Once upon a time, in an imaginary land (surely it must be, for could such things truly happen in the world of reasonable people…), of plenty (well, plenty for a few who rather conveniently managed to factor out all the others when describing the place they lived…), there lived a rather large fat fellow. He was jolly most of the day long as he had the very best company in all the world… he sold ice cream!
He was a very lovable man as he was always in an excellent temper, but then who wouldn’t be when supplying thousands of happy children with buckets of ice cream every day (and it was nothing at all to do that he charged huge sums of money for these precious products, products their loving parents and grandparents were forced to spend their hard earned money on due to the rather aggressive guilt based advertising campaign the lovable Mr Softie waged to sell his wares – there was of course a very reasonable reason for this: Mr Softie had seven children of his own from three failed marriages, he was also going through rather expensive divorce proceedings with his fourth wife due to having been caught with one of his several mistresses while claiming he was at an ice cream convention).
Mr Softie wasn’t terribly concerned with his misfortunes (due to selling so much ice cream he always rapidly made back any money his unhappy wives managed to claim from him in alimony), and remained in a delightful mood most of the time as he was rather preoccupied deciding which of the many women hopelessly attracted to his [money] winning personality he might marry next.
It wasn’t until one day he received some news that was to not only to interrupt his almost constant joviality, but to change his life in utterly unforeseen ways… Mr Softie sold his ice cream from a veritable fleet of refrigerated vans, which were cunningly able to target all the most popular places at all the perfect times of day for selling his ice cream to children who’d no longer want their dinner.
The member of staff who (in abject terror for his job; Mr Softie being inclined to fire any bearer of bad tidings – without altering his happy mood one little bit – as he had a wife and child of his own he was desperately trying to support on the pittance he received for his work), gently broke the news told him that suddenly, quite without warning, another fleet of ice cream vans had begun appearing in all the same places Mr Softie’s vans frequented. Not only this but they were arriving a little early and stealing the best locations, relegating Mr Softie’s vans to second place.
Even more disturbing; they appeared to be selling exactly the same products as Mr Softie, but with slightly larger measures and at slightly lower prices (but considering the rather astounding mark-ups involved still likely to be stealing in a massive profit).
Well, Mr Softie had to see this with his own eyes, so summoning his beautiful new Bentley to the front of his fifteen bedroom mansion he drove out of the lovely landscaped grounds of his home in the country and headed into the busy, congested city with its dirty people who always seemed to look rather tired and depressed. Much to his dismay he was confronted at every corner by shiny new vans, painted in almost identical colours to his own, but rather than sporting the lovable caricature of himself handing a cute little child a massive ice cream, he found the decoration now showing a quite different opulent happy looking man, only this time he was casting dozens of ice creams to whole herds of delighted children massing around his feet.
Although there was still probably more than enough customers to make both companies clear a healthy profit Mr Softie flew into a quite uncharacteristic rage and summoned the full ranks of his legal department in an attempt to shut down his new rival, claiming he’d infringed upon his registered trade mark.
Unfortunately the case was thrown out of court due to insufficient evidence (and the fact that all the legal representatives of the local council were now driving new Audis on their way to the airport with their families on holidays generously donated by the rather cunning and mysterious Mr Bigs). Mr Softie was not to be deterred so easily (coming as he did from a rather well established line of men who’d never really allowed the law to influence their drug, prostitution, protection, robbery interests), so he immediately called into play an old trick, and hiring a group of local unemployed… workers, had them locate the depot where Mr Bigs stored his vans at night, where they set to work vandalising every single vehicle.
The next day, quite sure would be gratified by the sight of his vans once more monopolising the ice cream market Mr Softie drove again into the rather unpleasant place his customers chose to live. The wail of frustration and pain at the sight of My Bigs vans being in place, while his own were not simply relegated to secondary positions, but completely absent, could possibly have been heard even in the deepest crypt.
He was to discover later that day that not only did Mr Bigs have many other depots, these far better protected than the first, for storing his vans at night, but coincidentally at the same time Mr Softie’s rather enthusiastic new staff were destroying Mr Bigs’ vans, his own were being burnt out where they slumbered for the night.
Things went from bad to worse…
Mr Softie had Mr Bigs’ quite innocent drivers followed and beaten so badly they ended up in intensive care units in local hospitals.
Mr Bigs began to harass the families of Mr Softie’s staff until they were forced to leave for practically any other employment they could find.
Mr Softie employed a very different range of worker who would not only not be intimidated but would actively assail any van they came across with baseball bats and handmade fire bombs.
Mr Bigs armed his drivers with semi-automatic weapons and they weren’t shy to use them (not only on the other drivers but any of the terrified police who were unlucky enough to accidently approach any of the local locations for selling ice cream – they soon learnt to stay well clear).
My Softie attempted to have Mr Bigs ‘cleaned’ but due to his enormous entourage of bodyguards Mr Softie’s men were wiped out to the man.
Mr Bigs retaliated by attempting to assassinate Mr Softie, but expecting the attempt Mr Softie sacrificed his own mansion in a massive explosion catching the majority of Mr Bigs’ men in the blast.
Mr Softie employed a fleet of helicopters to drop incendiary devices on every facility belonging to Mr Bigs, and while he missed the owner himself in his attempt he did manage to catch his wife, mother and six rather fat children in one of the blasts.
Mr Bigs, so enraged by the attempt had Mr Softie kidnapped with a massive loss of life throughout the remainder of their workers (now almost entirely replaced by paid mercenaries).
A desperate rescue attempt by Mr Softie’s remaining loyal men saw all but the two bosses lying dead and dying at their feet in an abandoned warehouse on the edge of town…
With no men or resources remaining the two bosses, rather loathe to actually involve in violence themselves made a pact, invested in a new fleet of combined vans and now live extremely comfortably on a small island they purchased somewhere in rather more comfortable climbs…