This morning outside the undisclosed location of Unexpectedly Inc. HQ we found a plain brown envelope marked “SENSITIVE!” We opened it, and found an unlabeled recording containing the following exchange, which we believe might possibly be an authentic record of two corporate titans in back-door negotiations. We here transcribe it in full out of our relentless sense of duty to financial-journalistical excellence and readership literacy awarement.

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[sound of phone ringing; speakerphone pickup]

Voice 1: Hello? [chewing sounds, slurping]

Voice 2: Hello, is that Samuel?

Voice 1: Yah, call me Sandy. Who’s this.

Voice 2: Hi Sandy, I’m Dr. Mitchell Gold, from–

Voice 1: Oh a pill-peddler, eh? What’s wrong with me now, Doc?

Voice 2: I’m the CEO of Dendreon Corporation.

Voice 1: Okay, well, I’m kind of doin’ breakfast here, so–

Voice 2: Sorry to bother you. I just wanted a little advice.

Voice 1: A doctor callin’ me for advice? That’s a switch! [a guffaw] Gonna cost you!

Voice 2: Well, as I said, I actually run a corporation–

Voice 1: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

Voice 2: –called Dendreon, and we, well, I was just noticing the extraordinary performance of your stock in this recent rally, and–

Voice 1: Oh, you saw that did you? Seven hundred percent hits a might lot of radars!

Voice 2: Yes, it’s very impressive. We had some pretty good results ourselves, but they’re not holding up. I thought you might have some tips.

Voice 1: Oh yah? Tips, huh. Well lessee. What did you say you’re called again?

Voice 2: “Dendreon”.

[a pause]

Voice 1: Now what’s a din-don?

Voice 2: No, not “din-don”, “Dendreon”. It’s from “dendrite”, the fibers in nerve cells that–

Voice 1: Yah, see, no, I heard you, and that was my first piece of advice right there.

Voice 2: The name?

Voice 1: People aren’t gonna eat in a Ding-dong, ya get me? I mean they might eat a ding-dong if that’s their thing. The Hostess kind, mind you! [loud laughter, chewing] But go there and eat? No way.

Voice 2: I don’t follow you.

Voice 1: What’s your signature?

Voice 2: Cancer.

Voice 1: C’mon, Mick, not your sign now, I said what’s your signature. As in “signature dish”. People might scoff at our stock jumpin’ through the roof like it has, but those people have yet to know the glory of our Fork-Tender Ribs. You’ve got to find your own fork-tender ribs, ya get me?

[long pause]

Voice 2: We’re not a restaurant.

Voice 1: What’s that?

Voice 2: Dendreon is not a restaurant company.

Voice 1: Well what exactly is it you do?

Voice 2: We’re a pharmaceutical company. We develop treatments. For cancer.

[silence, chewing]

Voice 1: Uh, ya lost me, Doc. Ruby Tuesday’s is a restaurant.

Voice 2: I know that. I’m actually quite a fan of your Thai Phoon Shrimp platter.

Voice 1: Well thanks Doc. Ain’t gonna say back I’m a fan of cancer though! Now why is it you’re callin’ again?

Voice 2: Well, as I said, we noticed your stock’s extraordinary performance in the recent rally, and while during the same period we’ve had some similar success on some very promising news, we only managed about a five hundred percent jump and now the stock has started to fall again before we insiders successfully unloaded all our shares. So we thought you might have some strategic tips to offer.

Voice 1: Maybe your news wasn’t good enough. We rebranded soup to nuts–redecorated all our restaurants, changed up the menu, even tryin’ to ween ourselves off the meal-from-a-freezer-bag model. Heck, we may as well be a totally different restaurant chain, though still squarely in the regionless-comfort-food/calorie-platter brand-space, so it’s the same thing but looks different, which is value. Plus we chopped fifty shops and our quarterly sales only fell just a real little from last year. What’d you guys do?

Voice 2: We delivered very promising phase-three test results on a prostate cancer treatment and vaccine called Provenge. It prolongs life in patients several months longer than a placebo.

[pause]

Voice 1: And what happened to your stock?

Voice 2: We got about a four to five hundred percent bump.

Voice 1: That sounds all right to me. Maybe you bury those pills in a slice of our Chocolate Tallcake you’ll get the next two hundred.

Voice 2: [polite chuckle] Perhaps we could include that in our FDA approval application. But the immediate problem is, the price is falling again.

[pause; sudden spluttering, as of coffee poured into the speakerphone; rustling of napkin against mic]

Voice 1: OH MAN. [whoops of laughter] OH MA-A-AN! You’re gonna cure prostate cancer and you can’t even keep your stock price up? OH, OH, MAN, is this Dave from Applebee’s? Dave, you are a pro, brother! THIS IS THE BEST PRANK CALL I EVER HAD. Too bad we’re clobbering you guys! Hoo-hoo, “Ding-dong”, love it, love it, love it!

[caller hangs up]

—–

Disclosure: the recording was on eight-track. Unexpectedly Inc. is long the eight-track player.

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