius, Lana thought. Even the president of the hospital bought one after the presentation.

He had two videos which he marketed on late night television and he even advertised them on the Home Shopping Network. Bed pans were more lucrative than they all thought. Don had even added markup. They were making a profit.

Lana rewound one of the tapes and played it again. There was Don on the television selling the bed pan, only he didn't sell it as a bed pan. According to Don, he was selling the latest trendy design on money banks and fund-raising collection plates. Whether the consumers believed him or not, they ate his marketing up, in spades. For all she knew, people bought them as gag gifts for friends.

But the bottom line was the same, Don rid them of their hundred thousand dollar problem. Thank you, Don, Lana thought as she hit the off switch and left the room.

One of Don's Videos (for those who haven't seen it)

"Ever get tired of flushing money down the toilet? Well, here's a better way to spend your time. Try dropping your money into one of our stainless steel bedpan piggy banks. It's reasonably sized to fit on top of any dresser or nightstand table, yet large enough to hold any bills and loose change that'll come out of your pockets every night. It's even large enough to hold a few larger items such as gold watches, diamond studded bracelets and the keys to your bank's safe deposit vault.

"You can stuff and stuff dollar bills into its vast chambers. Dropping loose change is a snap. No more missing the coin slot. This bedpan has a wide, spacious entry that you can use to empty out its contents whenever you need them. No more breaking the piggy bank to get your money out. Why buy a new piggy bank when you can reuse this bedpan time after time again?

"Also, you don't have to worry about you or someone else taking money out before its time. It's natural, built-in disgust factor will subliminally convince you to wait until you absolutely need to pull money out of that bedpan. No matter how clean and shiny that bedpan looks, and you have our money back guarantee that your bedpan will arrive in a pristine, sterilized, ready-to-eat-right-out-of-box condition, we know you'll still believe you can contract E. coli or salmonella just by looking at it.

"So don't wait. Order now while supplies last."
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