December 9th, 2019

Madison, WI—Only a few months ago Jay Fairfield, 29, had just begun to get his life together. He’d finally found a steady job with good health insurance, he’d figured out a plan to pay off his monumental student loans, and he’d recently learned about the birth of his nephew. “I was feeling like life was about to get rolling.” Fairfield bought a $500 plane ticket through American Airlines to see his newborn nephew in Rhode Island. Shortly after purchasing his ticket, Fairfield’s nephew fell ill, and he had to reschedule the trip for later in the year. That’s when it all began.

“I called American about it and they’re like ‘it’ll cost $50 to cancel your reservation,’” Fairfield explained, “I’m like, okay, that’s fine. They say the ticket is non-refundable. I say yeah that makes sense, it said that when I bought it online. Then I heard this weird cackle over the phone—like the Wicked Witch of the West—and the person goes ‘you do have the option of getting $500 in credit for a future flight.’ I was like sure, that makes sense.” A week later Fairfield tries to reschedule his flight, only to learn there is a $250 fee for accessing his flight credit. “It was in the fine print—but who has time to read that?”

 “I had time to read it,” stated Wicked Witch of the West, a spokesperson for American Airlines, “because I’M not glued to my phone screen like these young people!”

The next few days found Fairfield bewildered by a whirlwind of legalese. “So I read the contract for how to pay them the $250, but apparently I didn’t read the hyperlink in section 4a which states…”

“Any customer who does not pay the $250 within 24 hours forfeits their credit,” said the Wicked Witch of the West, adding, “and their little dog, too! MUAHAHAHA!”

Taking your dog is, in fact, American Airlines’ policy—they recently launched an advertising campaign spearheaded by the forfeited dogs of their customers. Don Corleone, American Airlines’ lead advertising executive, explained exactly what that entailed.

“Yes, Millennials like Mr. Fairfield are very fond of their pets these days,” he said, stroking his chin and squinting at a Velazquez painting hanging his office, “Our new campaign plasters dogs on every billboard in Jersey, in New York, in Sicily. Millennials love it, Millennials buy American, Millennials don’t read the fine print, Millennials give their dogs for our ad campaign, and so on. It’s an offer Millennials can’t refuse.” When pressed to elaborate on what would happen if they did refuse, Corleone’s voice dropped to a low, rasping rumble. “They’ll have the pleasure of waking up to their cute puppy fast, fast asleep.”

AA customer service informed Fairfield that he could, indeed, get his dog back if he chewed Don Corleone’s food for him for two weeks. “I know it’s shameful, but I had to do it,” Fairfield said, “I’m a lonely guy—I need my dog. This time I read the fine print; I wanted to make sure the buck stopped there.” But there was always more fine print to miss.

“If you read closely, you’ll see there’s a hidden code weaved through the first and last letters of every sentence in section 37k of the appendix,” claimed Satan, a new intern with the company, “it says that if you don’t chew Corleone’s food for two weeks straight you sign over your basic human rights to the company.” Satan, an expert on the debate between good and evil, would not comment on the morality of such a scam. “Listen pal, I can’t say anything about this publicly—it took every connection I had to get this gig, and these guys are sanding my horns 24/365. I'm burned out. They got an image to keep up, and if I acknowledge any wrongdoing they’re gonna can my ass.”

AA auctioned Fairfield off for $250 on the dark web shortly thereafter. He is now a slave for Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), and is required to wear a maid’s outfit at all times. After two hours of sticking his fingers in both ears and saying “LALALALALALA, I CAN’T HEAR YOU,” Nunes finally let me in his office to conduct an interview. “Jay Fairfield could not possibly be a slave because his name is not Jay Fairfield anymore—it is Mrs. Doubtfire—so you can stick that in your ‘fake news’ blunt and smoke it. And, even if her name were still Jay Fairfield, she’s OBVIOUSLY not a SLAVE because she wears a MAID’S OUTFIT. MAIDS ARE DULY PAID, PATRIOTIC MEMBERS OF OUR AMERICAN WORKFORCE.”

“It’s hard, man, these days,” Fairfield told me in a quivering voice over the phone. He commented for this article from a public pay phone late at night on the weekly walk afforded to him. “How the hell can you win when you can’t choose anymore? When it's profitable for every company to screw you over?”   

Vice Presidents Anonymous is a support group for recovering VPs, much like Alcoholics Anonymous is for alcoholics. But instead of sharing stories about struggles with alcohol, we share stories about struggles with greed, sleaze, aggression, delusion, paralysis and imbecility .