Thursday, April 1, 2010

Stop Toyota

Stop Toyota

I’ve got an idea for a movie script.

I have to give credit to an old friend for implanting this in my brain years and years ago, though I won’t name him here.

First of all, he may be dead. He’s two years older than I and he had some of my lifetime habits, plus a river-raft of his own, all self-destructive.
And, I’ve been out of touch.

Then, he’s a pathological liar. I mean, getting-himself-killed-pathological, making-somebody-so-mad-at-themselves-for-listening-to-him-they-would-strangle-him-as-soon-as-they-saw-him, pathological.

That pathological. Incurable. Infuriating. I know a man in Amityville whose teeth itch at the mention of this guy’s name.

I learned all this four decades ago, and I still liked him, and then I learned it again, and I still liked him, and I kept learning it, until I couldn’t stand it any more.

But, this one idea, I don’t know. I have to admit, I never heard of it before or after it was proposed by this guy, which is one of the reasons I could believe it’s his—I mean, it has the guy’s signature all over it—but it is the kind of idea that the guy would present as his, and that you would believe was his—I mean, perfectly, precisely, exactly his—and you would find out years and years later that it wasn’t his at all, it was, like, Martin Scorcese’s.

You’d find out that Scorcese, was talking on an obscure radio program one mid-afternoon, telling how he had this crazy idea, and in the final analysis thought better of it, and this was only time he had ever mentioned it in his life.
And this guy, my guy, guy was listening.

The idea was this: when the weathermen (I think there were only, “Weathermen,” at this time), the forecasters on TV, said it was going to rain, say, for the weekend, a huge percentage of the TV audience believed them and brought umbrellas and raincoats to work, and, more importantly, adjusted their weekend plans accordingly.

They decided not to visit The Catskills or The Pocono’s, as planned, that weekend, but to stay home and rearrange the junk drawers.

They went Bowling, instead of to the Jersey Shore.

They played pool in a pool room instead of frolicking at a poolside paradise.

Somebody saw a quick buck in there somewhere, and conspired to get, say, all three major New York TV stations, perhaps by first convincing the two minor ones, together to change the predictions from, “rain tomorrow,” to, “a 60 per cent chance of rain tomorrow.”

“Rain tomorrow,” is what they used to say.

That made it a bet to take a ride for the weekend, especially for those who remembered how often the weathermen were wrong, and how often their own stricken shoulder was right, and how good it felt to sit on a boat beating up on the stupid weatherman all weekend.

Then, the profit motive: not only would it make life easier for the TV prognosticators, because they could weasel out of the predictions by saying, “We,” got lucky; it would make reams of advertising business for the TV stations; sell empty rooms at the then-new Playboy Clubs all over; hurt nobody (one of the last considerations anyway); and, (one of the first considerations…) make lots of money.
All you would have do, is convince the requisite mucky-mucks of the switcheroo and find some fail-safe way to get paid for it.

Because the mucky-muck beneficiaries were greedy, they would try to get out of paying for it, so there would be convincing and conniving and betraying, and the convincing and the conniving and the betraying would provide the darkly comic-tragic turns and twists that warm writers’ hearts…and, well, there. Go write the script. Go as crazy as you want.

Now, this one is all mine.


Toyota is the top-selling car in the world. (who would have believed that?). It would take years to change that world view, because it’s taken years to develop it.
Yet, we, in The United States have to change it, because…blah, blah, blah...the tradition of American Wheels, the lifeblood of the American Auto Worker…The reason doesn’t matter in a movie script. If you don’t like my blah, blah, blah, our writers will come along with a blah, blah, blah you do like.

Just answer the question, “How do we recapture hearts, the souls, the bank accounts of the American auto-consumer?”

Well, one way is we can work hard. Invent the Saturn. Even harder. We can work very, very hard. For a very long time. Hard, hard work, over a very, long, long time will do the trick.

But, is that really the American way?

We can sabotage Toyota.


Let’s say a smart guy reads his on his Google (or, a billion smart guys read on their Google’s) a story about a strange accident involving a Toyota.

It hit a tree, the only tree for miles around, at 90-miles-an-hour, after speeding up, when indications were it was to be slowing down, to get into a driveway. The Toyota was driven by an 82-year-old, half-blind man, who drove down to his mailbox every day. No one ever saw this old man drive more than 7 miles-an-hour in his 82-and-a-half years. And here he is, at 90-miles an hour, turning into his driveway. Officials are investigating.

A mystery, it was, from the farmlands of southern New Jersey, similar to one, come to think of it, in upstate New York, a week ago, wherein a bank robber in a getaway car, a Toyota, was caught in a speed trap just before the edge of town (and freedom), when the car sped up and remained at a high rate until police on bulldozers slowed it down and arrested the robber, who said he was grateful for the police intervention. Officials are investigating.

In Colorado, officials are investigating a similar slam-bang auto accident outside Gunnison, and comparing it to a bizarre accident only two days earlier in Hazen, North Dakota, where the car in question, a Toyota, oddly, sped up, for no particular reason, and hit a herd of cows.

What is going on, has Toyota forgotten how to make brakes?

You get the picture, write the script.

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