Rhetorical Pleasantry Elicits 45-Minute Response

Top Headlines

Business

Tips For Cheaper Airfare

Whether the busy travel season, fuel prices, or airline collusion is to blame, airfare is currently very pricey, making traveling more difficult. The Onion walks you through some ways to reduce the cost of flying

Online University Allows Students To Amass Crippling Debt At Own Pace

SAN DIEGO—Touting its wide range of financially ruinous academic programs that can be tailored to meet anyone’s scheduling needs, officials at Enterprise College announced Monday that the online institution is committed to letting students amass a crippling amount of debt at their own individual pace.

Invasive Restaurant Franchise Spreads To Third State

WASHINGTON—Noting that it had already disrupted several natural communities in Kansas and Iowa, officials from the Bureau of Consumer Protection revealed Tuesday that Bonito’s, a highly invasive strain of casual dining restaurant, had recently been spotted in parts of eastern Nebraska.

Listerine Introduces New Mouth Styling Gel

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Announcing that consumers no longer need to settle for plain, drab dental features, Johnson & Johnson unveiled its new line of Listerine mouth styling gels Wednesday.

Executive On Hot Streak With 2 Straight Logical Decisions

CHICAGO—Saying the impressive display of business sense came entirely out of nowhere, employees of public relations agency Davidson Communications confirmed Wednesday that CEO Donald Marshall was on an absolute hot streak after making two straight logical decisions.

McDonald’s Turns 75

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the McDonald’s restaurant chain, which was founded in 1940 as a Southern California barbecue joint and has since expanded to more than 35,000 locations across the globe. Here are some highlights from the company’s history

Corporate Wellness Programs

Following in the footsteps of Google’s new employee meditation program, companies across the country are introducing more wellness initiatives aimed at keeping health care costs down and boosting worker productivity.

The Pros And Cons Of Open-Plan Offices

More companies are remodeling offices to incorporate open-plan layouts in an effort to save money and encourage collaboration, though many employees complain that the setup eliminates privacy and makes it hard to concentrate.

Walmart Vows To Defend Whichever Gays Buy Their Cheap Shit

BENTONVILLE, AR—Despite Governor Asa Hutchinson’s refusal to sign a controversial religious freedom bill that seemed to permit businesses to discriminate against homosexuals, officials from Arkansas-based retailer Walmart announced Wednesday t...

How Cable Companies Plan To Fight Cord Cutting

More consumers than ever are “cord cutting,” or getting rid of their cable service in favor of watching shows online, challenging the cable industry to launch new initiatives in order to keep customers.

Fast Food Customers Less Appealing Than In Commercial

GREENVILLE, SC—Expressing his disappointment shortly after sitting down for lunch at a local franchise location Wednesday, area man Peter Strauss told reporters that the customers at Burger King were actually far less appealing in real life than the...

Pfizer Mercifully Puts Down Another Batch Of Trial Patients

NEW YORK—Following unforeseen complications during a trial of the company’s new cholesterol medication Lipodrin, researchers at pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer said they were forced to put down another batch of test patients out of mercy Fr...

Benadryl Introduces New Non-Drowsy Allergy Dart

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Promising consumers rapid relief from seasonal allergies without any drowsiness, Johnson & Johnson announced the release Friday of Benadryl Pierce, a new blowgun-administered antihistamine dart that will soon be available in dr...

Timeline: The Collapse Of RadioShack

Electronics retailer RadioShack filed for bankruptcy after 94 years in business, ultimately unable to keep up with consumers’ shift to the wireless and digital technologies of the internet age.

Company To Experiment With Valuing Employees

SAN DIEGO—Cautioning that the initiative was being instituted on a trial basis only, Forrest Logistics CEO Wayne Gartner announced Thursday that the company had recently begun experimenting with valuing its employees.

Most Controversial Super Bowl Commercials

The commercials airing during the Super Bowl each year have become incredibly popular in their own right, and nearly every broadcast seems to include at least one ad met with criticism from audiences, media critics, and others.

The Pros And Cons Of Fracking

Gas prices are plummeting across America thanks in part to the country doubling its daily oil exports, which is made possible by chemical fracturing technology that scientists have said wreaks havoc on the environment.

KFC, Midas Team Up For Much-Anticipated Crossover Meal

LOUISVILLE, KY—Saying the new product brings together the best that two of America’s most trusted brands have to offer, fast food giant KFC and automotive service chain Midas introduced their long-awaited crossover meal, the Road Bucket, this ...

