The MQL lay pale and quiet at the front of the funeral home. The first of the mourners stood from the crowd of marketing executives. She straightened her black dress and walked to stand next to the casket.
“The MQL was so dear to me,” she began, but she broke into sobs. “I don’t know how to go on without them.”
“None of us do!” a man shouted from the crowd. “The MQL gave meaning to our lives.”
“The MQL was just so, so…measurable,” sighed the woman. “Sure, they were distracting and needed constant attention—”
“And unfaithful!” another woman cried out from the crowd. The two eyed each other.
“I mean, MQL’s whole thing was to go out there and work a crowd; it didn’t really matter who you were,” the first woman conceded.
I mean, MQL’s whole thing was to go out there and work a crowd; it didn’t really matter who you were.
“I used to think MQL was my friend!” another man said wistfully. “Then I realized I gave, and gave, and MQL took everything and gave back like, what? Maybe 3 percent of the time?”
“MQL protected us, though,” the first woman insisted. “Whenever anyone doubted us or threatened our budget, we could just say, ‘I have the MQL’ and they wouldn’t mess with us.”
An older woman rose from the crowd and joined the first in front of the room. She was swaying slightly, and had a flask in her hand. She raised it. “Don’t leave us, MQL!” she shouted, voice slurred.
A figure in an expertly tailored suit rose and took her gently by the hand and helped her sit down. “I want you to know, you’ll get over this,” the figure said. “All of you will.”
There were whispers through the crowd. “Who is that?” the first mourner asked, raising her eyebrows.
“That’s ABM,” the man next to her said. “ABM is from MQL’s hometown, and is giving the eulogy.”
ABM cleared their throat. “Look, I know all of you feel a little lost. MQL made it easy to feel connected, right? It was like, drop a message and MQL juiced you up. But let’s face it: it wasn’t good for you to get so dependent on that high. And it wasn’t good for MQL, either. I knew MQL. I saw the repetitive strain.”
“Wow,” said the first mourner. “ABM really gets it.”
“So let MQL rest,” said ABM. “It’s time to rededicate yourself to what’s truly meaningful in life: relationships. At some point, if you want something real, you’ve got to invest in the ones that matter, where you have deep common interests.”
It’s time to rededicate yourself to what’s truly meaningful in life: relationships.
ABM was as good as their word. In the mingling afterwards, ABM took time with each person, listening to their perspectives and needs. People had been genuinely shocked when they heard that MQL had died. Seeing now how ABM worked, though, they felt reassured.
“ABM, you’ve inspired me,” one woman said. “The moment I get back to my desk, I’m going to figure out who really matters to me. And I’m going to make sure they know it!”
The room rapidly emptied for the procession. Suddenly, MQL sat up in the coffin looking panicked. “I’m not dead yet! I faked my funeral because I wanted to hear how wonderful I was!”
The first mourner turned back for a moment. “Well, isn’t that just like you? Anything to draw a crowd.”