Does your company’s product contain asbestos, arsenic, benzene, beryllium, or other known carcinogens? Does it emit radiation? Will its smell induce vomiting? Is a specialized face shield required to look at it? Does it cause seizures in children? Have small animals expired in its vicinity?
If the answer to any of the above questions is “yes,” then you need a lobbyist.
Do people who use your product regularly complain of vision, hearing or tooth loss? Does their hair fall out? How about their fingernails? Or toenails? Can they even see their toes, or is a massive stomach tumour blocking their view? Is their skin yellow or green or khaki? Is it blotchy? Are there weeping pustules on their nether regions? Do they need a full tank of oxygen just to flip through the “Reunions” issue of Entertainment Weekly? Have they stopped eating, washing or watching their favorite sitcoms? Do they refuse to talk? When they do talk, do phrases like “thick sputum,” “crippling incontinence” and “I’m thinking of killing myself” frequently come up? Do they stay awake all night, staring at circa-1979 photographs of Luke from General Hospital? Is there a deceased pet in their bed that they haven’t gotten around to removing yet?
Yes again? Then you definitely need a lobbyist.
Right now legislators are working to pass laws limiting or banning the use of even the mildest carcinogens and/or poisons in your product. They are compiling an enormous amount of evidence that proves your product, useful as it may be, is harmful to the health and well-being of a large segment of the population. Oh, and you know all that particulate matter coming out of your factory’s smokestacks? They want to cut it by forty, fifty, even sixty per cent. Are you financially prepared to replace your perfectly good blast furnace with some government-approved, eco-friendly, highly inefficient piece of experimental junk? I didn’t think so. Luckily, things aren’t as dire as they seem. Your elected representatives have wants. They have needs. You’d be surprised how far a late-model Corolla or handful of Pippin tickets can get you in Washington. Sometimes all it takes is a signed copy of the current pageboy calendar. Mr. December (Squeezy the Elf) is very popular this year.
Studies show that corporations that retain lobbyists can expect an annual return of up to twenty-two thousand per cent on their investment. That’s with your typical K Street jerk. If you hire me, you’re looking at thirty-five thousand per cent easy.
And you don’t have to be a giant, world-dominating Fortune 500 company either. I do plenty of work for small businesses.
Maybe the local zoning board is threatening to shut down your garage-based tattoo studio because the old lady next door complained about motorcycle noise and public drug use. Who do you think has more influence? Some pensioner living month to month on her Social Security cheque, or me, a powerful lobbyist with instant access to bottomless reserves of cash? When I’m through with that zoning board they’ll be happy to grant you a variance. They might even send their sixteen-year-old daughters around for tramp stamps and tribal armbands. I’m that good.
Thanks to me a handjob parlour in Decatur is doing business beside a day-care centre. In Oakland, you can buy medical marijuana, hit a strip club (full bush), and drop your kid off at the library — all on the same block. And by the way, that library is one hundred per cent smoking allowed. Feel free to fire up a Marlboro, blow pot smoke in the librarian’s face, whatever. Lobbyists get things done.
I have even been known to advocate for the lovelorn in matters of the heart. That’s right, for a minimal fee, I will persuade the girl who just broke up with you to take you back. After you move in with her (rent-free) she will proceed to treat you like a king. A gluttonous, drunk, whore-mongering Henry VIII-type king. She will cook. She will clean. She will perform depraved sex acts whenever and wherever you want them, in the anime costume of your choice. And she will never, ever try to start another conversation while you’re playing Grand Theft Auto. I’m a lobbyist. I make things happen.