Pitch #4: “Bowling for Stock Options”

Morris Crimpanfortis is oblivious to the fact that his own family wants to put him in harm’s way atop an elaborate billboard high above the New Jersey Turnpike. He continues pitching his sister Noreen on TV shows. His current pitch is entitled “Bowling for Stock Options,” and he’s certain this is the one that will catapult him from coal country back into the limelight of Burbank.  Morris tries pitching Noreen while she rides in back of the limo to a breakfast meeting with an investment banker in Belmont Harbor. Morris falls all over himself trying to explain the pitch to her. She loses patience hearing about rank amateurs competing for stock portfolios. Noreen isn’t feeling this. She doesn’t give a rip about a bunch of hacks who don’t know how to bowl – she despises bowling to begin with. She holds off telling Morris about the rumored job Father has for him on the sod bridge above the Jersey Turnpike. She wonders what kind of a free-falling grass blade he will make . . .

Pitch #4: “Bowling for Stock Options”

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The Alexander Hamilton Service Plaza

We are privy to an interoffice memo between Boris Fornhenge, Director of Design and Engineering for Hyper-Citation, Inc. and Noreen Crimpanfortis, Vice President of Business Affairs. Mr. Fornhenge heads up the engineering department that executes flawless designs incorporating the wild dreams that Hyper-Citation comes up with into operational spectacles for the whole world to enjoy. In this confidential and potentially explosive memo, Mr. Fornhenge warns his exuberant superior about the perils inherent in the unpredictable sod bridge high above the New Jersey Turnpike. Mr. Fornhenge alludes to the use of safety rigging, but in the end realizes that Hyper-Citation has its own set of guidelines that don’t necessarily rely on harnesses and safety nets. Meanwhile, Noreen receives word from her father, Morris Crimpanfortis IV, that there may be a change of venue in the near future for young Morris. Noreen tries not to think about the host of calamities that loom for her blithering brother if he were forced to take a position with the stunt team on this risky display high above the Jersey Turnpike . . .  

TO: Noreen Crimpanfortis, Vice President of Business Affairs

FROM: Boris Fornhenge, Director of Design and Engineering

RE: Preventing a Disaster at the Alexander Hamilton Service Plaza


Greetings, Noreen. Just to spell out this billboard situation for the fine folks at Kentucky Power Glide, let me reiterate something in hopes of making it perfectly clear: we’re not playing around with this sucker. I am concerned for the stunt personnel riding the lawn mowers. First of all, I hope we all agree to suspend operations at the first sign of rain. Do you know how slick that bed will get up there? Nobody mows their lawn in the rain anyway, right? And transitional seasons between winter and spring and fall and winter–it could start freezing at that elevation. Has anyone taken that into account?

Danger in the Air

I know that Hyper-Citation contracts with Dirkie Tirk’s stunt professionals, and they’re all top shelf I am not in the least calling into question their commitment or ability. I’m just wondering if the drivers of the lawn mowers shouldn’t wear safety harnesses. It might help if they should happen to catch a bad roller and pitch over the side.

Now, I realize that Hyper-Citation generally eschews safety harnesses and other hidden contrivances, claiming that the devices somehow compromises the “purity” of these gut-wrenching displays. I’m not here to argue with success; just to let you know where I stand on certain baseline issues.

In that same vein, I hope that rotating six hour shifts is not asking too much. If I understand correctly, crane operators at the shipyard are only required to work four-hour shifts. And that might be stressful work, but not as rife with potential danger as what these performers are going to be forced to endure. Do you know the raw, nonstop punishment this enterprise will entail? This is extra mile stuff we’re talking about here.

Human Grass Blades Don’t Help

I have an additional concern with the sheer number of human grass blades bungee jumping off the display. We are right now looking at upwards of 2,260 jumps per hour. The parking lot of the adjoining Alexander Hamilton toll plaza will be a beehive of activity as the blades use this as a landing zone (LZ). We need to incorporate static lines so they have a means of returning quickly and uniformly to their grass pods at various levels of the sod bridge. I’m just concerned that the constant stress resulting in the pulling and tugging of the diving grass blades does not compromise the integrity of this massive undulating structure.  The dandelions with jet packs will be a much more manageable proposition; their maneuverability will not impact negatively on the infrastructure of the sod bridge. Rest assured, I will be monitoring every facet closely once the display launches.

