Day 1465: 5 Minute Freewrite CONTINUATION: Monday - Prompt: it's a wild world

Image by Crystal Chen from Pixabay


“You know, both of you men are just the type of men I enjoy working with – you know what all this business is for. Yeah, we could cruise out of the rest of our lives on our Army pensions, but we still have a need to serve God and country by making things as good as we can for the citizens in our family who will take up the charge after us.”

That was Sgt. Tito Gonzalez, a man who surely could have rested and relaxed after saving a whole convoy from attack with some quick thinking and a whole lot of courage. But, no, he was running a huge vending machine business, and he had come out to sit down with the principals of Ludlow Bubbly Inc. to see how they could do some business together.

Sgt. Gonzalez had brought his son Tito Jr. with him as well, Sgt. Trent's firstborn Melvin was sitting by him, and Capt. Ludlow's eldest two grandchildren Andrew and Eleanor were sitting by him. On Zoom, there sat Major J.P.P. Dubois and his father Jean-Luc, founder of Dubois on the Road and also principals of Ludlow Bubbly Inc.

“It's a family affair, indeed,” Capt. Ludlow said. “None of us are here to chase the dreams of avarice – in fact, for me it is far too late.”

“Oh, I wouldn't sell myself short,” Sgt. Gonzalez said. “I've tasted y'all's soda. You're going to be tempted heavily, Capt. Ludlow, at age 58, because the goal is not going to seem as far as you think it is. Although you are not set up to compete with multinational soda makers, you don't have to – this soda with dominate in this locale and compete where the Dubois family is situated in the international environment because of access to both vending and restaurants.”

“Basically, one taste of this, and it's over for a lot of competitors, just as we told you,” Sgt. Trent said.

“This may be the biggest thing since Plumpepper sauce put what would become Lofton County on the map for food, 150 years ago,” Sgt. Gonzalez said, “and in the same way Fruitland supported Plumpepper then, you still have the Lofton Trust running Fruitland Memorial Park so that it cranks out the same production and allows you to undercut your competitors for all materials.”

“That's a thought,” Capt. Ludlow said, “and a good one for another day – does anyone know if any of the Cassander Slocum/Tibbett branch of that family is still around? We ought to do a memorial flavor, given that the 150th anniversary is next year for Plumpepper.”

“Brilliant, gentlemen,” Sgt. Trent said.

“I'll find out,” Major J.P.P. Dubois said, “and get us a grip on the legalities.”

“In the meantime,” Sgt. Gonzalez said, “I'd like Ludlow Bubbly Inc. to consider this question: how many vending machines can you fill working exactly two days a week every week to get them filled? Two days because you have to remember: we all have these big families, and we also all need time to work ON the business, not IN the business. Bear in mind: your Dubois partners literally have dozens of hands, but they also have a business they are running that is essential to people eating in this pandemic.

“Y'all sit down and work that out, and what I will work out is location, location, location – obviously, the Veteran's Lodge, but there are some other great spots as well I can present you.”

“Every week?” Capt. Ludlow said. “Are you sure we will have that kind of demand?”

Sgt. Gonzalez smiled.

“Capt. Ludlow, get ready. It's a wild world out here right now. People in Lofton County are shut up in a way people like you have never been shut up – literally, the sheriff has got folks trained that they had better just be going out for essentials. The people need consolation and new things to replace their old obsessions.

“I'm telling you The Ludlow Bubbly, once it gets into that gap, is going to fly away. Get ready, sir. We could refill a vending machine every day at the Veteran's Lodge if we wanted to – but that would wreck your life. You too, Sgt. Trent. Get ready. You are about to face the temptations of wild success. Talk to the Duboises – Monsieur Jean-Luc can tell you, having been three times a success in the food business, how it goes!”

La verite est vraie,” Monsieur Dubois said with a smile, and then translated his favorite phrase, “The truth is true – we must all think and pray carefully. Success ruins men as completely as failure does without the help of le bon Dieu!

“And we are all leaders of praying families,” Sgt. Gonzalez said, “which is the other reason I love working with people like y'all. We all know to call on high to the Captain of the Hosts of the Lord, and He will not lead us wrong.”

“Amen,” said every other person at the meeting, and then everybody broke out laughing.

“The church is on one accord today!” Sgt. Trent cried.

“And at a business meeting, mind you!” Capt. Ludlow cried, and that caused a whole fresh peal of laughter.

C'est magnifique!” the Dubois father and son chipped in.

Gloria in exclesis Deo!” Sgt. Gonzalez finished, and the joy lingered until the actual end of the meeting.