Erasure Poem of a Quote from Angie’s List CEO Scott Durchslag



A transformative moment

we completed quietly, moved

our existing demand. Today


I am impressed, enthusiastic

and delighted with the dropping

of key members. Unique visits,


unique searching, these early days

the data is very encouraging. It is

a critical milestone in executing our profit.


 * * *


Angie's List CEO Scott Durchslag

Note: This is a found poem inspired by one previous employee’s night of insomnia after being laid off. The words in this erasure poem come from a quote that Angie’s List CEO Scott Durchslag purportedly said in a July 13, 2016, press release. The accompanying photos—many will be surprised to learn—are not from the press release, although the company can feel free to use them however they please. Which some would say is common practice. Nor is the title a piece of the press release. You will remember (unless you’ve developed convenient-onset amnesia, otherwise known as Giuliani’s Disease) that a silly white guy announced these words soon after starting one of the longest wars in American history.


4 Angie Hicks Fan Fiction Pitches from 1 “Non-Revenue Generating Headcount”

angies list layoffs and firings

1. Angie’s Lust

When a mysterious CEO comes to town, innocently midwestern Angie Hicks develops a dark obsession. She trails him, wearing a necklace of large white balls and crimson sweater, through Carmel’s lightless nightscape, right into his trap. During their midnight confrontation on an empty suburban street, he runs his hands through her close-cropped cut. What’s more seductive, she wonders, his cunning or washboard abs, curtained between an unbuttoned silk shirt? (Which would obviously be the book cover.) He whispers, “Ever tortured for pleasure?” his face so close she feels the flick of his tongue against her lips. Angel Angie’s body pulses, breath heavy, as he leads to a dank love nest in her city’s wet municipal sewer.


2. Angie’s Lease

Absent-minded Angie made “a major uh oh,” as she tells the kids, by leaving her purple purse at Splash Mountain during the family’s Disney World vacation. “Whoops!” she says on the return flight, realizing she’ll never recover the strawberry lip balm, prescription sunglasses, and $16.8 million in fun-money it held. But that won’t get her down. Always the optimist, she decides to identify savings. First, she gives up her house, seeing so much untapped sleeping space on her office floor. Next, she decides they can give up eating, which causes her kids grumble as they were accustomed to a certain lifestyle. Ever plucky, Angie encourages, “Come on, guys—be grateful for all of the savings we’ve identified!” Lastly, her Mercedes Benz has to go. Though emaciated and homeless, this hurts worst. But she finds happiness in a great lease on a 1998 Saturn.


3. Angie’s Lips

The massive amount of cosmetic surgeries have taken their toll on Angie, but even though doctors warned this last one could kill her, she can’t give up now. How did it come to this? she wonders, wrapped in bandages in her private recovery room. The story plays out in flashback, with Angie remembering how it all started with the varicose veins. Then came the facelift, then the arm and leg lengthenings, adding eleven inches to her height and nine to her reach. She could take the pain, although the Kim Kardashian ass made lying flat in the hospital bed very difficult. Her perfect lips must come last, transforming her into the bombshell basketball player she always wanted to be. She’d finally achieve her dream, an Air Angies shoe line. Finally, she’s wheeled into the operating room. Will she come out? More importantly, will she be happy?


4. Angie’s Lost

What started as a getaway turns to tragedy when a storm tosses Angie Hicks’s shiny $16.8-million yacht onto a deserted island. She must now learn to make fire, forage for food, and overcome fears of the distant howling. Then one day she encounters a hurt wolf pup, whose leg she bandages with trembling fingers. The wild canines encircle her the next morning, and they bow, inviting her to join them. Angie cries out in a howl, and they join her. Now she’s in the wolf pack, bolting barefoot across the island, pouncing on backs of deer. She eats their meat rare, blood running down chin, and smiles wide. Around the fire with her new fur-coated family, a burp escapes her lips. She feels none of the guilt that plagued her during her years in the cutthroat business world. When a search party shows up, however, Angie must decide whether to rejoin the human world or remain in the wild. Which one, she wonders, is more savage?