Saturday, March 06, 2010

#152: (I’m A) Roadrunner

Way back when, and I mean really when, someone higher than I ever would be decided that the vehicles we had were merely a money pit. To that end the decision was made to flog them off to the highest bidder, with the hopes that anyone would bid. Once the wheels were set in motion action started taking place. “First things first,” said the Person In Charge, “we need to know exactly how many vehicles we’re talking about.” Having made the first move the PIC then charged the Official Vehicle Counter to, well, count them all. Now that the parameters were clearly defined and the project scoped, the OVC went in, armed with a clipboard and a few Underlings. At this stage all vehicles were garaged in the one central location, barring any vehicle that was garaged off site, always accounted for. But this time that mattered nowt.

The OVC and the Underlings made their count at the end of the week, tallied their results and realised an Amazing Thing. The OVC then counted the vehicles directly and oddly enough the Amazing Thing happened again – several hundred cars were missing. Gone. “Gone my arse,” cried the PIC, “some bastard has STOLEN THEM! FIND THEM OR YOU'RE FUCKED MY SON!!” The hunt was now on for the missing Several Hundred Cars.

For a brief, flickering second sanity prevailed and the PIC contacted the Official Caretaker Of Vehicles and asked for an explanation. “Nothing has been stolen,” said the OCOV, “the vehicles are all accounted for.” “But,” said the PIC, “they’re not where they should be.” “That’s because,” said the OCOV, “they’re garaged off-site. Some are in country areas, some are being worked on, some are taken home because the worker lives a distance. Trust me; we know where they all are.” Surely that’d be enough.

Not by a long stretch of the bow. Each week, without fail, the phone would ring and the OCOV would be harangued by the OVC and told to produce the Several Hundred cars. This went on for a few months really, with each phone call ending with various swear words, questions about heritage and sanity. The OVC wanted the Several Hundred Cars and would not stop until they surfaced. They were stolen. This was known because there were empty car parks. If a car park is empty then it stands to reason a car has been stolen. It’s that bloody simple. At no point did the OVC ever go back to do a recount, if they had they’d have found that more vehicles were stolen every week, whilst some were returned, no worse for wear, fully washed a fuelled. Most of the time the log sheets had been filled in and the insides of the cars cleaned. Some were even serviced during their absence. Some crooks are considerate indeed.

This continued until the OVC alerted the Minister of the stolen Several Hundred Cars. “What??” cried the Minister, “The buck stops here! I’m accountable for them!! What if the Local Media Man finds out? I’ll be ruined, at the very least I might not be re-elected.” “Perhaps,” suggested the OVC, “you could call the OCOV and demand he tell you where the cars are?”

This was done. The call was made. “Where are the cars?” was the demand. “Now!” “Oh, for fucks sake,” said the OCOV, “I sold the bloody lot of them to Bob Moran last week. Now fuck off.”

Nothing more was ever said about the missing Several Hundred Cars. Oddly enough Bob Moran went broke and when the time came for the official count for sale, all vehicles were present and accounted for. But there were still empty car parks, and to this day the ghost of the OVC can still be seen, and heard, pitifully wailing about the whereabouts of the Several Hundred Cars. It’s often been said that, on cold, dark Friday evenings, around 5:30pm, he appears out of nowhere and demands to see various log books, upon presentation of which he dissipates and is never seen again by that person. But still his quest continues, to find the Several Hundred Cars that will ensure that the car park is completely filled, and that he’ll never be at rest, or be able to move to his project, until this actually happens.

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