By Matt Morea
The small town of Idaho Falls, which was not in the state of Iowa, nor had any naturally occurring water features of any kind, had been the world leader in fake vomit for five decades. When Marksman Frivolities announced it was closing shop to focus on the booming fake poop market, a grassroots effort emerged nationwide to save the factory and its jobs. Instead of reaching for fake poop to put on a co-worker’s chair or Aunt Ethel’s new Persian rug, the country chose fake vomit. The effort made such an impact on the bottom line that after two quarters of record-breaking sales, Marksman agreed to keep the factory open.
However, things now weren’t so great at Marksman’s factory where they made fake poop. In the small town of Beaver Bay, which also had neither of those things, there was talk of closing a similar factory. The same number of jobs would be lost as the one in Idaho Falls, and the workers there were starting to worry. A second grassroots effort developed to reach for fake poop instead of Chinese finger traps, with politicians arguing they were costing American jobs and unjustifiably imprisoning American fingers. What most people didn’t realize was, despite the name, Chinese finger traps were made in yet another small American town called Pine Gorge, a town that actually had both pines and a gorge. When finger trap sales plunged, another grassroots campaign began to save the Pine Gorge factory, but it wasn’t enough to sway the public, what still carried an unnecessary bias over the harm of MSG. Before long, the Pine Gorge factory was shuttered.
Determined to replace the lost jobs and never again lose a war of public opinion, the people of Pine Gorge held a town hall meeting. It was here they realized several towns around the country were named after things that couldn’t be found there, with Pine Gorge being one of the lone exceptions. They made this a main point of their new marketing strategy.
Soon tourists showed up in droves to see the pine-covered gorge and spend their tourism dollars in a town with an honest name. New businesses opened along Main Street to take advantage of the influx. Many former finger trap factory employees now worked in new art galleries and antique stores and laid-back coffee shops. A number of bed and breakfasts also popped up in the town’s quaint Victorian homes to handle the additional crowds, but most visitors wanted to stay at the former factory itself, which was converted into a boutique hotel with a funky industrial theme.