The Contrition

Here is a just-released transcript of today’s hearing with the Big Three CEOs:

Rick Wagoner, GM CEO: “I’d like to thank the committee for having us back here today.  Let’s jump right in and explain GM’s view of the future and what role the Federal…”

Chris Dodd, Connecticut Senator: “Wait a minute!  Am I to understand that you drove to Washington D.C. in hybrid cars this time, and left your corporate jets at home?”

Alan Mulally, Ford CEO: “That’s true.  We learned a lot from our last visit.  So we’re going to sell our jets and drive hybrids everywhere we go. Even when we go overseas.”

Bob Nardelli, Chrysler CEO: “Yes…we make cars, not planes.  So we drive cars now.   I think the message from last time was very clear: If you
want to ask for money you have to be like Joe Stickshift and drive a car.”

Richard Shelby, Alabama Senator: “I’m afraid, once again, you’ve displayed how out of touch with Main Street Detroit is.  Sure, the jets stayed at home, but that’s not the point.  It wasn’t about the jets.  Hell, how do you think we get to DC, other than Boxcar Joe Biden?  No sir, it’s about contrition!”

Charles Schumer, New York Senator: “Yes, contrition.  And also knowing how to ask for $25 billion dollars!  You don’t fly private jets to ask for that kind of money, you drive.  You. Drive.”

Wagoner, GM:  “Good thing we drove, then.  Now, for starters, let’s discuss why we now need up to $34 billion dollars to cut 31,000 U.S. jobs…”

“Now hang on!”, interrupted Senator Shelby.  “We’ve got at least an hour to go through all of that business.  But I think we need to be very clear about something: I heard at least one of those hybrids you gentlemen drove down in came with several options, including leather interior and a substantially upgraded soundsystem.  Well I can tell you, that’s not how Joe Stickshift travels.  And if you want Joe Stickshift, also known as Joe Taxpayer, to pay for Detroit’s mismanagment over the years, you’ve driven the wrong automobiles to these hearings, sir!”

Alan Mulally: “But…we thought…But we didn’t come in airplanes this time.  We didn’t even fly coach, because we thought…people like hybrids, don’t they?  Isn’t that what this is all about?  We’re saying to Joe Stickshift that, yes, we get it.  These hybrids are so great that we’ll drive them around, too.  Us, Big Three CEO’s, we’ll drive hybrids to show that we get it.   Also, I’m only going to work for one dollar this year.  I thought I was OK where I was, at $23 million a year, but in the last couple of weeks I’ve really come to understand things differently, on a Main Street level, and now, just like Joe Stickshift, I too know how it feels to drive a hybrid and only earn a dollar for a year’s work.  I get it.”

Bob Corker, Tennessee Senator: “I’d like to call this committee’s attention to the Exhibit now on the overhead…as you can see this is an aerial photograph.  It shows a shopping center just off of Interstate 79 near Pittsburgh.  The three red arrows are pointing to an Arby’s, a Hooter’s, and an Applebee’s, respectively.  Can everybody see that?  OK.  Now, see this yellow circle?  That’s a Stuart Anderson’s Cattle Company.  And lo and behold, but what do we see here, where my laser is pointing?  Three hybrid vehicles.  The SAME three hybrid vehicles that our guests here today were driving.  Now, gentlemen, I don’t know how it is back in Michigan, but where I come from if you come to Joe Taxpayer asking for $34 billion dollars in handouts, you don’t get to pass up breaded chicken for steak!”

Mulally:  “But that wasn’t a handout; I paid for that meal with my own money.  I even wiped out next year’s salary to do it!”

Pelosi: “Although I am appalled that Detroit is so tone-deaf that it will pass by an Arby’s to eat at a Stuart Anderson Cattle Company, I still can’t get past this thing with the hybrids.  Especially GM, even after Martin Sheen exposed your role in killing greener cars in California in ‘Who Killed the Electric Car’, which was a very good movie.  Joe Stickshift is angry at you, and your industry is in ruin, because you willfully chose NOT to make hybrids.  Now you flaunt it by showing up in the very thing they want, but can’t have.  Why not show everybody your iPhones and your Furby dolls, too?”

Dodd, to Pelosi: “No, Furbys were last year.  This year people want those bluetooth headsets..hint, hint.”

