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Portable Holes Inc
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From The Desk Of Drumlin S Boulder

Slide Rule did some calculations, diagrammed, grunted once or twice, elbowed us out of his way a few times, sighed, perspired, drank a pot of coffee, and went to the bathroom, and made us all wait anxiously for him to shout Eureka.

“God please let this end” was twisting and contorting everyone’s mind in personal ways as we fidgeted and cracked our knuckles and generally annoyed one another with idiosyncratic habits that only surfaced when we were under extreme stress, well, maybe also after eating Magda’s Starbuck’s coffee bean souffle.

Our arch rival, Stacking Pits & Cavities is upgrading their line of multi flanges with trans couplers and mortar plex volume transponders, and we’re in the process of deciding how we should respond if at all.

“Crisis what crisis?” asked Pronto, our shipping manager, who’d uncovered their plans after finding some of their documents during one of his regular dumpster dunks behind their plant. He enjoyed himself immensely on these missions because the sneakiness of it made him feel like James Bond chasing some criminal of the century. “Whatever they can do, we can do better” he continued. “The key is to know what they're going to do, and make a more intelligent leap. We need to look smarter.

Symon, our MBA marketing whiz immediately started talking about upgrade our computers to shorten the design lead time, and that we should also look at the entire development production inventory shipping process, which sounded great until he began babbling babbling about 64 bit processing versus 32 bit and a hopelessly outmoded 16 bit, and Unix versus Linnix (well that’s how it sounded) versus Windows while all the while I bit my lip.

Our accountant Carrie Balance pointed out we could probably buy one loaded with software at Big Buy pretty cheaply, and Gloria immediately chimed in that our internet search for a new slogan “You’ll dig our holes” had become pretty difficult give the speed of our dial up connection. Her contribution was to go broad band and wireless as well.

But Slide Rule was the Chief Engineer and he had yet to say Eureka. He grumbled something to the effect that we didn’t know engineering from a hole in the ground, albeit portable, and get lost.

So we waited, perspired, delayed going to the bathroom to avoid missing the moment, and generally turned ourselves inside with anxiety and pots of coffee…which did nothing to help our complaining bladders one bit.

Being the leader, I pulled diversion from my bag of tricks and had them concentrate on our other problem. How to convince US customs our Portable Holes do not contain Cuban parts.

If you are a regular reader, you’ll know we bought certain components from Cuba, then landed a huge contract with a US based aerospace company, and now Helms Burton and politically charged bad feelings are in the way.

This problem began to consume us and I think Slide Rule appreciated our diversion because soon he began humming “Wild Thing” and tapping his feet to its rhythm.

I think it was Magda who gave us the idea. At lunch we discovered a new item on her menu she had named something long and Polish, which after further questioning we found out was a fancy name for potato dumplings, which I first learned as Bouvershangle from a friend's grandmorher, if I've even spelled it right.

But it was Boxum who actually articulated the answer, not surprising we all agreed since he actually shipped the goods, and I might add it because both Pronto and Watson, who run operations both think highly of him. Anyway, we quickly finished our long and polish bouvershangle latkas (as we found out Carrie's Grandmother had called them} and called our design company.

“No problem”, said the guys at Drawn & Quartered, “its an unusual font, but once we get things up your new labels can come with T shirts and key rings, and we can even add a scuff finish to make it look like the stuff bounced around the back of a Lada truck.

Pronto laughed at the reference and we immediately knew why. He’d often entertained us with his stories of his first car, a Lada he’d nicknamed Cyrrilic. He thought it was to cars as our alphabet was to that crazy mix of symbols the Russians had inherited from the Greeks… which we now hoped to slap on our labels to try and fool US customs.

But he also suggested it might be illegal, which is why I pay him the big bucks to run shipping and logistics. We put Drawn & Quartered on hold pending legal advice.

Gloria offered to check with our lawyer, Marvin Bezzle on her way back from her afternoon meeting downtown. The Big Guy, always out for the free lunch, suggested he could go earlier, but I wasn’t prepared to wait even that long.

I was just about to call when Slide Rule shouted Eureka!

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