Transcript of: Bernard

Panel 1

Off-panel voice: Good afternoon, ma'am – would you like to take advantage of our grand opening sale and get 15% off on your first purchase?

Sign: Southland Mall

Panel 2

Lady: 15% off, eh? And what is it you're selling?

Rick: Well, we're in innovative new boutique with a unique service...

Sign: Bernard / Grand Opening

Panel 3

Rick: Basically, you take a seat in that chair and my creepy friend Bernard sits across from you and slowly shows you a random series of pictures, never saying more than "Okay?" or "How about this one." With the discount it's $102.00 for an hour with Bernard, but you're free to leave at any time before the hour's up.

Panel 4

Lady: A creepy guy shows you pictures..? What?? Why? What is the point??

Panel 5

Rick: Well, exactly! Look, I'll explain. He and I have the theory that we can maintain at least a subsistence living by selling something completely pointless! Based on what we know about human nature, we figure that our "service" is so absurd, so completely nonsensical – yet with a veneer of structure – that people will assign meaning to it on the assumption that no-one would open a business like this if there wasn't some significant underlying value to the whole thing!

Panel 6

Rick: People need answers, y'know, so we figure that they'll invent their own in an attempt to rationalize something that is in truth, utterly meaningless! They'll read into it, see what's not there, assign value to it, and word of mouth and herd behavior will take care of the rest. "Oh, when I saw Bernard he showed the picture of the rowboat!" "Really?! I thought the rowboat was just a rumor! You must be special!" etc, etc. You get the idea.

Panel 7

Lady: Right...

Rick: Anyway, the retail space is $5700.00, so we figure we can just about make enough to cover that each month. I mean, we both have second jobs, so we're not banking on it, but we're pretty confident in our theory.

Panel 8

Lady: No... I appreciate what you're getting at, but people aren't THAT goofy. That's WAY too cynical. I'd be very surprised if you guys stay in business.

Rick: Hey – you might be right! Seeya later.

Panel 9

Narrator: 6 months later

Sign: Bernard