Founded weeks ago by people with too much time on their hands, the Foundation For Rebranding Images of Social Inferiors (FFRISI) has named two individuals it believes can be the newsmakers of tomorrow. The intentions of the group were unclear at the time of their initial press release, which stated that the group “…intended to make bring attention people to other.”
Official spokesperson, Elizybeth Grendabelt, helped to clarify. “First of all, never dictate a press release to the Korean woman giving you a peppermint seaweed shellac manicure. Wait ’til your nails are dried and do it yourself, am I right? Next, our group, FFRISI,… which, by the way, sounds best when the R rolls off your tongue. Do try. FFR-R-R-ISI. Isn’t that charming? Sounds like it could be the name of a pasta.” Opening her purse, Mrs. Spencer-Grendabelt began repeating the acronym in a high-pitch tone. This was answered by the sharp yip from a small, unseen dog inside the bag. “Duveaux just loves that word. He’s very smart. Aren’t you? Yes! Yes, you are. I’m gonna eat you up. Nom-nom-nom-nom.”
Back on topic, Mrs. Grendabelt said, “The purpose is to polish up a lump of coal and turn into a diamond. These folks, the coal, as it were, receive an investment from our group in the form of a tax-free donation, which, in turn, contractually entitles us to a 15% return on any gross that may result. We’re all very excited about it. I mean, if any of us had known that being philanthropic was such a potential moneymaker, we would have gotten involved in charities long ago. Can you just imagine getting in on the ground floor of the Komen Foundation? Oh, I could have bought a second island by now.”
The first recipient of the FFRISI invest-onations has been officially announced: Muhammad Sabib-Mulawahr of Afghanistan.
Taking over as the new guy of an established organization is a difficult task in any industry. There is the desire by the new boss to bring a semblance of change and a modern polish, all the while staying true to organization’s founding principles. Sabib-Mulawahr, as the new leader of Al-Qaeda, is at that crossroads.
Like Michael Eisner before him, Sabib-Mulawahr knows that shaking things up is difficult and invariably makes a few enemies, but is the right thing to do in order to compete in today’s world. While others stepping into this role might place the devising of bomb plots and political assassinations as their top priority, Sabib-Mulawahr is a renegade with his sights set on the future. His first plan: redesign.
“Al-Qaeda’s biggest problem,” said Sabib-Mulawahr, “is that we look like all the other groups. Sometimes, I can’t even tell if one of my guys is Al-Qaeda or Taliban or maybe Jahander the fruit peddler. I suggested to other leaders that we each commit to a color, ya kow, like the Blood and Crip gangs? Aww, what an Allah-send that would be, right? Imagine you see a terrorist killing some infidel, you’d say, ‘Oh, that is a Taliban guy because his turban is red.’ Did the other warlords go for it? No. We’re still all dressing the same and nobody knows who’s who. Sometimes we get blamed for something they did, other times we don’t even get credit for our own stuff. I mean, if people don’t know it is your organization, then why even bother cutting off someone’s ears and nose as a message to others, ya know? It’s like, what’s the point?”
With an enthusiasm rarely seen in a cave-dwelling international criminals, Sabib-Mulawahr described his terrorist hero and fashion icon: Cobra Commander. “How badass was that guy?!” throwing up his hands in excitement. “He had that cool mask, you know the one. It looked like, umm, it looked kinda like a coconut, but had that, like, mirror finish thing going on. I can’t get the voice like his,… I mean, I’ve tried, but my throat gets all raspy and, besides, everyone knows I’m faking it. But, I can wear that mask and the, uh, the thing, the coveralls with the snake on the front. That’s so cool!”
The Al-Qaeda leader looks at his reflection in a half-broken mirror and shakes his head. “Now, look at me. I look like a f**king goat herder. It’s true, right? It’s okay, you can agree. Muhammad the goat guy, that’s what I look like. And everybody makes fun of the goat guys, call them perverts, say they are simple, stuff like that. It’s bad enough children sing nasty limericks about me, I don’t need that crap.”
With a new image, Sabib-Mulawahr hopes that the respect and infamy that comes with the big time is just around the corner. “If we do this right, I think we can be bigger than the Beatles and the Kaboul Ensemble combined.”
Sabib-Mulawahr knows the days ahead will require commitment and, most of all, patience. “Right now, no one wants to join Al-Qaeda, let’s be honest. Recruitment is way off. We can’t even kidnap enough people to fill our ranks, it’s embarrassing. But, try and imagine me in the Cobra Commander mask, it’s all reflect-y and sinister, my guys dressed in actual uniforms that incite terror instead of snickering, us going in and stealing some weapon that will destroy the west,… I get excited just talking about it! I mean, every kid in the world will want to join us. ‘No more, my puppet of the west teacher, do I want to be a doctor when I grow up, I want to be a soldier for Al-Qaeda’ or ‘Dearest infidel father, can I have the Al-Qaeda action figure? The one with the Qur’an grip?’ That’s what they’ll be saying.”
An amused Sabib-Mulawahr grins. “Kids. We’ll have to beat them off with a stick.” Leaning in, he adds, “Which we actually have no problem doing, by the way, so they’d be smart to wear extra padding.”
The money and guidance received from FFRISI will help to give Al-Qaeda the confidence and respectability they need to become more lucrative in the beheading and opium markets.
Mrs. Grendabelt has high hopes for the first of FFRISI’s rebranding and investment efforts. She also laughs off her critics that categorize what her group is doing as treasonous. “Al-Qaeda has an amazing drive to succeed and we are happy to share in any monetary acquisitions that come about as a result of their pursuits. We want what they want: notoriety and wealth. Now, what’s more American than that?”