St. Louis, MO: The death of famed advertising icon the "Energizer Bunny" was announced today. Known to his friends as "E.B," Bunny was 30.
The tragic announcement was made by CEO, Ward Little. "The Energizer family has suffered a tragic loss with the death of "E.B." said Little. "We are closing all of our plants for a week of mourning," he said, holding back tears and then collapsing.
Little was rushed to a nearby hospital where his condition is not known.
"We really don't give a damn what happens to the jerk" said company president, Joe W. McClanahand. "It could mean a big career move for me, but right now our focus is on the passing of 'E.B', but CEO would be hard to turn down."
The death of Bunny was discovered by Iowa wheat farmer Wally "Big Wal" Dubbins, who purchased the first "E.B" shortly after he was produced.
"I was usin' my good old single battery flashlight to check a part on the John Deer combine, but the light didn't come on. I banged it a few times, but it wouldn't light. When I opened it up I saw the horrible truth. Little "E.B" was seeping a lot of battery juice and limp as an overcooked noodle. I guess thirty years is pretty good for a battery...even "E.B, but he had so much more to share. We treated him like part of our family. My poor wife is still cryin' her eyes out and is heavily sedated. Grief is a terrible thing," Dubbins added, "but we have to move on. I'll be gettin' a replacement as soon as I can deal with it. I may buy one of those Chinese brands. Cheaper ya know."
Mr. McClanahand said funeral arrangements are incomplete, "but there will be a public showing here at the factory. We expect to hold the memorial service at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, as soon as that singer's family, I think their name is Johnson or Jackson, can figure out what the hell they are doing with that nutball son of theirs."
A long list of advertising icons have already said they expect to attend, including, the AFLAC Duck, Speedy Alka-Seltzer, Jeeves from Ask.Com, Aunt Jemima, Elsie The Cow, Spuds McKenzie from Budweiser, Duke, The Dog of Bush Baked Bean fame, Buster Brown, The California Raisins, Cap'n Crunch, Tony, the Exxon Tiger, Gecko from Geico Insurance, The Keebler Elves, Ronald McDonald, Mr. Clean, The NBC Peacock, Morris The Cat, Poppin' Fresh from Pillsbury, Mr. Peanut, Mr. Zip of the U.S. Postal Service, and Chef Boyardee. The featured speakers presenting eulogies will be Mr. Whipple, Fred the Baker representing Dunkin' Doughnuts, Count Chocula the cereal magnate, The Doublemint Gum Twins, The Dutch Boy paint spokesman, Better Crocker, Joe Isuzu who is recovering from a broken axel, Colonel Sanders will be represented by his nephew Lt. Sanders, coffee icon Juan Valdez (using an interpreter) and Alfred E. Newman, the renowned face of Mad Magazine.
According to McClanahand, Frank Bartles and Ed Jaymes of Bartles and James Wine Coolers were denied permission to speak because of their recent DUI convictions. "Unfortunately they are heavy drinkers," said McClanahan, "but I guess it goes with the job. "We also had to say 'no' to The Coppertone Girl, The Jolly Green Giant, Hawaiian Punch's Punchy, and Snap, Crackle and Pop, all for behavioral related reasons we are not at liberty to discuss."
McClanahand concluded the news conference by announcing that "E.B's" desire is to be cremated. It will be done by a facility federally licensed to dispose of toxic materials.
"E.B." leaves at least twelve billion relatives scattered worldwide.
The Following Associated Press Summer interns also contributed to this story: Fluffy Lauer, Pinky Wallace, Corky Couric, Taco Rivera & Stoddard "Little Brian" Williams
By Howard Cronkite Jr., AP Summer Intern Business Reporter