“This is it. The moment my journalistic career has been waiting for.” Miss Nomar’s hands were a bit moist with sweat. She carelessly wiped her palms on the sides of her tailored suit coat. For years she’s tried to get an interview with the founder of DodoEggs.com, a man so elusive many employees didn’t even believe he existed. He was the man who hired the company’s CEO – the megalomaniac of the memo- Chief Dodo. The founder’s name was known only to a few and spoken only with the hush of absolute reverence…Greg Dillwine, Esquire.
If one gets past the head-scratching hiring of Chief Dodo, Mr. Dillwine’s achievements are nothing short of miraculous. DodoEggs.com leads the industry in recalled products, winning sponsorships from obscure non-profits, and hiring otherwise jobless cosmetology degrees. Money falls from thin air – it’s like a vacuum for venture capital.
“And the only business plan is to find new titles for executives…and it works! What began as a simple Internet start up now occupies thirteen floors of a Manhattan high rise.” Miss Nomar stopped between sets of stairs to catch her breath. The elevator was broken and all three maintenance folks were dissecting a slow dripping coffee machine. “Now the man…who can create money from an immense pile…of bad ideas is giving me…me an interview.”
She arrived at a dull gray, steel service door at the top of the stairs and tried the door – it was locked. A red light above her head begins to blink. Miss Nomar raises her fist and pounds on the door. There must be someone inside and she wouldn’t stop until she earned an answer. Finally a voice pushed through the door. “Go away Chief! It’s not time to get up until my feet hit the carpet or my bladder explodes…my mom should never let you in the building!”
Miss Nomar’s eyes narrow in confusion. “Look,” her loud voice echoes down the stairwell. “I’m here to see Mr. Dillwine. I have an appointment and nobody’s mom let me in.”
“Who sent you?”
“Chief Dodo set up the appointment! He’s supposed to be in charge!” She reached into her backpack and pulled out a box of cereal. “He did mention bringing a box of cereal…Cheerios.”
The speaker’s tone picked up. “Regular, multi-grain, or honey-nut.”
The red light suddenly turns green and the door opened. Before Miss Nomar stood a thirteen-year-old boy with mousy brown hair going in every direction, glasses (smudged), and a T-shirt with “Harlem Knights Basketball” across the front. The shirt is threadbare and looked like it might be glued to his skin. The room behind him is hard to see with the shades pulled.
“Yes, I’m Greg Dillwine.” The boy reached over and turned on the lights revealing a dresser stacked with colognes and tattered copies of Calvin & Hobbes comics and a trumpet with “Band Camp Blows” written on the side.
“This is my office.” He continued. “I need to use the bathroom so if you’ll just set the cereal on the table over there and get out the milk… I’ll be right back.”
Miss Nomar tires to ignore the splashing sound of toilet water coming from the bathroom as she sets up breakfast and her tape recorder. Greg Dillwine isn’t anything like she expected. He’s way too young and barely looks like he has a pulse.
About a minute later, Greg returns and sits – his hair has been plastered down and his breath smells like backing soda. “I’m ready Miss Nomar when you are.”
“Ok, but I’ll be honest…I was expecting someone a little more mature. You look like some sort of computer geek.”
Greg shrugs. “Well let’s see, I’m clumsy around girls but I’m not opposed to them liking me. I enjoy reading out of date computer shoppers because I think the rapid deprecation in computer hardware is funny. Uh, and I one day plan to experiment with long hair… somewhat unsuccessfully. I was even given a chocolate calculator once and I kept it – didn’t eat it.”
The interview chuckles a bit – was he trying to be funny? Miss Nomar wasn’t sure. “So, yea, you’d be comfortable with the computer geek tag.”
Greg took off his glasses and began putting in contacts at the small table in his office. “Sure but here’s the thing – if computer geeks can avoid being entrapped into video games they usually wind up pretty wealthy. How much do you make per year?”
“I work for DodoEggs.com.”
Greg tries to restrain a chortle and fails. “Oh (ahem) that’s right.”
“So why don’t you tell me about your inspiration for DodoEggs.com?”
“Well it was really just an idea to get a little peace. You see I’ve known Chief Dodo for a long time and he would constantly email me this garbage about the three types of college professors – overenthusiastic, demigod, or one-dimensional freak. Dude, I don’t care! Then I’d get lists of his favorite vegetables and why. Man, leave me alone! The final straw was a screenplay about a desperate band of deodorant sticks fighting the evils of bad odors. He wanted me to finance the whole deal and when I refused he offered me the lead role.”
“Did you accept?”
A sly smile appears. “I took it. I figured a larger profile would help me with the lady folk so other than my film pursuits I drove an eighty something Buick Riviera with cranium rattling bass. Whoop, there I am!” Drops smile. “…still without a date.”
Miss Nomar taps her pencil on the desk. “So you were saying something about ChiefDodo bothering you? I’m a bit confused. Are you talking about getting rid of ChiefDodo or are we talking about your struggle with girls?”
“Both.” He paused then continued. “Right, well I thought if I paired my Rivera and the big sound system with big chest muscles, I’d not only get attention from the girls but if I brought ChiefDodo along the bass would drown out his constant talking. The gym had loud music too. I wound up worked out but the plan didn’t. No girls and ChiefDodo still wouldn’t shut up.”
Miss Nomar shook her head. “Sir, we were talking about DodoEggs.com. What’s the story behind the web site and the company?”
“Oh alright. The whole thing was started with my left over time. You see, my father was a professor at Dakota University’s computer department and I knew more than he did. His colleges all got to know me and when I signed up for their classes they’d ask me not to come. I still got credit but never attended class. What did I do with my spare time? Who knows? I don’t remember! I sure wasn’t dating! Maybe I was deleting stupid, random emails from ChiefDodo. I had to get the guy out of my IN box! I ended up buying a web domain and gave it to him. I installed a computer-tracking program that makes him think people actually visit the site. Now he doesn’t bother me as much…it’s great.”
“Are you saying DodoEggs.com is just a dumb diversion?!”
Greg eyed his Cheerios. “I can’t answer anymore questions – my cereal is getting soggy. Why don’t you make yourself useful and click on the advertisers on the side of DodoEggs.com? We make a little money when that happens. Do it. Do it now!”