Sure Not Bottling Up The Stupid

, , , | Working | September 8, 2020

This happened several years ago, but several years after the Bonsai Kitten joke site was already old news. I work as an editor at a small — and not very good — magazine. I get called into the owner’s office.

Owner: “Someone just sent me this link! Did you know that in both New York and Tokyo, a lot of people are buying cats that have been raised in glass jars so they’re completely deformed? This is horrible! You have to write an article about this!”

Me: “Yeah.” *Laughs* “Good one.”

Owner: “What do you mean, ‘Good one’? This is pure torture! How can this be legal?”

Me: *Realising he’s serious* “Oh. No, no, that site is a hoax. That’s not real. It’s a joke.”

Owner: “What do you mean, ‘not real’? There are pictures! How is that funny?”

Me: “Yeah, those are photoshopped. Badly. Intentionally so.”

Owner: “‘Photoshopped’? You can’t change photographs!”

Me: *Pause* “We’re a glossy magazine. You literally pay one of us to fix photographs using Photoshop.”

Owner: “Yeah, but you can’t make a photograph of something that doesn’t exist! Those poor cats!”

I bring up a photoshop contest on his browser.

Me: “Look at this rhino/bumblebee hybrid. Do you think that exists in real life? You can do a lot in Photoshop.”

Owner: *Stunned* “Really?”

Me: “Yes. Also, think about it. The site says bonsai kittens have been hugely popular all over the world for years. If that were true, don’t you think it would be news anywhere else but on this one website?”

Owner: “Huh. Maybe?”

Me: “Right. It’s a joke. It’s in poor taste, maybe, but it’s not real. No actual cats are getting born into glass jars and growing up star-shaped.”

Owner: “I guess…”

At this point, one of our ad sales agents walks in.

Owner: “Hey, did you hear about this bonsai kitten thing?”

Agent: “Oh, yeah, that’s totally real. I talked to some Chinese guy and he confirmed it.”

Owner: “See?!”

Me: “Oh, look, it’s five pm. I need to get home.”

We never ran that article, no thanks to the owner.

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