The follow story contains frank discussions of tampon usage. Reader discretion is advised.
Matro Barkley didn’t choose feminine hygiene, feminine hygiene choose him. The various choices and events that had led him to be the CEO of Temple Products, which specialized in feminine hygiene products, was ultimately less important than the fact that he was good at his job.
After taking huge shares of the market for products aimed at women of seven out of the eight hominid races, it was time he conquered the last untapped and most challenging market: female ogres.
There were two problems with selling to them. First, most existing pads and tampons were too puny for ogres notoriously monstrous periods. But teaming up with Cybrix Technologies and Biogenomics, Temple had a developed line of tampons and pads called Big Girl, which was made out of materials routinely used to soak up Deltan sludge. While other hominids couldn’t use Big Girl without getting toxic shock syndrome, even trolls, it was perfect for ogres. The second problem was a little harder to overcome, as most ogres were dumb as rocks. Selling them anything was difficult, selling them intimate products was nearly insurmountable as they never grasped the point of half the stuff they were being sold.
To help solve this, he turned to his vice presidents of development and marketing, two human women named Calida Reine and Lola Mchugh. Calida had gotten her PHD in product design creating a moldable pad, unmarketable and uncomfortable, but it was ingenious enough for Matro to snatch her up. Lola was a marketing veteran could find a way to sell just about anything if given the time and the resources.
One morning, Matro sat with the women in a brightly lit, pastel colored conference room eager to hear the results of the extensive product testing they had done. Matro sat on one side of the table, the two women sat on the other.
“The pads are fine and ready for market,” Lola said. “The tampons, however, presented a problem.” She took off her glasses and stared right at him in her matter-of-fact style. “Almost all of the testers were too dumb to understand the instructions.”
Matro winced slightly. “Go on.”
Calida reached down into her bag sitting on the floor next to her. She brought up a Big Girl Tampon box, which featured a smiling ogre on the front. She then brought out the instructions insert and read it: “’Hold the applicator at the grip location with your thumb and middle finger. Remember to keep your pointer finger away from the applicator. With the removal string hanging down, insert the applicator into your vaginal opening at a slight upward angle—‘ Too complicated with too many steps. We went back and figured out the tampons are sturdy enough not to need an applicator. Therefore, in the second batch of samples, we removed the applicator from the box and condensed the instructions to one sentence. Every tester in the second batch used them correctly.”
“I understand not needing the applicators, but how could you still write tampon instructions in one sentence?” Matro asked.
Calida handed him a second sheet. Matro read it, and sweat started forming on his forehead. He crumpled it. “I’m canceling the product and will take the loss.”
“But Matro,” Lola said, “It works, they’ll buy it and you’ll make tons of money. Who cares what the instructions read?”
“I’m not selling a product with instructions that read,“ he un-crumpled the sheet and cleared his throat, ”’Shove the tampon up your cunt when blood comes out.’” Matro wadded the paper up and tossed it. ”I’ll be the laughing stock of the industry.”
“Our competitors will shut up once they see the sales,” Lola said. “Besides, the instructions are a blunt way of saying what women already do.” Lola and Calida exchanged glances.
“Why not go home and ask your wife and daughters what they do with their tampons,” Calida added, “and then make a decision.”
Matro remembered his home life and said, “My daughters would tell me…” he groaned. “Never mind.” He stood up. “Great work, I’m glad I have you two around.”
Matro now respected ogres. They didn’t dance around the obvious with technical language and jargon. They only understood the blunt truth. His competitors were all too considerate, and that was why no one had tapped the market before. Matro was going to make huge amounts of money being shameless, if just this time.
Read this and sixteen brand new short stories in Sandworm Rodeo!