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Rodent Ruckus Redux – The (e)DUPS Interview

by THE INFLUENCIER on September 29, 2010 •  comment

Empire Avenue CEO Duleepa 'Dups' WijayawardhanaEditor’s Note: This article is the third in a series of posts from THE INFLUENCIER honoring the heroes of and remembering the horror that was the “Hail of a Thousand Nuts.”  To learn more about this historic event, read posts tagged squirrel.

We Must Never Forget! It was on this very day, five days ago, 46 days prior, that the infamous “Hail of a Thousand Nuts” became little more than a “Sprinkling of a Handful of Acorn Shavings” within Empire Avenue Headquarters and around the world, when Sir Rudiger Esquirel, III (e)SQRL began his first day as a newly minted Marketing Department employee. Such a peaceful resolution to “the troubles” would not have been possible were it not for the the fearless leadership, compassion and capacity for compromise by Empire Avenue CEO Duleepa Wijayawardhana (e)DUPS.*

As part of our continuing coverage looking back at “The Rodent Ruckus” and our look forward at the future of Empire Avenue, THE INFLUENCIER recently met with the modest and humble CEO while he was jet-setting around the globe bragging to people about his new influence-powered speed boat. We interviewed (e)DUPS at San Francisco International Airport in between baggage claim carousel rides. A transcript of that interview follows.


To assist the reader, (e)DUPS’s quotes are emphasized in black and those of THE INFLUENCIER appear in blue. Contextual items and editorial comment remain unchanged:

Thanks for taking time out of your busy baggage claim carousel riding schedule to talk with THE INFLUENCIER. I got dizzy just watching you. It’s been a little over a month and a half since you caved to Rudiger’s demands inked a compromise amicably settling your differences with Rudiger and offering him a full time position with Empire Avenue. So, Rudiger as a Marketing Guy, how’s that going?

Ah, Rudiger. Rudiger is my favourite squirrel. He makes me laugh on a regular basis. Just the other day he left me a package of nuts shaped like a head on my pillow. What a cute guy, so incredibly creative. I know that he’s practicing for his upcoming possible movie debut! He’s helped us figure out some of the new initiatives that are coming out in the next couple of days/week. He loves Erindale – apparently he has some relatives that came over during the famous Irish Nut Famine several hundred years ago, and they came from the Erindale in county Kildare.

Wait, what is this about a movie debut?

I cannot officially comment on such rumours, you understand.

But you brought it up?

At this point in the interview, (e)DUPS remained silent and merely smiled. Could be he was thinking about ending the interview and catching another ride on the baggage claim carousel.

Okay. Well then, moving on. What is your view on the state of Squirrel Relations now that a month has past since the incident?

Squirrel relations have climbed to a whole new level here at Empire Avenue. In fact I’ve heard several people comment on how they might actually adopt a couple of squirrels. We obviously all did the right thing by coming to an agreement on our issues during the “Hail of a Thousand Nuts.” Now, unfortunately, Rudiger is of the opinion that we should do the same for Elephants (and no, we don’t have any Elephants working for us currently)… I’m not sure why he would like us to hire an Elephant but…

It is my understanding that elephants, like squirrels, also work for peanuts.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Am beginning to wonder what (e)DUPS pays the rest of his employees with. Check with Aaron K. White (e)BIGA about this. Maybe invite him over for Monday Night Football.

Looking back at the “Hail of a Thousand Nuts,” how has that experience help shape who you are as CEO?

I’ve learned to curb my anger with my squirrel friends. I now attend weekly meetings meeting with Rudiger where we learn how best to work together. Obviously being CEO is an extremely demanding task and taking it out on squirrel friends was the wrong thing to do. Many have commented on how I’ve taken up eating several bags of nuts every day.

Extremely demanding, indeed, especially with all of the baggage claim carousel riding and what not.  Rudiger received a lot of attention from the “I Love You Rudiger” Achievement. What impact has that had on Empire Avenue operations?

On the technical side everything is fine. However, recently we started receiving real letters addressed to Rudiger. I’m worried that once we truly explode and get out of beta and site changes, we might need to hire Rudiger a personal assistant just to get through his fanmail.

I can see how that could be quite a concern in the future. By the way, what is the key to unlocking THE DUPS secret achievement?

At this point in the interview we were interrupted, as (e)DUPS had to take a very important cell phone call. Which was weird, because I never heard his cell phone ring. Maybe it was on vibrate. I noticed he also must be in very tight with the guys over at Apple, because he apparently had one of the prototype testing models of the next-year’s iPhone 5. Man those guys over at Apple are clever, how did they every come up with an invisible phone? Still, why make an invisible phone if you’re just gonna have to slap a case on the thing to keep the screen from getting scratched? Though I guess putting a case on it will help you from losing it, I mean it is invisible after all. Think about it, you put it down on the kitchen table without a case and Poof! It’s gone.

Previously, you shared that you have big plans for Rudiger in the future and we will be seeing more of him. Can you tell us a little about what might be store for the Empire Avenue community along those lines?

Rudiger is set to be very visible on the site. We really want to improve our new user engagement with the site and we feel that [with] Rudiger’s measured ability to reach a wide audience [he could] lead people through some of the more complex parts of the site. He’s a little nuts but we think he’ll be a very positive influence on our site.

Okay, how about just a hint about THE DUPS achievement, ya know, off-the-record?

I’ll only tell you that it’s related to a bird.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ooops. That was supposed to be off the record. Make sure to delete this part before publishing post.

With all this talk about squirrels, and elephants and birds, I gotta ask,  does Empire Avenue have any other animals in it’s employ, or just squirrels?

I have no comment on this question. However, without our furry and feathered friends, [Empire Avenue] would not be possible.

Just as I was about to delve further into the “furry and feathered friends” response, we heard the boarding call for (e)DUPS flight announced over the loudspeakers. I wished him a pleasant flight and he was off. As I headed out of the airport to meet my next scheduled interviewee, Eleanor Thibeau (e)LDYHXC,  I did happen to glance over my shoulder and catch a glimpse of (e)DUPS riding the baggage carousel one last time. Oh, what it must be like to live the the life of a (e)CEO of a online startup…


* Of course, we should also keep in mind that the entire fiasco was also caused by (e)DUPS and his capricious capacity for subjecting squirrel interns to unfair labour practices and horrendous living conditions. He forced them to live in cages for crying out loud. Why is PETA never around when you need them? [Back to post]

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