ASK THE WIZARD – Fireball Spangled Banner
Greetings to you my dear agonised mortals, it is I, Ulesorin the Green, returned to you once more. Returned so that again your consciousnesses might be expanded by my bountiful wisdom. Returned so that I might fulfil the sacred contract into which I entered under the aegis of incompetent kobold counsel and the puritanical demands of the courts of the free kingdoms. Spill forth your agonies, and know that I shall aunt them.
Regular readers of these missives may recall that I had found myself in something of a pickle as of my last writing. I was clad in a hastily constructed newt disguise, surrounded on all sides by my own half-draconic offspring and doomed to a slow agonising death by pratfalls if I could not find some way to escape. Well rest assured, dear readers, that the situation has been resolved as swiftly and painlessly as possible.
Painlessly for me. Not those reptilian little bastards. Each and every one of them has received a hasty fireball to their scaly backsides. Those that were not consumed by the pillar of immolation that has ripped through the volcanic lair where once a sultry dragon made her lair. If they did not like it then perhaps they shouldn’t have made my last months a living hell. Perhaps they could have avoided siding with their mother against me and driving me to live like a rat in the tunnels. Perhaps they could have called me “Daddy” just once, instead of “Archmage” or “Prisoner.”
Many things could have gone differently, but I cannot refute that there is a certain satisfaction in their brutal annihilation. Regardless, let us hope that your problems are as easily resolved as a simple combustion spell.
The business I work for has recently changed hands and the new owners are insisting that every time we face the public we display one of their banners in the background. At first it was just the top managers, but now it’s everyone, even those of us on the shop floor. And these banners aren’t small they’re huge and people are even saying we need to have two banners.
My problem is this – the banners are really getting in the way of us doing a service and they’re distracting the customers, but I think that’s sort of the point because our product has become really rather shit of late. So my question, oh wise one, is this. How do I get my new managers to realise the important thing is delivering the service we’re supposed to and not obsessing about the bloody banners?
My Dear Banner-Battered Buffoon,
It strikes me that a great many of your problems may be resolved by the judicious application of a fireball or two. I have yet to meet a flag that can stand up to a little arcane flambé. Fire is also quite excellent as a form of protest. Difficult to ignore, certainly.
Yet I have learned through my many tedious dealings with the people of your world that even the most basic of magics evades you. Rendering you entirely useless in almost every situation, but particularly when you are called upon to invoke the powers of fire and purge the wicked.
So we must look to alternate solutions, perhaps the angle of approach is incorrect here. Are the banners being brought in as a deliberate distraction from the degeneration of quality in your product or service? Then the simple solution is to replace said product or service with something so truly stupendous that it makes their banners irrelevant.
For instance, my preferred product would be fire, and the ideal service, ball-shaped fire deliveries.
If what is on offer so grossly outshines the banners then they will naturally recede from the public eye. Alternately, they will have to be improved until they burn as bright and beautiful as a perfectly formed fireball.
Now, should you be incapable of adjusting the product and service in such a way for whatever reason, then we may have to switch to more devious means of leader-plan-modification. In my experience a dire rat or two, introduced into the basement of a business, can do wonders to change the opinions of the owners of said establishment with regards to who is and is not in charge.
Given that this is your place of employ, it should be no issue at all for you to smuggle the rat-pups in with your lunch. Once they are settled into their new, you can make the presence of them known to leadership of your establishment and use whatever policy changes you like as your demanded reward for purging the place of the rodent infestation.
Then simply cast a few fireballs at your rats, and voila.
Failing even that incredibly simple plan, I would suggest that you follow the lead of the animated furniture that once populated my tower and unionise. Applying pressure to management through threats of strike action. It may not be as effective as fireballs, or a classic like dire rats, but it gets the job done.
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*Disclaimer: All answers are provided for entertainment purposes only. It may not be in your best interests to follow advice provided by a 1794-year-old man who firmly believes that arson is the best medicine.