ugly collapse of the world's largest online pet store a brave puppet tries to
pull himself from the ashes.
Interviewer: Hello Sock Puppet thank you for agreeing to be interviewed, I realize that this is a difficult time for you.
Sock Puppet: Please, call me Emilio. Pets.com refused to let me use my real name so that I couldn't ask for more money.
Interviewer: What do you mean Emilio?
Emilio: They constantly reminded me that they could hire a puppet from the former Soviet Union and dub in my voice, and since no one knew my real name they would never know the difference.
Interviewer: Wow, I never knew how tough things could be for a puppet in corporate America.
Emilio: You have no idea, Ken. You see these cute cked ears I've got? They weren't born that way, Ken. And this microphone I'm always holding? I can't put it down.
Interviewer: you mean….?
Emilio: yeah, they had a team surgically alter my ears to, and these are their words, "maximize your potential consumer amiability quotient". And the microphone.... is because I dropped the mike on the first commercial. I mean I was nervous, it was hot. But those things aren't cheap so they attached this dummy mike to my hand and just used a boom mike from then on.
Interviewer: Amazing. Why did you do it? I mean when they asked you to break your ears, why didn't you just say no?
Emilio: Ken, no offense, but you are so naive. They don't just say, "Emilio, lets break your ears and permanently attach a fake microphone to your hand". No way, it's much more sinister than that. (sniffs) This is hard to talk about, Ken. I thought I was past this, but the memories are overwhelming.
Interviewer: Do you want to stop for a minute.
Emilio: no…NO! I've got to get past this, to…to move on with my life.
Interviewer: Be strong, man. Um, dog. Uh, puppet.
Emilio: They said teeth cleaning. TEETH CLEANING damn it! I would have never agreed to reconstructive surgery on my ears. My mom freaked, I mean one day I tell her about this great new job, then BAM! My face is all covered in gauze bandages and this thing is stuck to my hand. How am I supposed to explain this? "Gee ma, they thought I'd be cuter with busted ears. Oh this thing? It's a microphone, everyone is doing it in Cali." Of course the company straightened everything out with her. You know how much it costs to get a puppets mom to forget about her son's disfigurement?
Interviewer: Umm, two thousand dollars?
Emilio: Ha, not even close my friend, not even close. Try a bottomless bowl subscription of IAMS senior formula dog food and a squeaky cat toy. I mean think how I felt. How did that negotiation go? "You've disfigured my son!" "We'll give you a bottomless bowl subscription" "HA! you must me joking he'll never be the same!" "We'll throw in a squeaky cat toy" "deal". I mean she denies it, but where did all that premium dog food come from? And I saw the contract, why do you think she never does the talk show circuit?
Interviewer: hmm. Well, what are you doing now? Where does the most famous puppet dog in history go from here? Have you got any leads on new jobs?
Emilio: Geez, this is embarrassing, just remember when I signed these contracts I was just a dumb kid. O.K. here it goes. Pets.com owns me.
Interviewer: what do you mean owns you?
Emilio: I signed rights to myself over to Pets.com in my contract. I'm actually being bid on as we speak. I hear a Korean teriyaki chain is in the lead. They want to turn me into a cat to help boost sales. I can't even speak Korean.
Interviewer: whew, rough. But there must be something good happening? I mean with all your fame and recognition. I hear you're dating Lambchop?
Emilio: Was dating Lambchop. She told me she doesn't date has-beens. Ouch.
Interviewer: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.
Emilio: It's cool. It wasn't working out anyway. I mean, everywhere we went she had to bring Sherry. She couldn't do anything without Sherry. I mean anything. Once we tried to sneak out when Sherry was sleeping but Lambchop just froze.
Emilio: She just went totally limp. She couldn't say anything, couldn't move, it was scary. I really don't want to talk about this anymore.
Interviewer: The money must be great though.
Emilio: They paid me in stock options. You know how much Pets.com stock options are worth? Zip, zilch, nada. I'm living with my mom. Hey, I gotta go man, it's been great but VH1 is doing a "Where are they now" show on me.
Interviewer: Thanks Emilio, I appreciate you sharing with us today.
Emilio: No prob. Keep it real.