The White Shoe Irregular:
It was fun while it lasted.

Roma Sunflower Seed Cartel Releases Earnings Warning

William Morris

BUCHAREST, Romania — The local Roma (Gypsy) sunflower seed cartel warned today that second-quarter earnings will fall short of expert forecasts, perhaps by as much as three or four percent.

"The market for sunflower seeds has softened recently," said Vlad Ovidiu, a cartel spokesperson. "The recent flood of pre-packaged halvah and halvah-related products from Turkey has dampened consumer demand for the homegrown variety. In addition, several members of our sales staff have been experiencing joint inflammation and so have not been able to as aggressively establish suitable sidewalk presence each day."

Ovidiu claimed that both problems would be "dealt with in an appropriate manner and at the appropriate time," but refused to comment further. Industry analyst and Russian military watch repairman Radu Dumitrescu was not surprised by the warning but offered an alternative reason for the earnings drop. "Now that the government has restored bread subsidies, the average Romanian no longer needs to incessantly chew on sunflower seeds to assuage his gnawing hunger," he said.

Despite the warning, Ovidiu claims that the cartel is in no way looking to shed personnel or otherwise decrease operating costs. "Pu-iii," he said. "You think I'm gonna tell my mama and her sisters that they no longer got a place in the business? You crazy, muh?"

Ovidiu's mama refused to comment, saying only, "Hai, muh … give a poor grandmama five marchi (5 DM)," a moment before being whisked away in a silver Mercedes ('87 SEL).

A Romanian commerce official also refused to comment but mentioned that his throat was quite dry and asked if the American whiskey J.R. drinks on Dallas is really any good and wouldn't a glass of such sure be in order at the moment.

The cartel will officially report its earnings late next week in a shareholders meeting at the NY Style 4 U (SLR) chocolate, cigarette, vodka, and T-shirt kiosk located next to the Sector 4 Children's Hospital in Piata Victoriei (Victory Plaza).