The Shallot (Like The Onion, but purple): ‘Hedgehogs in Business’ proposal creates in-office dispute

A rare in-office scuffle occurred as Xpress staff deadlines were looming this week. Apparently, the news team had misinterpreted an interoffice memo from the (moderately illiterate) sales team. In it, the sales reps proposed a new special issue theme for the Oct. 11 issue: “Hedgehogs in Business.”

Somehow, Xpress reporters interpreted the pitch as a foregone conclusion. Adding further tension and confusion, the editorial team believed the request involved an entire issue dedicated to the 1970s Muppets feature about a diva pig exploring space.

Utilizing Zoom to avoid actual fisticuffs, all editorial questions were answered and misinterpretations clarified by the sales team. (Thought the news team remained skeptical about the proposed theme.)

Moving quickly, the sales team organized an Xpress-sponsored focus group to gather additional feedback on their vision for an issue dedicated to entrepreneurial hedgehogs (with a possible photo feature including other cute and cuddly rodents). The focus group, which included members of the porcupine community, took issue with the “cuddly” motif, which was seen as not being inclusive; they were also vocal about the issue being offensive to segments of the larger rodent community who don’t identify as hedgehogs.

In a total commercial sellout, the publisher nixed the whole thing and insisted on the “safe and traditional” cover story that you see today. To appease a potentially bitter staff, Xpress hosted an ice cream party during work hours.

Update: Hedgehogs were incorrectly identified as rodents, which they are not. We are sorry for this unfortunate error.


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