Meet the Reptiles!
In late 1999, the owners of the Reading Reptile (shown here, with their children) were diagnosed with Post Traumatic Superstore Disorder (PTSD). Although they survived the 1990's and the Bookstore Wars that claimed the lives of hundreds of independent booksellers across the country, they continue to suffer from a variety of residual ailments related to the stress of retail combat, including discount fatigue, pay check envy, frontlist withdrawal, Oprahmeningitis and a general pathological cynicism. However, the most notable feature of PTSD, in this particular case, is the latent physical manifestation of an intense neurotic obsession.
It seems that sometime in 1999, the Reading Reptile owners, Debbie and Pete, began developing the actual physical features of their arch nemesis, superstore warlord, Lenny Riggio, CEO of Barnes & Noble. Three of the children developed sympathetic reactions to their parent's condition. Researchers from the University of Kansas have been studying the phenomenon and believe it is only a temporary condition. They have prescribed a steady dose of steroids and recombinant gene therapy. They say the Reptiles should be their old selves within 5 - 10 years.
Researchers are particularly interested in discovering the triggering mechanism for the transformation. They are concentrating all their efforts on a single possibility: that somehow, someone, somewhere, passed an unmarked cup of Starbucks coffee to the unsuspecting booksellers. Such an event may have caused an ironic reaction on a cellular level.
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