Corporate America Shaken By Death Of Longtime Consumer

CHARLESTON, SC—Expressing shock and an immense sense of grief, numerous high-ranking figures across corporate America were reportedly left shaken Friday after learning of the sudden death of longtime consumer Arthur Henderson. Executives within the ...

Boston Cruise Line Introduces New Whale Ramming Tour

BOSTON—Offering what they describe as an “unforgettable” opportunity to get “up close and personal” with the region’s marine life, sources confirmed this week that Boston-based cruise line Harbor Excursions has begun op...

Moronic Mailroom Worker Worked Way Down From CEO

NEW YORK—Marveling at just how far he has plummeted since taking charge of the company 18 years ago, moronic former CEO Douglas Kellerman regaled reporters Tuesday with the discouraging story of how he worked his way down to the mailroom of MetroCom...
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Food

Business

Coworkers Pull Off Daring One-Hour Lunch Break

TUCSON, AZ—Saying they couldn’t believe such a wild exploit had even been attempted, employees at local marketing firm Synergy Media Services told reporters they were still completely dumbfounded Thursday after account manager Tim Gibbons managed to pull off a daring one-hour lunch break.

Rhetorical Pleasantry Elicits 45-Minute Response

OMAHA, NE—A casual greeting, delivered offhandedly by operations consultant Adam Harding, 27, triggered a 45-minute response from 32-year-old executive assistant Peter Sullivan on Monday.

Stranded by coworker Peter Sullivan for nearly an hour, Adam Harding refilled his Dixie cup 21 times.

According to Harding, his five-word pleasantry, reportedly "Hey man, how's it going?" was merely intended to acknowledge the physical presence of his colleague. Yet Harding, who has been employed by Morgan Consulting Partners since November, quickly found himself in an overly personal, seemingly unending one-sided conversation with Sullivan in a narrow hallway.

"I remember him answering 'Not so good, man, not so good, it's one thing after another,' and I almost kept walking by him, but then I realized he was continuing to speak," Harding said.

Sullivan embarked on a detailed account of the events of his weekend, highlighted by an incident Sunday in which his 2002 Toyota Corolla broke down when he was on the way to a veterinary clinic with his sick cat.

"I guess his cat swallowed something or had distemper or whatever," Harding said. "Then he talked about some warranty issue with the car, like the warranty had lapsed but he still had some sort of claim because some part was defective, and then he told this really long story about getting to the vet."

After several further cat-related anecdotes, Sullivan somehow arrived at the subject of the minor lower-back pain that has plagued him throughout the winter.

"I gotta…" said Harding, gesturing in the direction of his cubicle as Sullivan cited various possible causes for the back pain, including his workload, the company's "shitty chairs," and stress brought on by a recent telephone conversation with his mother.

"Uh-huh," Harding added after six minutes of quiet nodding.

Harding's several attempts to extricate himself from the monologue, including checking his cell phone every 30 to 40 seconds and shooting wide-eyed looks of exasperation at any coworker who walked past, either went unnoticed or were disregarded by Sullivan. As the monologue continued, Harding increasingly felt the need to urinate.

"I thought things were finally winding down when he said 'Anyway,' but then he began mentioning problems he's been having with his girlfriend," Harding said. "When he looked right at me and put his hand on my shoulder, I knew I was in it for the long haul."

Harding admitted that he "botched" a chance to escape when Sullivan paused briefly as he recalled the last time he and his girlfriend had "really gone out and had a good time together." Harding said that he did manage to wordlessly open and close his mouth a couple times in the brief interim.

A mournful sigh seven minutes later allowed Harding the opportunity to say he was going to get a glass of water, prompting Sullivan to invite himself along to "stretch [his] legs." To Harding's dismay, the hydration only served to further stimulate Sullivan's thought processes.

"He called me into a nearby stairwell, and started in on this whole new thing about work itself, how everybody's always playing politics, and 'witch hunts' and 'backstabbing' and that sort of stuff," Harding said. "He said he was only saying these things because I was the only one who really seemed to 'get' him, and that no one talks to him anymore, probably because he's 'on to them.'"

As Sullivan said that he was "convinced" that the office web-page blocking policy was directly due to his supervisor walking in on him while he was reading an online gossip blog, a blocked ID call came in on Harding's cell phone. Characterizing the call as one he "absolutely needed to get," Harding quickly excused himself, even finding a bathroom on another floor of the building to lessen the chance of encountering Sullivan again.

The salutation and resulting litany marked the second time the two had ever spoken.

According to office sources, later that afternoon Sullivan engaged a front-office receptionist with an hour-long recollection of the tribulations he faced during middle school.