Gaia's Organic Offerings (GOO) and Splendid Luscious Organic Provisions (SLOP) were fierce rivals for a major market share in the stupendously, amazingly, unbelievably fast-growing organic food industry. This was reflected in the fierce animosity between the CEOs of the two companies, Julius Jauch and Samuel Sterco, who never missed an opportunity to embarrass each other. The two were so evenly matched in cleverness and malice that after several public humiliations, and without consulting each other, they independently resolved it would be wisest to avoid ever being seen together. And that is what they did.
Following their own advice proved impossible, however, when they were both invited to a fund-raising event and press conference hosted by the Social Harmonizers Against McFood (SHAM). They had both been secretly funding the activist group for years, so each was surprised that the other had been involved, but both had to back their investment in food agitation.
During the press conference, the heads of GOO and SLOP sat at opposite ends of the speaker's table, each of them simultaneously hoping for the swiftest departure possible and seeking an opportunity to humiliate the other--or worse.
The opportunity arose when a reporter stood up and asked, "What would you say to people who claim that organic food is not as safe as conventional food, and that the extra expense isn't worth it?"
Julius Jauch immediately went into action. Holding a carrot aloft, he said, "This is an organic carrot, and Samuel Sterco will not only give me $50,000 for it, he will eat it as well."
Sterco immediately subdued his rush of panic in a way only CEOs can manage. He stood calmly, allowed a gleam into his eye, and pulled a stick of celery from his pocket. "This stick of organic celery is worth $50,000," he said. "What is more, Julius Jauch will not only accept it in exchange for his carrot, he will eat it right in front of all of you."
Whispers and expressions of amazement filled the auditorium as the two men traded the vegetables and returned to their respective chairs. The press conference continued while the men ate slowly and carefully and glanced suspiciously at each other.
Meanwhile, the Chief Scientific Advisor of SHAM slipped quietly from the stage and searched frantically for the head of the group's Public Outreach & Organizing Program. He found the man standing on the sidewalk in front of the building, puffing a rather rumpled-looking cigarette.
"Quick!" said the Chief Scientific Advisor. "We need an immediate press release! $100,000 in Organic Food Sold at SHAM Event!"