Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
I suspect many businesses wish politics would just go away.
In our current times of misbegotten bloviation, corporate leaders wish merely for stability.
Please consider, then, the feelings of Chili's as it saw itself inserted in a debate about election fraud in North Carolina.
Andrew Bates, the communications director for the Democratic super PAC American Bridge, and a man with a mere 3,790 Twitter followers, tweeted at the North Carolina Republican Party executive director Dallas Woodhouse, who has 4,200 followers.
It went like this:
I will give you a @Chilis gift certificate if we can make it to Christmas without you repeating calls for rewarding election fraud.
Should you have been burying your head in a bucket of cold ice for the next six months -- and I wouldn't blame you -- North Carolina has been garlanded with accusations of illegalities regarding absentee ballots.
You'd think, perhaps, that Chili's -- which has 396,000 Twitter followers -- might rise above this tawdry fray.
Instead, it tweeted this:
You heard the man. Don't repeat calls for rewarding election fraud and you can have the time of your life at your local Chili's.
Which, to many eyes, was surely both funny and -- perhaps inadvertently -- poignant.
But the problem with funny -- especially if it pertains to today's politics -- is that it can be taken the wrong way. And very likely will be.
So Chili's hastily added another tweet:
Also, caveat: that last tweet was in no way political. We're just encouraging everyone to have their best shot at having Chili's in the near future.
Well, I don't know about the in no way political part.
Mind you, you'd think everyone would be in favor of there being no reward for election fraud.
You'd also think that perhaps Chili's Twitter person hadn't checked with management before sending out a tweet on such a sensitive subject.
Indeed, Twitterer Brian Francis offered this wry observation:
The @Chilis twitter guy just walked into his bosses [sic] office. 'So, it's not the worst thing anyone's ever done on Twitter, but I may have just got involved in something down in NC that I don't fully understand.'
Surely, by this point, the Chili's Twitter person had learned not to react.
But, no. They responded:
It's funny because it's true.
It's hard for companies not to get involves in politics these days.
Politicians have made such an awful mess of it that corporations have become the bizarre protectors of sanity. At least in some instances.
I fear, though, that Chili's would prefer it if its Twitterer hadn't dug the company deeper into the fray.
There's so little to gain and so much potential mess to clean up when one or other side takes umbrage.
And there's always someone who's going to lose their temper.
We're talking about Twitter, after all.