J.T. Townley

Dead Cat Bounce

I. Scalability

A: Do you have any metrics?

Q: Centimeters, meters, kilometers?

A: We need predictive analytics. Analytics of performance quality. Big Data.

Q: Centi means hundred. Kilo means thousand.

A: Hedgistan, this is not.

Q: Meters, grams, liters. Teacher says just move the decimal.

A: We need documents to look at. Where are the documents? Documents, we can look at.

Q: Here’s my math homework. Plus, my report card comes out Friday for you to sign. Straight A’s!

A: The possibility of scalability needs to be analyzed and adjusted for.

Q: To measure how big is my new allowance?

A: The easy money has been made.

Q: That means no?

A: There’s lots of cash on the sidelines.

Q: That means yes?

A: In this market, you can’t take the short view. Too volatile.

Q: So…?

A: Get me the numbers, and I’ll take it under advisement.


II. Iteration

Q: So can I?

A: Dead cat bounce.

Q: But isn’t Mommy allergic?

A: Have you considered the social impact?

Q: Puppy = happy!

A: What about the impact factor?

Q: Happy = puppy!

A: Clean Tech is the answer.

Q: That’s why I’ll wash her and brush her and trim her dewclaws.

A: When would you iterate, in the hypothetical?

Q: Rate what?

A: What the iteration would produce must be taken into consideration.

Q: I’ll name her Grace!

A: Enough thought experiments. We need thought leaders!

Q: So, yes?

A: This discussion is now tabled.

Q: So, no?

A: Final outcome TBD.


III. Rapid Prototyping

A: Check your API. It’s time to pivot to a new market.

Q: Why do you have to make everything so difficult?

A: How that interfaces will need to be considered.

Q: It’s not that hard. Just take the keys out of your pocket and hand them to me. I’ll drive away into my actual life and leave you to diddle your market shares. End of story.

A: The intangibles are important.

Q: I know, not a scratch.

A: The double bottom line.

Q: Okay, alright, I’ll bring it back with a full tank.

A: Personal branding.

Q: I’ll get it washed and waxed, too, if that’s what you’re driving at.

A: We need an innovation incubator. Incubating innovation. Innovations will need to be incubated.

Q: What does that even mean?

A: Rapid prototyping.

Q: Why do you always have to make everything so complicated?

A: People once spoke by the same token of the Internet of Things. Now, not so. It’s our digital cocoon. We’re all enmeshed in a web of wired. Also, wireless. It’s how we’re hard-wired. Only connect.

Q: Never mind.

A: F.M. Forrester was way behind his timing.

Q: Forget it. I’ll bum a ride.

A: Everything’s already connected.

Q: Better yet, I’ll hitchhike.

A: The Butterfly Effect must be adumbrated.

Q: Look for me on the six o’clock news.


IV. Alligator Spread

Q: Why won’t you give the girls a straight answer?

A: The long game must be played.

Q: About anything?

A: A bottoming process is being experienced.

Q: Don’t give me that.

A: A wait-and-see approach is necessitated.

Q: Then you’ve lost interest in alligator spread?

A: Your inquiry will be discussed at the next meeting of the entire board, pending addition of said item to the official agenda.

Q: You prefer to spend your nights with the gnomes of Zurich?

A: Is this the short squeeze?

Q: Consider it a godfather offer.

A: You’re after more baby bonds?

Q: Whatever the market will bear.

A: Let’s remain cautiously optimistic.

Q: You. In a corner. Over a barrel.

A: Constructive on the market.

Q: By the short and curlies.

A: It’s a simple matter of triage.

Q: You know it, and I know it, and you know I know it.

A: Priorities must be determined.

Q: It is recommended that the board approve all pending recommendations.

A: That’s a sexy idea.

Q: Because switches might start flipping.

A: Flippage?

Q: It could go either way. On the one hand, there’s one way it could go—the way you’d prefer. But then again, on the other, there’s the other. Which you wouldn’t.

A: The short squeeze!

Q: So I strongly suggest that you take this matter under special advisement.

A: Alligator spread?

Q: Discussion TBC pending approval of outstanding requests.

J.T. Townley has published in Harvard Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Threepenny Review, and other magazines and journals. His stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net award. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and an MPhil in English from Oxford University, and he teaches at the University of Virginia.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.