Recent news reports that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder wants control of amusement park operator Six Flags Inc. is the inspiration for this week's episode of "Billionaire Theater."
The setting: The cherrywood-paneled boardroom of Red Zone LLC, Dan Snyder's investment company. The cast: Dan Snyder; Yes Man 1 and Yes Man 2; Jiminy Cricket; Six Flags park mascot Mr. Six.
Dan Snyder: Gentlemen, I've called you here today to celebrate our acquisition of Six Flags and to plan for the future. We need to maximize our leverage! Shift the paradigm! Cross platforms and synergize our core strengths! Do you agree?
Yes Man 1 & 2 [together]: Yes, sir!
Dan Snyder: Do you understand what I just said?
Yes Man 1 & 2 [together]: No, sir!
Dan Snyder: What I meant was: We have to raise ticket prices.
Yes Man 1 & 2 [together]: Yes, sir!
Dan Snyder: Good. Now about those naming rights. Is there any way we can charge the U.S. government $3 million a year for exclusive naming rights to Six Flags America, our park in Landover?
Yes Man 1: Sir, that's a wonderful idea, but frankly, I think there might be some resistance to that.
Dan Snyder: Their loss. What about North Korea? They're always looking for some good publicity. "Six Flags North Korea." I like the sound of that. Check with Kim Jong-Il the next time he's in my box at FedEx Field. And if they don't bite, there's always Comcast. Now what about the urinals?
Yes Man 2: The urinals, sir?
Dan Snyder: Valuable advertising space on those urinals is going to waste! I want to sell the naming rights for urinals in the men's rooms. Pay me 10 grand per urinal and you can put your company's logo there. Maybe Anheuser-Busch would be interested. Or PepsiCo. It's a gold mine!
Yes Man 2: Yes, sir!
Jiminy Cricket: Excuse me, if I may, Mr. Snyder. You've said that with your purchase of Six Flags, you hope to emulate the success of the Disney company?
Dan Snyder: That's right.
Jiminy Cricket: But Walt Disney was a visionary.
Dan Snyder: Your point?
Jiminy Cricket: For all his quirks, Walt Disney was a beloved figure. "Uncle Walt," they called him. And a truly creative force. He revolutionized the motion picture industry by introducing animated films that adults and children could enjoy. He brought quality family entertainment to television. He was a pioneer, the creator of magical experiences for young and old alike.
But everything you've done. . . . Well, it makes money for you and your investors, but it leaves customers feeling sort of abused and demoralized, unsure of what you're going to charge them for next: the oxygen they breathe at FedEx Field, for example.
Walt Disney had a childlike glint in his eye. All that flashes in your eyes is the almighty dollar.
Dan Snyder [grabbing Jiminy Cricket in his fist]: For one thing, Cricket, I pay people to have a childlike glint in their eye for me! For another thing, I'm not just interested in wringing every last penny out of the existing product. I have some big ideas for new attractions -- wonderful attractions like "Sean Taylor's ATV Adventure." You scramble around in an ATV and then shoot out the windows of a Cadillac Escalade. People will love that! And "Obstructed View Theater," a Vegas-style revue where every seat is behind a pillar. And at Dan Snyder's Six Flags every day will be Cut-Your-Own-Tree Day. Bring an ax or a chainsaw and have at any of the nonnative species that infest our 31 amusement parks. And don't forget the Norv Turner Dunking Booth. And the Marty Schottenheimer Dunking Booth. And the Laveranues Coles Dunking Booth. And how does $10 cotton candy strike you? Or $25 to park in a Six Flags parking lot?
Now, you're fired! Get out of here before I squash you like a bug!
[Jiminy Cricket picks up his crumpled top hat and hops out. Snyder sits, brooding.]
Dan Snyder: Perhaps that little insect has a point. Perhaps we do need someone like Walt Disney on our board of directors. And not just like Walt Disney, but ol' Walt himself. I want you to bring me Walt Disney's cryogenically frozen body! Leave no stone unturned, and spare no expense!
I wanted Steve Spurrier, and I got him. I wanted Joe Gibbs, and I got him. True, he hasn't quite thawed out yet, but it's only a matter of time. And now -- bwahahaha! -- now I want Walt Disney.
Yes Man 1 & 2: Yes, sir!
[Yes Man 1 and 2 rush from the room. Dan Snyder tents his fingers and fixes his gaze upon the bald, bespectacled, tuxedo-wearing Mr. Six.]
Dan Snyder: Ah, Mr. Six. Even though a year is left on your contract, I recommend you find other employment.
[Shock registers on the face of the speechless Mr. Six, who dances around like a maniac and shakes his head no.]
Dan Snyder: In that case, what time should we deliver your flat-screen TV?
Beginning to Look a Lot Like . . . Christmas?
The high temperature at National Airport on Aug. 17 was 88 degrees. Not as hot as it's gotten this sticky, sultry month, but not the kind of weather that puts one in mind of sleigh bells, holly-decked halls or jolly old St. Nick.
Unless you're the Hecht Co. and you're trying to shift some $99 Waterford pre-lit Christmas trees. Reader Kate Schwarz of Fairfax saw an ad for the trees ("a $198 value") in The Post's A section last week -- four months before the holiday.
"This one kind of just jumped off the page," Kate said.
Christmas just can't come too early, can it?