By Syd Nicely
Paulo Coelho once said, “If you want to control someone, all you have to do is to make them feel afraid.”
The May 28 edition of Ask Nicely detailed Brand-O Foods’ PR flack Own Barnacle’s response to revelations that the company’s Chairman, Brando Hound, has lost touch with his roots as a shelter dog, running with a pack of privileged, hard-playing canines; turning up his nose at gourmet dog food; dividing his time between four beds; and neglecting his life mate, whom he commutes to see in Richmond.
Mr. Barnacle—hereafter to be referenced in this column as Mr. Flack—proceeded to put up a “Beware of Dog” sign, warning of dark consequences if Your Humble Correspondent failed to relent and repent his trespasses.
Save it for the mailman, Owen.
It’s plain as day that Brando’s pulled a page from the dog-eared playbook of corporate chieftains under duress – he’s hired a well-coiffed flunky in an expensive suit to reject the premise, and question the credibility of the source. Namely, Your Humble Correspondent (who has been on extended summer vacation).
Note, dear readers, that Mr. Flack did not dispute the facts of any of the issues raised in the May 18 edition of Ask Nicely, but pivoted, parried and thrusted to blunt and redirect their impact. Captain Jack Sparrow would’ve been proud.
Ask Nicely doesn’t usually make time for puparazzi, but when a picture surfaces showing the chairman of a high-flying food empire with a female who’s not his life mate, Your Humble Correspondent feels duty-bound to start asking questions.
Naturally, Mr. Flack had a ready explanation.
“They belong to the same club,” quoth the Brand-O Foods spin doctor. “They’re just friends. It would be like you and me going out to play nine holes on a Sunday. If I wanted to be seen out in public with you.”
And how does Mrs. Brando feel about her mate wolfing around with a sleek Labradoodle?
“The Brandos have a relationship built on mutual trust. That’s what makes everything possible. Without her unwavering support, Brando would never be able to keep up his strenuous exercise, eating and sleeping schedule. And be apart from her for such long stretches.”
So what’s the Bright Young Thing’s name?
“She didn’t sign up to live in the public spotlight – Brando recognizes that, as the chairman of a growing food business, his personal and private lives are intertwined. He goes to great lengths to ensure that his friends and associates are spared that scrutiny and its occasional indignities.”
It was pointed out to Mr. Flack that the steady drumbeat of reports depicting his boss as a hard-playing hound--in more ways than one--are incongruous with the “loveable dog” image that Brand-O Foods works assiduously to cultivate.
“That assessment couldn’t be more out of touch with reality. Brando hikes twice a day. Even at the club, he’s constantly working with other dogs, correcting their behavior. When he’s at work he constantly keeps at least one eye open, watching his lieutenants run the business.”
Nicely-played, Mr. Flack. But Your Humble Correspondent believes that, like the mystery Labradoodle, this story has legs.