‘I still think the idea was great.’ John sighed and looked at his older brother. ‘Well, you’ve spent our inheritance on it and are broke now. To me, that suggests it wasn’t that brilliant. For starters, I don’t think it’s smart to sell something that people need to snort in capsules. It gives the wrong impression.’
Bart protested, as was to be expected. He never agreed with anything that considered him personally. ‘I even printed don’t swallow on the capsule itself. I can’t help it if people are stupid.’ John waited for more arguments, but apparently Bart thought this sufficed. Who in their right minds would have given this idiot guardianship over their money?
‘And tell me again, who was your first customer? Bart’s face lit up. ‘You mean the sheik? He really got what I was working on. How you can personalize even the most boring and gross things in your life. He ordered belly dancers, a harem full of belly dancers.’
‘So you delivered him a couple of capsules, filled with what looks to be white powder, and he gave you a load of money for that, is that right’? John could barely keep the derision from his voice. That sheik was a complete idiot too. How did his brother meet these people? Who meets a sheik? His brother cut off his train of thoughts. ‘Yes, and the amount was so big that I knew I could do this. A good idea, a lot of money to start with and customers, that equals success.’
A customer, not customers, John thought. He decided not to bother. ‘And how many of these capsules does one need to get healthy again?’ he asked. Unwillingly he was curious. Had his brother invented something that really worked? So many people were having colds, infected sinuses, inflammated throats. There could be a market there, if he left out all the customizing nonsense.
The answer was disappointing. ‘I hadn’t tested that yet. I gave him enough for six days, and was going to call him about the results. But then he swallowed it’. ‘Yes, and you got sued’, John answered dryly. He might as well ask for all the details now. His inheritance was gone, his brother in jail, some sheik guy was dead, and all that because of Bart’s stupid invention. What was is called again?
Bart answered the question he hadn’t yet asked. ‘Sinus People Pals’, he heard his brother say with the voice of a radio ad. ‘You’re unique, and your sinuses are too. With this revolutionary method, you can heal yourself with style. And have fun too.’ His brother was on a roll now. John, don’t you see? People personalise everything these days. Everything you can buy is about expressing yourself. Everything but medication. And I did it! I’m not talking about making them look different on the outside. Everybody van prints stuff on pills. I was doing it from the inside!
With Sinus People Pals, you get to choose who is cleaning your sinuses, and how they do it. The white powder consists of modified micro-organisms. Inside your body, the powder transforms into it’s true forms. The sheik wanted his sinuses to be cleaned by the cloth on the bottoms of belly dancers, swiping the tissue clean with the soft stroke of their buttocks as they dance. So I created a load of belly dancers for him. I can do the same for everybody: frolicking kittens, a hoard of R2D2’s, your mother in law… You name it and I can have them clean your sinuses.’
That would be a great life sentence, John thought on his way back. To have his brother clean out his sinuses eternally. He pictured his brother with a small chisel, frantically hammering on the back of it, to free little pieces of mucus in John’s ever clogged facial sewage system. A modern Sisyphus.
With a grin, he picked up his cell phone. The trial was due in a week. Maybe he could pull some strings.
Text and image © Angela van Son 2013
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