It was a hot late November afternoon. A group of people were sitting on the ground, not speaking. One of them was throwing small pebbles away from their ring, and swearing under his breath.
“Three Wise Men, my ass. Who do they think they are?”
“That’ll never stick, it’s a bad name,” said one of the others. “It’s too generic, and people hate numbers. No great brand has numbers in it.”
“Huh,” said K, the one who was swering. “What about 2UP?”
He looked at the second man and threw a bigger rock, farther than the previous ones.
“It’s just so cocky. It makes me mad,” he added.
“Take it easy, just because it’s your brother-in-law’s team doesn’t mean they’re going to win this. There are a dozen teams still in the race.”
“I know, I know. It’s just that … he’s always been a lucky bastard, that one. It’s Year Minus One and I think time’s running out. I need my break.”
“What you need, what we need, is a plan. We need a catchy name, we need to nail our present package, and we need to make sure we have a variety of interesting personalities on the team to reach diifferent parts of the audience so that even if we won’t be the first team back, the audience will vote for us.”
“You’re right, R, you’re right.”
R put his arm on K’s shoulder and squeezed it.
“Trust me, I’m the man behind the whole Y0 thing.”
“Do you think our calendars will be all messed up next year then? Or is it just something a bunch of you suits at Bethlehem Consulting Group have come up?”
“Maybe. Maybe not. But nobody can say they haven’t heard of Y0 and that, my friend, is what we need to focus on. We need to brainstorm on that name thing,” R said and shouted a “Hey, guys” to the others.
They took a knee around him.
“K here wants us to brainstorm around a good name for the team. Feel free to suggest anything, no criticism now, we just want to collect a bunch of ideas first,” R said, and pointed at S with his finger. “No criticism,” he said again.
The others kept their gaze at the ground. Nobody said anything.
“Fine. K, why don’t you start,” R said.
“Well…” began K, “Um, Dirty Dozen!”
“There’s only six of us,” said S.
“I said ’no criticism’,” R said quickly. “But he’s right,” he whispered to K.
“Dirty Half Dozen?”
“Sure,” R said. “Anyone else, just shout them out, you don’t have to wait for your turn.”
“Six Wise Men!” said someone else.
“Excuse me, am I invisible?” said T.
“Sorry, T. I meant Six Wise People.”
“Not timeless enough.”
“That’s right, L, we’re a team here.”
“A Team!” L said again.
“B Team!” said another one.
“I see what you did there.”
“C Team!” said L.
“Messiah Dessiah. Dessiah pronounced as “desire.”
“Star Trek!” shouted L.
“Idiots!” said S.
“Idiots?” said K.
Everybody else was quiet when K spoke. After all, he was the boss. (And he really respected S.)
“I like it,” K went on. “There’s a name people can get behind! It’s self-deprecating and that will make us lovable. Excellent! What about the presents then? I know Three Wise Men took gold, frankincense, and myrrh so steer clear from that…”
“How about salt and bread?”
“I think the presents have to be age appropriate and if I’ve understood things right, he’s a baby…”
“Chocolate. Everybody likes chocolate.”
“NO CRITICISM! WE’RE BRAINSTORMING!”
A few days later, the Idiots hit the road, with chocolate, salt, T-shirts, bread, and books in their bags.
“I know the Three Wise Men went north so we’ll go south. They’re following a star, so we’ll just follow a different one,” K told the others.
“We’re the Idiots, and people love us. We’ll win this thing and people will be talking about us long after Year Zero, mark my words. Let’s ride!”
And they rode south until they ran out of chocolate. They got voted off the show.
This is the From The Desk of Risto Pakarinen 2017 advent calendar. Behind every door, you’ll find something related to the 1980s