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HFTH - Q&A with Lady Ethel Mallory

Content Warning: This episode may include themes of rainbow capitalism and homophobia.


Lady Ethel: Hello, and welcome back to the Botco Show. I’m Lady Ethel Mallory, and for this special episode we’re taking questions from our dreaming audience.

Hello out there! I’m talking to you personally. You’re beautiful, and you’re playing a wonderful role in our happy dreaming family. While I don’t have time to visit any of you individually, my lovely staff has curated a few questions we’ve received. How exciting!

Let's get started.

How did you find Canada's weather?

Canada is a lovely country, and we’re happy to have adopted some of our northern neighbors in our Canadian emergency expansion program. I had the privilege of visiting the dreamers in Box Polaris for the last few weeks. I have to say, I’m used to sunny California, and my home Box Cassiopeia is never that chilly. I’m sure those awful winds are nothing for you brave northern folk. Even if it is fun to travel, I’m certainly glad to be home.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’ll be right here, my dears. It’s been my great honor to represent the Botulus Corporation for this important period of history, and it’s safe to say I’m here to stay. Every year the Botulus Corporation creates exciting new projects and initiatives to ensure a future for all of us. I’m so excited to be a part of it.

Gaslight, gatekeep, or girlboss?

Gaslight? Absolutely not. Botco is committed to using entirely sustainable energy by 2100.

Gatekeep? Also no. The doors of our Dreaming Boxes are open to anyone out there who still dreams at night of a better world.

Girlboss? Every day. I think it’s important to show an example for girls and everyone else out there that if you want to be a boss, if you want to break your competition, if you want to change the world around you through sheer force of will and business acumen, you can.

What's the most powerful thing you think you've ever done?

Back when I was still early on in my role here at the Botulus Corporation, people scoffed. They really did.

They said, how can a person like you expect to be the face of Botco? Do you really think we’ll ever respect you? Good luck pulling the disparate pieces of this country together, we’ll kick every step of the way.

But I did not give up, my dear dreaming family. I knew that our company held the salvation of the world in its hands. No matter the death threats I recieved, or the hatred in the news, I showed up every day with my hat at an angle and a smile on my face. And over twenty years later, I’m still smiling. That makes me feel pretty powerful.

Any special ladies or men in your life, Lady Ethel?


How did you ever decide to use real human skulls as a hat accessory? And could I be that stylish one day?

I don’t know where you’re getting these reports from, but it’s purely Stonemaid propaganda, and there’s nothing to it. Do you have any idea how large a human skull is? It would be a hat all by itself. That said, hypothetically there’s only a few skulls I’d consider wearing—a few business competitors, people who were rude to me in my graduating class. But it’s best to leave these old rivalries behind you.

Ma’am, are you by any chance a part of the LGBTQ+ community? Do you say gay rights?

Gay rights!

Transgender rights!

Non-binary rights!

Asexual rights!

Two-spirit rights!

And a blanket of rights for all the other words. No matter your gender or sexual identity, or even if you’re plain old country style straight, Botco supports you and thinks you’re special. You can purchase exclusive merchandise, such as in-dream pride pins, flags and more, at any Botulus Corporation Contact Terminal. You don’t have to understand it! The important thing is we all get along.

I'd really like to work more on my personal brand and style. What style advice do you have for a masc-presenting non-binary?

Style is not just about the accessories you choose or the clothes you wear, but how you carry them. What are you? What are you really?

When you walk into a room, what do you want to happen? Do you want to terrify? Enchant? Enthrall? Do you want them to flee screaming or bow?

Walk accordingly. Hold your shoulders accordingly. Posture open. Get your hands out of your pockets and keep your head held high. If you want to present masculine, just remember that you’re better than anyone else in the room. Take up space. This world belongs to you.

Do you think that Margaret Thatcher effectively utilized girl power?

Why does it have to be ‘girl power’? Power is power, and as long as you have it, you make the rules. Of course, you can’t ignore marketing. You can’t ignore brand image. And you can’t ignore your customers, most of all. We here at Botco didn’t want to become another tyrannical government like so many before. That’s why our policies are user-driven!

What are your feelings on dogs?

Dogs are wonderful creatures and beautiful companions throughout the human lifetime… for many of you. Not for me personally. I’ve never been much of a dog lover. I prefer that my accessories don’t squirm.

Where did you get your sunglasses?

I’ve worn over a dozen different pairs of my iconic glasses over the years, but my most recent pair is by the excellent designer Kiki Flowers. This pair doubles as a Dreaming Visor so I can join you all in the Prime Dream at any time, no matter where my work takes me.

What was your first job?

My first job?

This may surprise you, but I wasn’t always a marketing officer. Before any of it, well, I worked at a simple gas station and corner store. We had to make ends meet. The hours were long, and the people were unkind, and I can still smell the syrup of the soda machine and the day-old pizza hot on the rack, but I think it was an important experience.

I swore to never again work at a gas station.

What does your perfume smell like?

My current favorite perfume is called ‘Thriving’, a Botulus Beauty Line product. It smells like success, polished heels, and high-end marketing agency lounge rooms. You can order to have it applied to your Dreaming Pod for a small fee at a Botulus Corporation Contact Terminal, or purchase an in-dream edition.

Demographics or psychographics?

Demographics are obsolete. I’ve never believed in dividing our customers by age or race or marriage or sexuality. It was our mission at Botco to bring people together, and to do that we needed to understand what drives us. Deep down. To stop being marketer and customer and become a Happy Dreaming Family. Psychographics is a technical term, but I prefer to think of it as being human. And at the end of the day, we are all human, and we all want a better world for our children, and we love our family.

What's your top marketing tip?

Dress for the part. Act for the part. Behave for the part. The only thing holding you back from your dream is that you have not yet begun. Stop waiting for someone to hold your hand, to certify you, to tell you that you’re good enough now. You’re already good enough. Failure leads to experience leads to success.

Hello Lady Ethel Mallory! I was simply wondering how you manage to stay so dazzling and determined even in a time like this?

I’ll admit, it’s not always easy. These have been some of the most difficult years that any of us will live through. But you know what gives me hope?

It’s you. And you, and you. Every one of you dreamers listening in, believing in a brighter future. Believing in me, to be your comfort and your guide as we all do this together.

I also use products from the Botulus Beauty Line every day to maintain my beautiful complexion and smile.

Why should we trust the Dreaming Boxes?

This seems like a 'Stonemaid question', but I’ll answer it for the sake of anyone who’s out there right now, listening in.

You don’t need to trust the Dreaming Boxes. They’re just pieces of technology, doing their job, keeping people alive and happy and fulfilled while we build a new future. I’m the one you need to trust. Because I’ll be there to hold your hand every step of the way. I’m here to take care of you. I’m here to make sure you’re happy.

Do you trust me?


I think that’s all the time I have for today, my dears. There’s important work be done building our collective future. Know that I care about you on an individual level, as does our noble founder. I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief now as the Stonemaid rebellion comes to an end, like so many brief crises before it.

Enjoy your next segment of programming, and I wish you well from the Botulus Corporation.

The Season One Epilogue Story for this week is 'Thirteenth', and is available on the Hello From The Hallowoods Patreon. Consider joining for access to all the show's bonus stories, behind-the-scenes and more!


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