austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Or does the water get him instead

Thank you for your interest in this film for the Basking Shark Towel Development Company. Those not interested in this film, we are sorry for your being held against your will, but not in ways that to civil liability for us. Or against us. Whichever's right. You'll know when you get the attorney bills. This film is sure to give useful information. For example, you might unleash any number of facts learned about Basking Shark Towel Development, which should keep you from being invited to dull parties or even from being talked to by anyone again ever. You're welcome. There is no charge for this service.

Basking Shark, New Jersey, is a defensive, snippy community tired of the joke you're making in your head. And despite rumors fewer than ten visitors to its fabulous boardwalk are basked in any given year, if we get to choose which year you give us. Even fewer are basked in years we have to come in and take. The Towel Development Company began in 1922 trying to make little doilies on which to put the experimental radios of the day. This was challenging: back then there was no agreement on whether ``radio'' should be said with a short ``a'' or the correct way, and there were fights over whether to put the doily under or on top of radios. On top made the radios impossible to operate, but nobody could tell the difference.

The company found every time they tried making doilies it came out towels. They tried refrigerator cozies, which came out towels too. When a tarp for protecting new cars, and then a different tarp for protecting old cars also came out towels, the company tried making towels instead and what do you know but it worked. Except for a brief period during the Second World War when the government asked the company to make a giant sponge capable of sopping up the English Channel, which came out towels, the company has stuck to making towels since.

Modern computer-aided design --- see this mighty computer? --- allows us to design perfectly rectangular towels to be made today, instead of 1968. Rather than eliminating that troublesome quirky personality which creeps in uncontrollably with hand-drawn designs, it allows us instead to carefully ration the quirky personality for each design. Thanks to its precise measurements we can put precisely the 0.995 percent personality which Federal regulations specify as the minimum required to label all our products as 1 percent quirky and personal. By this control we can spread just enough quirky personality into our entire product line.

Here we see the prototyping lab, where towel models are carved from wood. Note the carving is a mirror image of the original design, for reasons the carvers refuse to tell us. If you have any ideas please write in. At this stage a master craftsman carves the Tupperware trademark into the mold of each product. We've done this for years and it never fails to draw an angry response from the Tupperware corporation. It's just a little prank we play on any corporate attorney foolish enough to still answer the mail. The answer should be ``no''.

With the ``reversed'' mold we cast a prototype out of fine plastics. If everything about the towel is wrong, then we know everything about the reversed mold is right, and we can move into production by making a new reversed mold around the perfectly wrong reversed-reversed product. Don't worry about what that just said. We move into high-speed nearly fully automated production when the staff runs away from the machinery, screaming and not coming of hiding. And new materials allow us to produce highly waterproof, unfoldable plastic towels which have made the entire industry sit up, notice, and point and snicker at us.

In conclusion, this is our Belgium plant, where production for Europe outside Belgium is done. And this is our Basking Shark plant, where Belgian production is done. If we told you how much towel production Belgium needed you would probably have to go lie down a while, so we'll keep it to ourselves. Thank you for your attention and good luck getting the ransom delivered.

Trivia: Space Shuttle O-rings have about the same color and diameter (0.280 inches across) as a piece of licorice. Source: The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA, Diane Vaughan.

Currently Reading: Cromwell, Antonia Fraser.


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