As we gather together for this small celebration, we should pause, if only for a moment, to reflect on all the great things we have accomplished over the past year. We've had some good times, but we've also had a few rough times. For the most part, we have accomplished much of what we set out to do. And in those few cases where we had to backtrack, or re-think a goal, we have usually ended up with something that is better in the long run for all of us.
It reminds me of that old joke about the three henchmen, and you'll have to forgive me if you've heard this one before, but I've always heard it's best to open with a joke. Anyhow, it seems one afternoon these three henchmen walk into a bar. The bartender asks, "What can I get you gentlemen?"
The first henchman was the smallest of the three. He was only about the size of a large van. He was also a bit of a newbie, so he immediately mutters, "Gimme all your cash."
The bartender sighed and gave the other two henchmen a look of disapproval. Ignoring the demand, he turned to the second henchman, and said, "How about you, sir?"
Trying to show the newbie how it's done, the second henchman, who was about as big as two vans, or maybe a bread truck and a compact sedan, slammed his fists down on the counter so that every glass in the bar shook, spat on the floor, and growled at the bartender, "Listen barkeep, you're going to do just what I tell you to do, or else!" He slammed the bar again. "Put all the cash in a bag, then fill that box over there with the best scotch and bourbon you can find in this lousy place, and if your quick about it, I might not have to kill you, got it?"
The bartender smiled, just a little bit, and turned towards the cash register. As he started filling up the bag, he asked the third henchman, "And what do you fancy, fine sir?"
The third henchman was larger than the biggest UPS truck you've ever seen. Most people, when seeing him walking down the street, don't only cross to the other side, they often move out-of-state with no forwarding address.
The third henchman curled his lip, glared at the first henchman, then the second. Finally, he looked at the bartender and said, in a high, squeaky voice, "I just came in here for a Rum and coke."
The point of that little story is to remind all of you that when we sometimes don't get what we want, we may still get what we need - a good drink and the company of our peers.
The most obvious recent accomplishment to share with all of you has to be the completion of our new, state-of-the-art anti-intrusion system and its successful implementation around the entire perimeter of our evil-lair island and resort spa. Kudos especially, to our minefield developers. They managed to come in under budget and two weeks early.
On a side note, Gus, remember to give my condolences to the families of our four stalwart munitions placement professionals. It's always a tragedy to lose anyone on this great team, but remember; they died doing something they loved. And on the plus-side, the four remaining team members will get a much larger Christmas bonus.
I don't want to forget to mention this year's corporate challenge team. I share the team's disappointment in finishing in third place. I guess we all know that we had a first place finish in the bag until we were betrayed in the improvised poisons event by our former head of the BMF Gun research lab. Let me just say that beheading was too good for him, which is why I am delighted to present Dirk Crandall, Poisons team captain, with this Spirit Award recognizing not just his hard work, but the ingenuous method of death he improvised just for the traitorous scoundrel. I had no idea a grown man could turn so many different lovely shades of color. Well done, Dirk.
Moving on. We had some good times this year -- wonderful times. We got to flex our muscles a bit in the competition, our latest line of designer cudgels and brass knuckles is feeling the positive impact of the economic downturn, and against all predictions, our new line of apparel, Nefarious Nightwear, directed at the fairer sex, is doing fantastic, Some of this is probably due to the tie-in with our new designer perfume Nefarious, a beautiful scent that, when ingested, can render a person immobile for up to half an hour, with few lasting side-effects. It was especially gratifying to learn that none other than Dick Cheney is a regular Nefarious Nightwear customer. He apparently has a penchant for our Tazer Bra, the Nefarious Nipple Neutralizer. Luckily, Tom Stephens, director of the Nefarious line, had the foresight to order all these products in Plus sizes.
The other big project in the pipeline is our PeopleSoft implementation. Now I know a lot of you are asking what does an evil-genius like me, or a dreadful league of professionals such as ourselves need with an enterprise resource planning tool? I'm not real sure myself, but there must be some way I can use it to advance my evil schemes.
Well, I don't want to take up anymore of your time, but before we open the buffet, I would like to say what a pleasure I get out of working with the best team of henchmen, evil side-kicks and general technicians and brainiacs you all are. As we begin the New Year, let's approach our jobs with a renewed determination. If we can stay on-target with our schedules, and the economic downturn continues I am certain that this year we will achieve world domination.
Oh, and one last note. Please remember to stay out of sector 17. We don't want any more mishaps with our genetically engineered crocodiles.
Thank you again, and good night.