Nov 21, 2022

New Mission Statements for Old Scams

What these companies are really doing—and since when

By Ed Goldman
  • Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse: “Over-salting and drenching your beef in butter.” Since 1927.
  • Oil Companies: “Blaming our prices on OPEC, the supply chain, Putin, Biden and climate change. All of your pathetic lives.”
  • Corporations. “Pretending that ‘giving back’ and ‘philanthropy’ aren’t anything but marketing decisions.” Since the dawn of time.
  • Science. “Your most constant and reliable source of truth, except when it’s not.” Since shortly after man began to walk erect.
Edgy Cartoon

Icy Caps

  • Climate Change. “Disguising itself as ‘global warming‘ and greenhouse effect’ but still real and scary no matter how you spin it.” Since the invention of people and Ban spray deodorant.
  • Elected Officials. “We’ve been over-promising and under-delivering since the first time we won an election!” Actually, since the  Garden of Eden.
  • Nonprofits. “Doing the exact same thing a nearly identically named organization in the same town does.” Since the inception of 501(c)(3).
  • High Tech. “Using obscure language and creating an incomprehensible lexicon to design and deliver products you had absolutely no need for but are now convinced you’d perish without.” Since the creation of ENIAC in 1943 and Bill Gates in 1955.
  • The Homebuilding Industry. “Branding home ownership the ‘American dream’ and then persuading you it actually was.” Since Wilma and Fred Flintstone bought their first cave.
  • Time-Shares. “Providing 1/52 of a slice of the American Dream to people who know precisely what the weather and their health will be like on one specific week of the year several months from now.” Since HOA boards began to think of themselves as non-military juntas.
  • Gardeners. “Doing the work your snot-nosed kids wouldn’t do even if you paid them.” Since John Deere received a Dear John letter and managed his anger by building lawnmowers.
  • Arts and Crafts. “Pompously demanding that you choose between us because jackass Parisian and New York critics told you to.” Since Michelangelo took a day off from painting the Sistine Chapel and relaxed by making a clay Christmas wreath for his mom.
  • Hotels. “Turning your thermostat to 40, supplying one-ply toilet tissue and maids who yell down the hall at each other at 6 a.m. at no extra charge.” Since 705 A.D., when the world’s first hotel opened— Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, near Mount Fuji—and on the guest’s dakimakura (pillow), left a sushi-wrapped mint.
  • Backwards Baseball Caps. “Proudly manufacturing baseball caps you can wear backwards when you’re having one of those ‘I want to look like an idiot or an umpire’ days.” Since emulating Yogi Berra seemed cool.
  • Gourmet grocery stores. “Selling the finest, most expensive beef from cattle who were extremely happy to be slaughtered for discriminating shoppers like you— and now, since you’re already in our store, we also offer inflated prices for everyday items like milk and wheat bread. We take a backseat to no one when it comes to larder larceny.” Since someone lamented, “What am I, chopped liver?” and a strategic thinker said, “No. You’re paté.” 
Looking for a Great Gift?

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).