Ice Broken At Area Sales Seminar

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Vol 35 Issue 12

Glandular Problem Forces Man To Eat Fifth Helping

FREDERICKSBURG, MD—Born with a rare, debilitating glandular disorder, 450-pound Fredericksburg resident Gordon Hotchkiss, 41, helped himself to a fifth serving of mashed potatoes Monday. "Why, oh, why, was I chosen by God to suffer from this horrible blaaarghmum?" bemoaned the stricken Hotchkiss, helplessly shoveling fistfuls of buttery mashed potatoes into his mouth. "What have I done to deserve this awful glomphummm?" Hotchkiss' condition, known within medical circles as "bigfatfuckitis," also prevents him from using the stairs instead of the elevator to get to his second-floor apartment.

Second-Grade Music Student Goes Nuts With Cowbell

SAN BERNARDINO, CA—Lakeview Elementary School second-grader Andrew Armbrister went completely nuts with the cowbell during music class Monday, ferociously banging on the percussive instrument for more than five minutes in an effort to produce the loudest sound humanly possible. "Ah yah yah yah yah yah yah yah yah yah yah yah yah," the 7-year-old Armbrister shouted atonally to augment the performance, drowning out music teacher Brenda Noonan's impassioned appeals for him to stop. Noonan told reporters that in the future, Armbrister would be assigned triangle duty.

Starlet-Viewer Age Difference Quickly Calculated

GRAND RAPIDS, MI—Alarmed Grand Rapids data-entry clerk Clifford Gornowicz, 33, quickly calculated the age difference between himself and 17-year-old Tonight Show guest Gaby Hoffman while watching the program Monday. "Man... 16 years," Gornowicz said to himself after host Jay Leno disclosed the actress' age. "That means she wasn't even born when The Empire Strikes Back came out. Oh, God." Gornowicz has reportedly not been this distressed since Christina Ricci.

Borrowed CD Slowly Integrated Into Own Collection

OLYMPIA, WA—An Elvis Costello CD belonging to area resident Jonathan Wagner, 24, has entered the final stage of de facto ownership by friend Doug Alland, sources reported Tuesday. "For the first four or five days, I kept Jon's copy of Blood & Chocolate alone on top of my CD player," Alland, 23, said. "Then, for about a week and a half, I had it next to a stack of my own CDs that I'd been listening to." Alland said he then worked the album into the adjacent stack, eventually filing it away in his own CD shelf, where it will remain permanently, unless Wagner specifically asks for it back. "I'm way more into that album than Jon is, anyway," said Alland, defending the gradual acquisition. "He barely ever even played it." In 1997, Alland made news for a spectacular nine-stage acquisition of Down By Law on videocassette.

Colorful Multicultural Mural Celebrates Diverse Lack Of Talent

COLUMBUS, OH—A brightly colored multicultural mural on the side of the Walker Street Community Center has brought together Columbus' many diverse ethnic communities in a celebration of talentless painting. "The young people of this city have given us something we truly can kind of be proud of," City Councilman Terrence Fordham said Monday at the bad mural's dedication ceremony. "These ham-fisted dollops of garish paint and barely recognizable human figures are a joyous tribute to the gorgeous mosaic that is Columbus."

On The Road Again

I am sorry to say that Standish and I are no longer under the protection of the Burger-King. At the end of the first day of asylum, the diplomat known as "Dale—Crew Manager" informed us that we had been mistaken for two other "senior-citizens" who apparently also sought refuge with the fabled monarch of meat.

This Year's Tri-County Agribusiness Awards Were A Damn Travesty

As you no doubt know, this past Monday night was the Tri-County Agribusiness Awards, the gala annual event honoring the best in agriculture sales and marketing in the tri-county area. As is the case every year, I was really excited to watch the show. But after seeing who took home the coveted Aggys this year, I swear, I'm never watching again. The 1999 Tri-County Agribusiness Awards were nothing but a damn travesty!
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Ice Broken At Area Sales Seminar

TAMPA, FL—Pharmex Industries CEO Jack Gorelick, keynote speaker at the "Commercializing New-Market Biopharmaceuticals" sales seminar, successfully broke the ice Saturday, setting a friendly, cordial tone for the two-day event with a string of quips during his opening address.

Pharmex CEO Jack Gorelick breaks the ice.

Standing at the podium in Conference Room B of the Tampa Hyatt Regency West, Gorelick put seminar-goers at ease and facilitated conversation by joking about the confusing one-way circular drive at the front of the hotel.

"Sorry I'm a little late, folks, but I was going around that darn driveway for almost an hour, trying to figure out where to get off," said Gorelick, 49. "So here I am, a little dizzy, but happy to welcome all of you to the sunburn capital of America."

The humorous remarks, which were met with audible laughter from the 175 pharmaceutical-industry professionals in attendance, caused even those lined up at the free-drawing-registration table to smile in recognition of the difficult-to-navigate driveway.

"Everyone in the room could really relate, because we all came around that drive when we checked in," said Charles Dean, 53, director of product development for the Phoenix-based Biotek Ltd. "When you first get on the little byway, it seems like a two-way—there's no sign or anything. But then it narrows up by the front door, so lots of cars end up having to back out."

"Of course," Dean continued, "I'm sure [Gorelick] was just exaggerating when he said he was out there for an hour. But whatever the case, one thing's for sure: The ice was broken."

With introductory formalities out of the way, Gorelick confidently proceeded to the rest of his speech. Moving an index card in his hand to the back of the pile, he gestured toward a projection screen illustrating the "Three Ms" of biopharmaceutical sales: Mergers, Marketplace and Making funding happen.

"Enough kidding around. It's time to get down to business," said Gorelick, making eye contact with various people seated throughout the room. "Who here knows the number-one killer of profits that can occur while moving products from lab to consumer? I've got a free Pharmex pen-light for the first person brave enough to take a guess. Come on, don't be shy!"

Gorelick, who made his speech a dialogue—not a monologue—by soliciting responses from the audience, spoke for approximately 50 minutes before opening up the floor to questions.

Those present agreed that the deftly executed ice-breaking was crucial to the success of the seminar.

"Those remarks really got things off on the right foot," said Kathie Desoto of Medix Biosystems in Rochester, NY. "Before the ice was broken, everyone was pretty stiff and keeping to themselves. But from that point on, there was a great deal of interaction among seminar attendees and exchanging of ideas regarding how to maximize one's profitability in an extremely competitive biopharmaceutical marketplace. I have no idea what might have happened had Mr. Gorelick just launched into the seminar without first making a personal connection with his audience. I'm just glad we didn't have to find out."

Gorelick's ice breakage is considered the most successful at a Hyatt Regency West seminar since October 1998, when an executive from Kal Kan Pet Foods attributed looming storm clouds to a higher power urging attendees to stay inside for his "Expanding Your Premium-Dog-Food Consumer Base" workshop.

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