Pelosi: “Dammit, Chris, I get it.  If you say bluetooth to me one more time…The point is that the American people, Joe Stickshift and Amy Automatic, don’t want to see you guys show up here in hybrids.  They want to see you have to drive the same expensive, featureless turds you’ve been making for them all these years.  If you ask people the two things they want most, number one would be a corporate jet, and number two would be…”

Dodd: “Bluetooth headset.”

Pelosi: “NO, Chris.  Hybrids.  They want hybrids.  Not hybrids for CEOs, however.  Hybrids for themselves, and their children, and the future.”

Nardelli: “But…we get that.  We just can’t afford to do it without going broke.  So about this money…”

Shelby: “You want the money?  Drive the right car, gentlemen.  It’s just that simple.  Drive the right car when you ask for the money.”

Wagoner: “You mean, like, a concept car?  I’ve got it!  We’ll shrink our best-selling SUV model by 40%, give it a flower vase, and call it:  The Contrition!”

Pelosi: “No.  Here’s how it will go: Mulally drives a Pinto.”

Mulally: “God, no!  I won’t be able to afford the life insuance premiums!”

Pelosi: “Then make sure you don’t slow down on your way here.  Wagoner, you drive a Fiero.”

Wagoner: “All the way to DC?  I’m not even sure any exist anymore.”

Pelosi: “Norm Coleman has one.  I’m sure he’ll sell it to you for $400 grand.  And you, Nardelli…you’ll drive a 1985 Dodge Daytona.”

Nardelli: “Oh…wow.  I can do that.  I was afraid you were going to…”

Pelosi: “Mention the Vega?  You’ll be driving that on the way back.  Now, you gentlemen show up next time in the right cars, bump your next offer up by another $10 billion, and I think you’ll find us a most accomodating venue.  Meeting adjourned.  Most of us have a plane to catch.”

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12 Responses to The Contrition

  1. Paul says:

    very funny!

  2. Jim says:

    I believe this is very similar to the script of an SNL skit which will air tomorrow.

  3. Charley says:

    well done! Good job of capturing the who’s-missing-the-point-more? nature of this entire issue.

  4. mrfares says:

    I personally expected them to arrive in a bunch of expensive turds and was suprised that they could even dig up three hybrid vehicles. Did Mullaley show up in a 2005 Prius?

  5. kevin says:

    Nice plug for the ’85 Daytona. All the cool guys drive those.

  6. brent says:

    i take umbrage at the mention of the fiero which is roughly equates to a 1991 nissan pulsar


    you probably wouldn’t be able to tell that fiero is diecast unless you see the stand it is on

  7. pipelineblog says:

    You take that back, Brent. No Fiero could match the Pulsar’s exploits.

  8. kelly says:

    No way no how. For one, a Fiero couldn’t handle 180K miles. Nor does it have a backseat that drunken friends can be wedged/crammed into. Not to mention any trunk space for a booming system. Too bad that ride was discontinued.

  9. brent says:

    last night i woke up in a cold sweat wondering why someone would create a diecast Pontiac Fiero. that isn’t a hot wheels car–that is a big diecast model. where’s the market?

  10. That’s an excellent point. Another Detroit miscalculation, I’m sure.

    The Fiero has to be one of the biggest pieces of crap ever produced. Thing is, they sold a lot of them from like ’84 to ’87.

  11. brent says:

    they made about 360,000 fiero’s in 5 years according to wikipedia…

    …which also has an entry for fiero die-cast models:
    “Fiero models and die-cast replicas have come and gone over the years. Hot Wheels released a 1984 Fiero 2M4 under many paint schemes. These Hot Wheels cars are now very rare. Matchbox and Majorette also released Fiero models during the car’s heyday. Monogram has released and re-released a 1985 Fiero GT model (the re-release is currently available). In recent years, a large 1:18 die-cast model of a 1985 GT has been released in red and silver. In 2007 the Motor Max toy company began releasing small die-cast Fiero GT toys under the ‘American Graffiti’ and ‘Fresh Cherries’ lines. Select Wal-Marts sold a special “Since ’68” Fiero made by Hot Wheels, which uses the original 1984 mold with a new paint job.”

  12. Dominique says:


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