I want you to put yourself behind the wheel of that riding mower for one minute. Think back on the most daring, gut-wrenching, puke-inducing amusement park ride you’ve ever been on. Then multiply it by ten and double it for good measure. That does not even begin to describe the sheer terror of riding a lawn mower over a rise in the terrain, then dipping sharply to a place where you’re hanging on for dear life. When motorists realize there is a person 250 feet above the turnpike trying to keep an edge while the structure seemingly tears apart at the hinges…well, I don’t have to tell you the kind of instant international notoriety this will score for Kentucky Power Glide, Inc.

When All Else Fails . . .

As a final note, I have spoken with representatives from the highway commission regarding use of the parking lot of the Alexander Hamilton service plaza. If something happens to go terribly wrong up there–Heaven forbid–we have permission to use their property as a staging area for the medevac equipment and all other associated emergency operations.

Lawn Mowing at the Speed of Mulch

Things are heating up on the advertising front for Hyper-Citation, Inc. Noreen Crimpanfortis authorizes a press release announcing a spectacular new outdoor advertising display for Kentucky Power Glide, manufacturers of state-of-the-art lawn mowers for over three centuries. Morris remains aloof, and tries not to appear overly impressed with all the hoopla. Unbeknownst to him, he is being considered for a position with the stunt team on the massive grass suspension bridge spanning the New Jersey Turnpike near the Alexander Hamilton service plaza. But that’s the last thing on the young TV executive’s mind. It’s all about pitching shows to get him back to Burbank. Will Morris succeed in his attempt to come up with a series of shows worthy of network placement? Or will he buckle under the pressure and wind up working atop the dangerous Kentucky Power Glide display? And will it be his blundering incompetence that ultimately causes a 15-mile backup in either direction on the Jersey Turnpike? 

Kentucky Power Glide vs. the Undulating Lawn

Kentucky Power Glide vs. the Undulating Lawn

Hyper-Citation Media, Inc. announces its latest daring and dynamic outdoor advertising extravaganza campaign in conjunction with its international lawn care client, Kentucky Power Glide Inc.

Hyper-Citation, the definitive voice in creation of “Live-Action Billboards,” has just developed a new way of engaging motorists on both sides of the roadway. Utilizing the cutting edge “Undulating Rotational Effect,” or URE, the spectacular display operates on a gyroscopic principle. Two massive monopoles on either side of the turnpike, each rising to a height of 250 feet, support a flexible framework holding more than FIVE ACRES of lush Bermuda sod airlifted from a noted turf farm in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.

Nothing Short of an “Engineering Masterpiece”

“We are very excited to bring this thrilling package to the American public,” states Noreen Crimpanfortis, VP-Business Affairs for the world-renowned media conglomerate. “I am ecstatic to announce that it’s an engineering masterpiece befitting the technical wizardry and innovative hallmark of a world-class Crimpanfortis visual display extraordinaire.”

The display is characterized by the sheer enormity of its dimensions. Comprising just shy of a jaw-dropping 250,000 square feet (23,225.76 square meters), the entire bridge-like configuration is set on a swivel that utilizes a series of gears and pulleys typically found in drawbridge technology. While digital billboards on either side of the roadway pulsate with the words “Kentucky Power Glide,” the superstructure arching above the turnpike starts bending and dipping at precarious angles. “Picture a suspension bridge in a hurricane right before the cables snap,” Ms. Crimpanfortis coos. “That’s the effect we’re trying to achieve with our rolling landmark high above the Jersey Turnpike.”

All about the “Pitching Bridge of Sod”

Day and night, a lone person operates a riding lawn mower on the pitching bridge of sod high above the heavily travelled toll road. The sheer danger inherent in this stunt cannot be overstated. The rider is required to get as close to the edge as possible. With the sod slanting at an obtuse angle–and bucking and twisting on top of it–there’s no margin for error. The lack of guardrails and a safety net further compound the prospects of a 250-foot drop into rush hour traffic.

If you know anything about Hyper-Citation Media, you know that crowd is never content with just “big.” There always has to be another element in the mix. This display is no different. In addition to the vastness of the undulating platform, plans call for nearly one thousand stunt people–dressed as dandelions and wearing jetpacks–to vault and tumble from the sky, whizzing past mesmerized motorists. A veritable host of humans dressed as grass blades will fly down on spangled bungee cords. They will regroup in the parking lot of the Alexander Hamilton service plaza before climbing back up and doing it all over again.

“Let us never lose sight of this one overriding fact,” Noreen Crimpanfortis gushes. “Kentucky Power Glide makes the finest product line of residential and commercial lawn care equipment in the world, and we’re proving right before your eyes that you can operate their units under the most strenuous and demanding of conditions.”

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