In sharp contrast to last week’s teddybear picnic, whose theme was one of furtive amusement, today’s annual TeddybearCorp employee meeting was fraught with tension. The meeting, held in a conference room at the Palisades Hotel, drew on for over six hours as teddybear CEO Snuffle-Wuffles delivered the yearly financial reports, making extensive use of PowerPoint slides and at one point nearly blinding a smaller plush toy as he frantically gesticulated with a laser pointer. The news was sobering for some.
“We’ve experienced a marked downturn in the rate of teddybear production due in part to new regulations regarding Chinese toy importation, and the bottleneck is still affecting our usual distribution channels,” said Snuffle-Wuffles. “But there’s a problem on the demand side as well. Youths are turning more and more to video games and other more high-tech entertainments, and there’s just not as much call for stuffed bears anymore. How are we supposed to compete with the Nintendo Wii, for example? The closest thing to high tech we have is Vice President Ruxpin over there, and that’s just because he needs batteries.”
Asked for comment, TeddybearCorp Vice President Theodore Ruxpin merely moved his mouth up and down in vague synchronicity with a prerecorded speech.
After the news, stock in TeddybearCorp (HUG) plummeted ten points to a record low of $3/share. “We have to change with the times, or we’re sunk,” said Paddington Bear, the company’s head of marketing. “We can’t conduct our new advertising strategy as we would our picnics – beneath the trees, where nobody sees. That just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in this day and age.” When asked how he would gauge the company’s future prospects in light of the recent stock bail-outs, Paddington replied, “Let’s put it this way: this rain gear I’m wearing has gone from cute accessory to ominous metaphor. And there are more storms ahead.”
CEO Snuffle-Wuffles appears to be equally grim on the company’s future prospects. “At the picnic, there was a certain tone of melancholy underneath all the frolicking – it was as if we all knew that things as we knew them were coming to an end. And after today’s meeting, I think it’s safe to say that we’re ALL tired little teddybears.” Snuffle-Wuffles paused for a moment, seemingly overcome by emotion. When pressed further, he exhibited the same fiery spirit for which he has been known throughout his long career. “Of course I’m not crying, you moron. My eyes are made of buttons.”