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I'm Sorry I Burned Down Your Convention Center

By Kai Nelson

To whom it may concern at the Tampa Convention Center,

I am writing this letter to offer my sincerest apologies for the behavior of my guests at the Florida Regional Smoothie King manager convention. What was supposed to be a fun night of discussing favorite smoothies, sharing lighthearted anecdotes about work, and crowning manager Ashley Roxwood the “2021 Smoothie Queen” devolved into nothing short of chaos. Rest assured, Ms. Roxwood was still crowned the Smoothie Queen posthumously. God rest her soul.

With the clarity of hindsight, I deeply regret supplementing the complementary smoothies with my homemade box wine, which contains 62% alcohol by volume, and can also be used as an industrial-strength cleaner, rat poison, and lighter fluid. Clearly this was a terrible misjudgment, but, in my defense, it did add some pizzazz to our Strawberry Sass smoothie. I would also like to extend an offer to pay to repair the venue after the extensive fire damage that occurred.

I do regret the newest addition to the annual Blendathon Competition. In addition to the usual frozen fruit identification, blind juice testing, and knife throwing, this year I decided to add the Simulated Customer Service Experience (SCSE), a task in which managers deal with difficult “customers” in order to test their “chill,” as we call it in the frozen beverage business. It was a clear misstep on my part to have these customers be work release inmates, and I again offer my condolences to the family of Ms. Roxwood.

I have no idea how the inmates got their hands on crack cocaine. That seems like something that you should’ve caught. I do, however, apologize for my failure to notice that the inmates had snorted the crack off of the smoothie counter with our biodegradable, turtle-safe straws. Perhaps, if I’d noticed, I could’ve stopped the horde of inmates demanding Ms. Roxwood make them new smoothies because they dropped their first ones, even though they obviously just drank them. It was all too much for Ms. Roxwood to handle, and she dropped dead from an

overdose of Customer Service.

Frankly, I feel that your venue should’ve been better equipped for a firefighting situation. When one of the inmates accidentally lit the boxed wine on fire, your response time was laughably slow. I seem to remember the liaison you provided saying something about “state of the art fire suppression systems”. State of the art my ass. Despite what you claimed, you can’t fight fire with fire. You should’ve been far more prepared for this situation, and I feel that I did not truly get my money’s worth in that regard.

Obviously, we should not have been next to the Wild West convention. That one’s on you. Why did you even book them, anyway? The entire thing was terribly culturally inappropriate: all the cowboys were boys and all of the women were tied to train tracks, which seemed to have been brought in specifically for that purpose. What the hell? And you let them have real dynamite? When the fire spread to the adjacent convention room I could do nothing but watch in horror as the flames raced up the thirty-foot fuse and ignited the pile of dynamite and boxes labeled “TNT”. As I think back, it almost seems like everything happened in slow motion. I remember the fuse shortening, the fire spreading, and one of the fake cowboys from the convention shouting, “Howdy pardners! This convention center ain’t big ‘nuf for the patrons of our two events and this pile of explosives! We’d best be skedaddling!” But it was too late. The construction of your building was too shoddy.

Anyway, sorry about that. I’ll Venmo you? Also, please expect a negative review on Yelp.


-Kai Nelson


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