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It might come as a shock to some people that RadioShack is even still a thing. In fact, if you’ve heard anything about them at all recently, it was probably early this year—when they filed for bankruptcy.
Now the company is staging a comeback, and who better to lead the charge than America’s sweetheart, Nick Cannon? He’s been named the company’s new chief creative officer, and they both seem pretty pumped about it.
A photo posted by RadioShack (@radioshack) on
How will Cannon manage to turn the once great retail outlet around? Only time will tell. On second thought—screw that, let’s make something up.
Greg and Todd wandered listlessly around the aisles of the nation’s last RadioShack. They knew that any day now they’d be out of a job and forced to return to a life on the streets, selling their bodies to lonely Japanese businessmen for value meals and methamphetamine.
“Hey,” said Greg, trying to lighten the mood, “you hear they hired Nick Cannon as the new creative director? Maybe he’ll get Howard Stern to come in and buy a couple of these remote control helicopters.”
“Ha,” answered Todd, “or maybe he’ll get real Wild ’N take us Out to lunch.”
Greg frowned. Todd was not very good at making jokes.
Suddenly they heard footsteps behind them. A customer! It’d been so long they barely knew what to do. Always the optimist, Greg hopped behind the register and tried to remember all the benefits of signing a 2-year contract with Sprint. Todd prepared to once again give a lost elderly couple directions to the food court. Neither knew this was the moment that would change their lives forever.
“Gentlemen, I hope you’re ready to work. There is much to be done.”
The two friends froze, unable to speak—there before them stood rapper, actor, host of America’s Got Talent, and their new boss: Nick Cannon. He did not look amused.
“Ye-ye-ye-yes sir!” stammered Greg, almost too starstruck to talk.
Nick began slowly walking around the aisles, carefully inspecting each item before frowning and replacing it. After three agonizing hours he finally spoke.
“The problem is obvious!” he boomed. “This is not a shack, nor is there a radio in sight. We’ve been lying to our customers, my friends. That ends today.”
9 MONTHS LATER
It was another cool autumn day in the Appalachian mountains. Despite the chill in the air, Greg was bare from the waist up as he chopped wood. He had become stronger, both physically and mentally, in the last nine months, and could easily spend a day chopping wood and still have energy to sell CB and ham radio kits, via mail-order, at night. It was a quiet life, full of simple pleasures. He had never been happier, and he knew Nick and Todd felt the same.
He gathered up the last armload of firewood and started his hike back up to the shack. He could almost smell the fresh biscuits Todd would be baking for their supper. Nick had even promised to open a jar of his famous homemade apple butter tonight. A special treat in honor of RadioShack posting its first profitable quarter since 2009.
As he hiked up the hill, he spotted a stranger in the distance—no doubt another camper who had became lost wandering around in the woods. The poor guy was probably hungry and scared. Greg would invite him up for dinner. No reason not to share the bounty which the good lord—and Nick Cannon—had provided.
At first Greg believed the man to be close by, a few hundred feet away at most, but as he drew closer he realized that was an optical illusion, and in fact the man was of enormous size! Could this be the sasquatch that the old locals and Jack Link’s beef jerky had warned him about?! No, he was being silly. It had to be another woodcutter like himself. Perhaps he could get the larger man to help shoulder some of his burden in exchange for a discount on an amateur radio kit.
Half an hour later, Greg arrived at the cabin smiling ear to ear. “I brought a friend, hope that’s OK!”
“Of course!” answered Nick Cannon as he stirred a pan of hot gravy, “always room for one more in our little family.”
The stranger ducked through the doorway—he had to stoop to fit inside of the tiny shack. Greg and Todd couldn’t help but laugh. It was the first time they had ever seen their boss at a loss for words.
“Shaquille O’Neal?!” Nick managed at last. “But… but what are you doing here?”
The big man laughed heartily and looked his old friend in the eye. “I came as soon as I heard you were out here. Don’t you remember that night, after we got done taping Wild ’N Out, you asked me how I got into basketball? I told how when I was a kid my grandmother bought me one of the old electronic basketball games from RadioShack.”
“Of course I remember,” said Nick, “That was the night you implied you had sexually pleasured my wife, but that doesn’t explain why you’re here now.”
Shaq looked shyly down at his feet. “Well,” he began, “I just thought, you know, maybe I could work with you guys somehow, like we could do some sort of ad campaign called ‘Radio-Shaq.’ Like maybe a series of commercials where you’re a trucker who calls me on your CB whenever you’re in trouble. I… I don’t know, maybe that’s dumb.”
A heavy silence filled the room. Nick Cannon thought for a long time. On the one hand he didn’t want to disappoint his friend. But he had a company to run, goddamit! Finally, he looked up and sighed.
“Sorry, old buddy, I just don’t think it makes sense. I mean, it’s spelled completely differently!”
“I understand,” said Shaq, a single tear rolling down his cheek. He turned to leave, and the joyous mood Greg had felt just hours earlier seemed to be leaving the cabin with him.
Suddenly, Todd jumped up. “Hey!” he exclaimed, “weren’t we just talking about how we needed to patch that hole over the porch roof, but none of us wanted to get on the ladder?”
“Oh yeah!” said Greg, “and Nick, didn’t you tell me there was a beehive, just dripping with honey, down in the valley, but it was too high for you to smoke out the bees?”
“I believe I did!” said Nick Cannon, his mood brightening. “You know, now that I’ve turned RadioShack into one of the most profitable companies in America, I guess we can afford to take on a fourth employee!”
Todd and Greg began dancing around the cabin like kids on Christmas morning. “Shaq! Shaq! Shaq!” they chanted. Nick Cannon finally had to calm them down before they knocked over the stove.
Shaq gave his old pal a hug that would have killed a lesser man. “Thanks, buddy,” he said through tears of joy.“I won’t let you down.”
“You’d better,” said Greg. “Otherwise he won’t be able to finish cooking dinner!”
They all laughed.
David Britton is a writer and comedian based in Rhinebeck, New York who focuses on internet culture, memes, and viral news stories. He also writes for the Hard Times and is the creator of StoriesAboutWizards.com.