Thursday, January 1, 2015

Intruige and Outrage as "Cruiser of the Year" Scandal Rocks Upper Management; Hasty Cabinet Shuffle Imminent, as Usual

   Watercoolers are empty and photocopiers are buckling under the speculative-lean-induced strain as all productive work around the CWMC HQ office ground to a total halt this week, crippling the output of the company that Wall Street Week predicted would "...collapse so quickly under the weight of its own incompetence that it could trigger a sonic boom."
Nobody was fooled by Regent: Rubbish.

 The President, uncharacteristically calm or exceptionally well-tranquilized, was brief with the motoring press today following the announcement that he was going to be charged with attempting to rig his own Agency Cruiser of the Year contest in order to claim the lucrative "All you can drink Thursdays for one year" prize, redeemable in the CWMC HQ Lounge. 
  "This is fucking bullshit. I can enter as many cars as I want." said the unusually chatty Prez, clearly enjoying his well-deserved day in court, looking tidy in a blue velour sportcoat with almost all of the vomit cleaned off.

Swedish Car Division director Agent 311 arriving at HQ...

  Back at HQ, the usually comatose security team was kept awake by the comings and goings of a lot of CWMC heavy hitters rolling in at all hours, in full briefcase-and-sunglasses formals. G&Ts were slaughtered by the dozen and the polar ice caps sweated and sighed under the assault of ten thousand cigarettes jabbing and gesturing violently as Agents argued and assessed the situation.
Prez's "sure thing": DQ'd

  As the layers of subterfuge were peeled back, the precocity and percipience of the plan proved plain. By appointing himself head of the Domestic Car Division and buying the trophy, the President could drink from the company balance sheet, surely moving the company's bottom line to the bottom tax-bracket. All that was missing was a decent car. The President obviously forgot that all "Cruiser of the Year" entries had to be roadworthy and it wasn't a contest judged by the cumulative mass of all of the rusty iron you could jam into the DCD Parking lot.
Some of the entries were pretty convincing...

   "The state of the inventory situation has never been more critical." said Agent 303 today between holiday-hash-hits on the corporate whisky-bong, leaning and swaying affectionately against the fender of some kind of Mercury Diplodicoupe from the "What would Liberace do?" school-of-design. For Agent 303, the term "full-size car" is as redundant as "music piano".
...others less so.

   Swedish Car Division Director Agent 311 arrived looking disheveled and slightly more hungover than was expected; his usually pristine 1963 Volvo 122 estate clearly bearing the bug-splattered countenance of a Cruiser that has just recently been driven faster than 43 mph for several minutes.  Rumour has it that 311 has insisted that the President remove himself from the board of directors of the SCD citing a conflict of interest situation of Nixon-esque proportion. The President rapidly realized that if his SCD seat is to be relinquished, the grotesquely gushing funding-shrapnel-wound of the Saab 99 would no longer be tax-deductible and he would be totally bankrupt(er) within a matter of weeks. Watch for developments here soon, folks; this Nordic nonsense is as unsustainable as the sub-prime market for 28-inch chrome wheels. (Ed.: Applications for stewardship of CWMC's most notorious problem-child are being considered as this issue goes to press. You know who you are.)
Another DQ'd contender, despite near-roadworthiness.

  While the DCD's blatant funding abuse continued unchecked, the Prez was actually compres- sing the French Car Division's budget; even going so far as to cancel the 505 TD project entirely and dispose of the carcass to parts unknown (Agent 504 in Saskatchewan) in order to fund his delirious scheme. Finding itself under heavy funding fire, far from fortune, the FCD retrenched and reached out to the west for reinforcements; their letters landing on the desk of none other than Agent 9088, former SCD, GCD, and ICD board member, now making a real name for himself in the most diabolical of all the Divisions. 9088 realized that if the President's scheme worked, all of the Divisions' funding would continue to be cut until the whole Compound was overrun and the good times would dry up like so many old dash pads; parched and peeling and perishing under the infernal sun of... well... fuck, whatever. You get the idea.
303 stays true to form again this year...

An abortive attempt to prove that the President's entries were legitimate was quickly discredited when the plates on the 1959 Chevrolet Biscayne were shown to have expired in 1971, around the same time as the brakes, floor, and rear axle seals. Later, despite a somewhat inspiring 1 1/2 mile return journey to Tom's house in the 1950 Plymouth (featuring a rudimentary interpretation of "brakes"), this Cruiser too was disqualified for tags 41 years out of date. The President's explanation that he "forgot", while plausible, was viewed with a degree of skepticism appropriate to the claim. The 64-year old Plymouth upheld the marque's reputation for reliability though, negotiating a gentle left hand curve safely and reaching speeds of almost 33 miles per hour. The President was left pulling his largely figurative hair out; unable to produce a viable candidate for ACOTY, despite ballooning the DCD's inventory count by 8 Units in only a few months and decimating the FCD's typically lavish, laissez-faire livelihood.  
Looks good til you open the hood...

Some of them, like the floorless 1957 Plymouth Plaza and the lichen-encrusted 1958 Dodge Regent, were quite obviously just cynically scooped from junkyards to score cheap votes from Virgil Exner devotees like Agents 4261 and 303.  Other entries were kind of sad / funny, like the 72 Monaco with no engine, and the 1953 Packard Clipper that looked like it had been stored at the bottom of the ocean. The only realistic hope for the DCD was a promising 1958 Chevrolet Delray, but then it too was disqualified for being, in the words of one official, "mega-ruffski".
Scuzzy crusher-bait clogging the DCD parking lot.

 In the end, It was the sheer fathomage of the resolve of the FCD and their new golden boy, Agent 9088, that was to claim the trophy and take home the bottomless-bong-rips-and-bar-tab for 2015. Worthy entrants from all of the divisions were simply overwhelmed by the unstoppable-force of stylish awesomeness that is 9088's Citroen. The President himself paled when presented with a copy of the invoices; the paperwork was capricious and contradictory, and the "to do" list was Homerian. Seldom in a generation will the hallways of HQ be as alive with anticipation at they were while we waited for the news. 
Agent 9088 victorious with plated Traction Avant.

Then it was done: Plates.

  An official press release from the FCD contains this brief message from Agent 9088:

The Pacific Chapter of the French Car Division is very pleased to report that after 7 1/2 months, and completely uncounted hours & dollars, the mission has been completed successfully. As of 14:30 hours today the subject vehicle is registered and plated in BC.
There are those that said buying a car sight-unseen, over e-bay, from a sailor, might end badly.
There are those that suggested the fact that a Title from Mississippi, in the name of some guy called Hugo, should set off alarm bells.
There are those that suggested that there might be undisclosed repairs required.
There are even those who suggested that it might be a little difficult to get parts for a 59 year old French car, or that getting a quote for the work might be a good idea.
They were all right. But despite all that, tootling along in tractor-like splendor today made it all worthwhile.
Driving impressions and non-crappy photos to be forwarded as they become declassified, and after a suitable quantity of French wine has been consumed.
As always, moral support from HQ has been invaluable throughout the operation.
9088 out.
The President doesn't usually suffer from weird-French-car-envy, but...

  Congratulations to all Agents for making this years ACOTY another success, despite the increasingly obvious corruption and vote-rigging; please continue to labour under the illusion that your vote matters and that you can make a difference. Now get back to work.

9088's bar tab for 2015 is on the house at the CWMC HQ Lounge. Congrats 9088!