VEN (EL PASO) — Answering a Craig’s List ad for a “Funny, progressive-minded man/woman who appreciates the amusing ironies of life and can write about them on deadline. Must have own laptop with latest working version of Notepad installed,” Jay Bergeron thought his dream of being a satirical columnist was about to come true.
“Boy, was I wrong,” the former Onion writer told VEN‘s Robert Cohn in an exclusive interview from the hospital ward where he and twenty other victims of the Onion’s bizarre recruiting practices were recovering from their ordeal Thursday.
“There were a bunch of us in a big room at a Denny’s in Colorado Springs. We were told to arrive with our laptop, a change of cloths, and our passport for identification. They asked for our passports and cell phones, and the next thing I knew, we were being herded onto a tractor-trailer at gunpoint, and 24 hours later we arrived at a cube farm in Juarez, Mexico.
“A fat bearded man with a gold earring wearing a blue, three-piece pinstripe suit addressed us — ‘You want to stay alive? You want full rations? You want to see your families and loved ones again? Then you will write inoffensive, mildly amusing pretend news articles with tie ins to our advertising base that will make this man (he pointed to a small executive at his side who was sneering at us) laugh out loud!’
“We were chained to our cubes, given a bucket to relieve ourselves, and forced to take methamphetamines to ‘maximize our productivity.’
“I wrote something about the North Koreans eating Chicken McNuggets to get inside President Trump’s head. It was really stupid. And not even close to being funny. But the little man laughed. I got a stale hot pocket and some twizzlers, and was allowed to see a picture of my girlfriend for about twenty seconds. Then they told me, make the little man laugh again, and who knows — maybe we’ll loosen your leg irons or let you use a real bathroom!”
Another writer was not so lucky. His article with a tie in to Kellogg’s Corn Flakes did not make the little man laugh
“Andy was forced to watch Amy Schumer’s The Leather Special twice. He started screaming. We never saw him again.”
(End Of Part One)