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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Gossip Mill (05/08/14)

TITLE: Welcome to GMC
By Noel Mitaxa


At the rear of the room, job wannabes had assembled in loose clusters, subtly assessing each other’s chances as they swapped nervous smiles and hesitant snatches of conversation behind the regimented rows of chairs.

A very basic podium faced this seating arrangement; with no decorations in the room to indicate what awaited the crowd. Then from behind the podium, a door quietly opened and two expensively-dressed figures entered and stepped forward.

While his colleague paused, one of them stepped forward to tap the microphone, a welcoming smile draped across his features as he stretched his arms in a wordless welcome for everyone to take their seats.

Scraping, clattering chairs testified to their eager response; and his smile was underscored by warm, confident tones...

“Welcome to GMC,” he chirped. “We’re delighted to see you all, for your presence confirms to us how effective our advertising has been for a long time now. And we want you to relax and enjoy this preliminary session of a radical personal perceptions program that we have developed over more years than we - aah - might care to admit…

“But that’s enough from me. I’d like to introduce you to the communications expert who has travelled the world to develop what we will present to you today. Please don’t feel overawed by all his experience. In no time you’ll know him as plain old ‘BL,’ and you’ll grow to love him as much as we do.”

He stepped back as BL glided over to clasp the mike and sweep his gaze to catch every eye in the room.

“Are you looking to make a difference to your world?” His voice was coated with the kind of mellow sophistication that elicited a wave of nods and grins from his audience.

“If you are, you’re in the right place. GMC is a world-wide organization with a proven record on sharpening people’s insights on social trends, so we can help you to unearth the hidden agendas that our political leaders and corporate tycoons would never want anyone to know about.

“If you’re concerned about where our world is heading, we can help. And if you’re finding it hard to get people to hear your concerns, GMC can help you to become a skilled communicator by passing on secret ways to tap into the frustration levels of other folks like you, so you may lead them in helping others to recognise how bad things are going. We’ll help you with skills in Facebook, twitter and blogging, for we’ve raised the power of social media to an art form.

“But it’s not just a mental process, for GMC believes in a healthy body as much as a healthy mind.

“You’ll find our fitness program offers these important factors:

Improved flexibility—by learning to twist your perspective

Weight loss—from dispensing with the deadweight of integrity and trust

Greater endurance—from running others down

Increased strength—from jumping to conclusions

Reduced pain—through not having to wrestle with your conscience

Mental acuity—through learning to increasingly spiritualise your suspicions

“You can safely ignore our critics’ warnings about hardening of the attitudes; or their empty threats that you might somehow suffer from rumour-tism.

“Don’t let any religious convictions stand in your way, for here at GMC we welcome people with strong religious beliefs. In fact some of our most productive workers are religious folks with concerns about the motives of those who seek to make changes. We will help you to expose any questionable aspects of their past, which will protect anyone from overstepping their rightful place in life. For everyone has an Achilles Heel, and you can warn those who might fall for their manipulative approaches.

“And the greatest benefit we provide for any Christians among you is that you won’t ever need to bother God with your prayers. He has more than enough to do, so we can help him out by preventing people from breaking out of their need to stay humble.

“You’ll love the awesome power that this program will open for you—or my name isn’t BL Zebub…”

Author’s Note.
By now you have probably guessed that GMC does not refer to General Motors Corporation or to its many employees; but to Gossip Mill Communications, which employs a very willing workforce.
It’s impossible to gossip about people we pray for; and just as difficult to pray for anyone we gossip about. Probably because our prayer could change their hearts and remove our need to complain; or—even worse—it could also help us to see that God loves those people. A discovery like that could challenge us to start serving them in His name and prepare them for the changes that only He can bring. And what person who is hard-wired to gossip could tolerate such an outcome???

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This article has been read 253 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 05/16/14
This was a fine detailed sophisticated entry that hit the topic in unique fashion.

It was both fun and well written. I especially loved this:
hardening of the attitudes - Fantastic play on words.

And, of course loved the clever name of the keynote speaker, BL Zebub.

Well done!

God bless~
Ellen Carr 05/18/14
A great take on the topic with this self-improvement program, GMC. Great humour and a great end note to tie the message in. Well done!
Joe Moreland05/18/14
"Greater Endurance - from running others down."

Hilarious! And so to the point. As you pointed out, some of the devil's most productive workers are the "religious".

Great job thinking outside the box and giving us something unique to think about.
lynn gipson 05/18/14
I love that. Gossip Mill Communications. As usual, you have put together an awesome piece of writing. Spot on topic and very well done!
Margaret Kearley 05/19/14
This has a ring of CS Lewis- 'Screwtape letters' where BL Zebub would have fitted in very well. Excellent writing with heart-searching challenge.
Graham Insley05/19/14
Once again the man from Oz proves himself to be a wizard with words.

I did find it hard to get into and had to re-read the first three paragraphs a few times. I think it was because of the length of the first sentence - which was the entire paragraph. Perhaps a little reworking would make the start flow better.

Your entries always leave no doubt as to the message and are always fun to read.

Allison Egley 05/19/14
This is great. I enjoyed it! I especially liked the "health plan."