by Justin Crockett
You may have read my recent article on Cracked.com, “Absurd Movie and TV Premises That Actually Happened” here: http://www.cracked.com/article_20959_5-absurd-movie-tv-premises-that-actually-happened.html
Here are a few entries that didn’t make the cut.
Chinese Man Steals Vehicle One Part at a Time, Just Like Johnny Cash Song
The Johnny Cash song “One Piece at a Time” spins the fictional tale of a man who moves to Detroit and takes a job at the General Motors factory. He installs wheels on brand new Cadillacs, knowing full well that he will never be able to muster up enough money to purchase one himself. So, he and a co-worker hatch a scheme to steal every single part they would need to construct one themselves, yanking every component off the assembly line. Small parts he spirits out of the factory in his lunchbox; larger parts, they hide in his buddy’s motor home and drive away. It sounds like a master thief kind of plan, until you realize there are 30,000 parts in the average car.
“Mmmkay, where do I put the key?”
The song details their efforts that take 24 years to complete. Many models of Cadillacs have come and gone, so predictably, the completed Franken-car looks a little unusual. Uneven headlights, mismatched colors, a steak sandwich for an engine, it’s just bananas. The song ends with the driver being asked what year the car is. He responds with “well, it’s a ’49, ’50, ’51, ’52, ’53….” He gets away scot-free, the factory never noticing that it’s never missing more than a few parts at a time. Clever way to get some wheels, sure, but entirely implausible, right?
Wrong, says one Chinese man in China. This man worked at a motorcycle factory, but still watched the pieces go by on the assembly line all day long, just like the man in the song. Wanting. Longing. Eating(only on lunch breaks). And, just like the man did, he began over the next five years to rob himself a bike. From 2003 until 2008, the employee painstakingly lifted every single part he would need to construct a motorcycle back at his home. He grabbed a handlebar here, a kickstand there, a tailpipe, probably some screws? To hold it all together?
Just needs some bitchin’ handlebar tassels.
When the slowest robbery in human history was completed, he built the bike of his dreams meticulously, piece by piece, gazing upon his ever-growing creation. When he installed the last fixture, presumably he put his hands upon his hips, sprouted an erection, and cracked open a box of Triscuits. It was time to take this bitch out on the road…
….where he was almost immediately pulled over by the police. The man had not a whiff of a driver’s license on him, nor did he have any proof of ownership of the bike. The authorities began to smell his bullshit, and eventually the motorcycle thief owned up, admitting that he stole everything. He ended up receiving probation and a slew of fines, and was ordered to take that weird looking fucking bike back to the factory.
We assume he is no longer employed with the company. Maybe he’s now working at a Big Wheel factory. Uh oh! Hang on to your Barbie cars, Mattel!
“Huang! We’re missing a shitload of giant pink wheels this month!”
“RoboCop” and Detroit
The “RoboCop” movie series shows, among other things, a city of Detroit that is in the throes of financial ruin, infrastructural disrepair, rampant unemployment, and sweeping waves of crime. Adding to the despair is the outsourcing of jobs, and the emergence of a ruthless company known as OCP, a corporate conglomerate that takes over most basic city duties. The mayor even signs over control of municipal services, such as the police force, to OCP. Which was just ill-advised, as OCP quickly slashes police salaries and benefits to create more crime, a part of their overall-shady vision. On a positive note, we are shown what Nancy Allen was put on this earth to do.
“Keep chewing gum, and do nothing after these movies? Gotcha.”
OCP, better known as Omni Consumer Products, besides running the police department, also has controlling interests in the hospital system and numerous other facets of metropolitan Detroit, with the eventual goal of completely privatizing the city. Using dubious methods and even putting criminals to work, OCP plans to push Detroit to the brink with the endgame of total foreclosure and bankruptcy for the city. This way, they can assume control over every single facet of the government. Clearly, a satirical work of fiction, as an entire U.S. city would never be taken over in such a way.
If you haven’t heard recently, Detroit is having a rough go of it. Many of the events depicted in the “RoboCop” universe are coming to bear. Of course, we know of the rampant crime and flight to the suburbs that have been happening in the city for years. Also known is the transformation to an urban wasteland that the once-mighty Detroit has undergone. But hiding under the surface is the slow, piecemeal takeover that is occurring in the city.
It began with the emergence of the Japanese auto industry and the auto bailouts, then grew in strength when the housing market went tits up. Unemployment levels reached almost 25 percent, factory and manufacturing jobs were outsourced, and city leaders were caught up in criminal activities, culminating with the mayor being indicted on embezzling, fraud and corruption charges. The US government and private businesses began funneling a metric fuckload of money into Detroit just to keep basic services operating, essentially handcuffing the city’s ability to run itself.
“I wonder if they’re still holding the abandoned warehouse potluck dinner?”
Then, just like the OCP takeover of Detroit, the city’s authority was usurped by the state of Michigan. All mayoral and council powers were removed, privatization of water services and selling of public parks was discussed, and police salaries and benefits were drastically reduced.
In July of 2013, the cartoon anvil finally fell, and Detroit declared bankruptcy, just as in “RoboCop 2”. Owing $18 billion dollars, Detroit threw its hands up and bent over, surrendering to the largest municipal debt in American history.
“Let’s see….one…..no, two. I need two $9 billion dollar bills.”