Strike busting on Mt. Willis
At first, I thought it was my imagination. Not one of their eyes ever blinked. Their plastic little smiles never wavered. Their dogged work ethic never waned. It seemed impossible, not to mention a little unsettling.
And yet, it was all true. They never blinked, frowned, or stopped doing their job. And L’il Otis could not have been happier about it.
It was a family Christmas celebration held a few days after the actual holiday. Unlike days of old, those days when opening gifts still held some amount of anticipatory glee, I sat amazed at the number of presents in front of the littlest man in the house. What was more off-putting was the number of blue collar workers in the house.
It seemed everybody had bought L’il O. a dumptruck, a bus, a tractor, a bulldozer, or some sort of landmoving equipment. And every damned one of the things had a little plastic driver inside it. Press down on the driver and he sings a song, like he couldn’t be happier to be doing the hard work of moving land, carting commuters, and keeping the kid happy.
Dr. Jeff, my brother, was the first to warn L’il Otis of the danger.
“Best be careful,” he said in his best doctor/capitalist voice. “You let those guys get to talking and they’ll unionize before you know it.”
At first, the suggestion seemed a little off the wall. Plastic drivers striking for better wages, shorter hours, and a decent pension plan? Hogwash, I thought. L’il O. didn’t seem to pay much heed to the warning either. At the time of Dr. Jeff’s advice, the kid was perfecting a sidearm throw that would eventually lead to a contentious relationship between he and Scoop, the resident therapy mutt and instinctually dangerous scavenger.
Several weeks passed, during which time I left the house for a couple of weeks. While I was gone, the duties of keeping an eye on the kid, the dog, and the plastic drivers fell to my parents and my wife. I was sure I could count on them to make sure nothing here at Mt. Willis would go awry.
It was just today, an exact 30 days since the drivers first laid unblinking eyes on each other, that I noticed a curious absence in the living room mess. Every seat of every blue collar vehicle in the house sat empty. The drivers had disappeared.
Indeed, folks, it seems Dr. Jeff’s advice should have been heeded. I fear the worst. I fear a massive strike. I fear the whole of Mt. Willis will be without the necessary services. Further, I don’t see any wiggle room in the budget. I don’t think we can pay them any more than we already do (which is a very fair ‘nothing’).
I’ve already heard rumblings among the stuffed animals that the bus driver is taking on a leadership role. I’ve sent word through my one confidante, Dancing Elmo, that rumors should be spread that the bus driver has been misusing pension money and may or may not have slept with the wife of Dump Truck Driver #3.
All else fails, we may have a real strike on our hands before Valentines Day.
Any advice on strike busting would be appreciated. In the alternative, I’d also take the location of Jimmy Hoffa’s body. That should be enough to scare those little plastic bastards back into their trucks.