Setting: Kentucky Fried Chicken headquarters.
Operations Manager: “I don’t know, Bubba. You know how people feel about jobs going out of the country.”
Chief Financial Officer: “You’re making too big a deal out of this, Vern. Sure, Americans say they don’t like outsourcing, but these folks are gonna manufacture to our strict, quality standards. Besides, they work for peanuts. It’s a sweet setup.”
Operations Manager: “I think we’re going to get some complaints on this thing.”
Chief Financial Officer: “No one is even gonna notice. And if they do complain, the customer service call center is in Calcutta. Hell, those folks talk better English than we do! But don’t worry; they’ll swallow it. Because when it comes right down to it, Americans want cheap.”
Setting: Somewhere in the Romulus Nebulon Galaxy. A vast, open space contains countless tentacled creatures, gliding 6 inches above the floor. Their large, misshapen heads are topped with a red, licorice-type growth. The space contains hundreds of stations that look like funnels suspended above huge vats.
Plant Foreman (voice sounds like Beldar Conehead under water): “THE NEXT ORDER COMES FROM THE SOUTHERN UNITED STATES OF EARTH, OIL-DIPPED, COATED POULTRY PARTS CORPORATION.
PRODUCT IS TO BE INSERTED INTO SMALL, POLYPROPYLENE SACS AND MAY BE ACCESSED ONLY THROUGH THE USE OF SHARP IMPLEMENTS. SACS ARE TO BE IMPRINTED WITH A LIKENESS OF AN ELDERLY HUMAN MALE, WITH WHITE FUR ON HIS FACE AND A BLACK STRING AROUND THE BOTTOM OF HIS HEAD. ONE EDGE OF EACH SAC IS TO BE INDENTED IN A SERRATED PATTERN. THIS IS AN EARTH CUSTOM THAT GIVES THE ILLUSION THAT THE SAC MAY BE OPENED WITHOUT SHARP IMPLEMENTS.
SET THE REPLICATOR TO THE FOLLOWING SPECIFICATIONS:
ITEM CATEGORY: COMESTIBLE
MATTER STATE: FLUID
COLOR: SEMI-TRANSPARENT YELLOW/BROWN
Second creature: “WHAT DOES THIS SPECIFICATION “TASTE” REFER TO?”
Plant Foreman “TASTE IS A HUMAN CONCEPT THAT DOES NOT RESONATE WITH ZORGIANS. WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO APPROXIMATE THIS CRITERION WITH A SCALE CALIBRATED TO THE SENSATIONS OF SWEET, SALTY, SOUR AND BITTER.”
Second creature: “ARE THE HUMANS SATISFIED WITH THIS APPROXIMATION OF THEIR TASTE?”
Plant Foreman: “YES. HUMANS ARE NOT BRIGHT.”
“THEY ARE CONTENT IF THE COLOR, TEXTURE AND SENSATIONS ARE WITHIN THE ACCEPTABLE RANGE. THEY DO NOT REQUIRE THE ITEM TO BE FOOD, MERELY FOOD-LIKE. WE HAVE JUST REACHED AGREEMENT WITH THEM FOR REPLICATION OF TWO NEW COMESTIBLES THEY CALL PANCAKE SYRUP AND POWDERED CREAMER. THESE AGREEMENTS WILL BRING US MANY MORE OF THE PRIZED LEGUME COATINGS.”
“NOW LET US COMPLETE THE FABRICATION OF THIS PRODUCT. THE FUR-FACED COMPANY REFERS TO IT AS HONEY SAUCE. THAT SUGGESTS TO HUMANS THAT IT IS A PRODUCT THAT STINGING, HIVE-DWELLING EARTHLINGS MANUFACTURE WITH THEIR BODIES.”
A jarring, clanging tone sounds. The creatures all stop work and begin to hum and quiver. They glide rapidly toward large, blue bins on the perimeter walls.
Plant Foreman: “PEANUT SHELL BREAK!”