A Paperless Policy
by Randolph O. Mann
“Ok. Got’ya. That sounds perfect, but we do have a SHOW to launch, so I will be in touch. No really, I have got to go!”
Leslie switched her I-Phone to ‘manner mode’ and signaled her Backstage Director, with a prearranged head-nodding cue, to assemble the cast. Randy then employed his middle finger ... and right thumb in order to release his celebrated single handed earsplitting whistle
“Quiet please! Ms. Kirlelmier would like everyone’s attention!”
While the cast-and-crew gradually assembled and focused their attention towards the trio of Administrators, Linda used hushed tones to softly applaud the corporate comrades’ huddled next to her. “Leslie, let me be the first to congratulate you. These dresses are absolutely perfect! I cannot believe fabrics of this quality could be manufactured from raw material destined for landfill. This is truly amazing and to be totally candid I was very skeptical about the whole ‘recycling concept’ of this fashion layout. From the very start when your name was bandied about as the Project Manager I believed this project would be problematical for a newly appointed administrator, and the moment Mr. Thergood Winston insisted upon his nephew serving as your Backstage Director I was sure this project was distended for a hijacking by Randolph as part of another elaborate fashion skinning scheme. In my heart of hearts I hoped that you had only signed off on this project with the intention of giving Randy just enough rope to hang himself with. Instead to my surprise, both of you two are the proud architects of yet another T. Winston, INC triple-threat fashion collection presentation that is stylish, profitable, and environmentally neutral. I am impressed. As a representative of Executive Management I am happy to grant my seal of approval to go-ahead. Dim the lights, cue the music director, and let’s send the ladies down the catwalk.”
In her cattish style, Leslie placed her cell phone into her shoulder bag and mumbled to herself, “Thanks for nothing, Linda, but we have actual WORK to do here.”
Then prior to storming off in her customary impertinent manner Ms. Kirkelmier announced for all to hear, “It’s show time folks!” And she joined the marshaled ‘flamboyance’ of T. Winston, INC fashion divas provocatively marching their way down a slightly elevated fashion run-way ramp cleverly constructed of recycled wire hangers. The biddable ‘kindle’ of fashion-kittens made their way towards stage-front, alternately veering to the port and starboard sides of the centrally located dais containing the Master of Ceremonies.
In turn, each brilliantly assembled creation was depicted in glowing terms by the company CEO Thergood Winston, proudly serving as presenter and employing ostentatious Industry jargon when describing the beautiful fashions to the assembly of fashion critics and Honor Role high school students. His flawless performance was thanks to a teleprompter, expertly manned by Randy, who was stationed at the teleprompting keyboard transcribing the designer’s ‘resource-full’ descriptions. Every one of the conservational outfits was being artfully displayed upon the dazzling frames of the top industry models, who undulated along the elevated catwalk in their patented method, with one foot intentionally crossing over the other as every model used an obligatorily exaggerated gait to flaunt each garment to the best advantage. Such overstated deportment combined with a stoic holier than thou expressions as the entire ‘shrewdness’ of models hit their marks, where orchestrated poses allowed for the accomplished presentation of each article of clothing in spectacular fashion.
From their backstage perch next to Randy, Linda snipped, “I hate her!”
Randy sarcastically concurred while engaged in multi-tasking lighting applications and editing script via the teleprompting keyboard. “I believe that feeling is mutual.”
“Randy, what is her problem?”
“Well, she has had her ‘Big Girl Panties’ in a bunch ever since that infamous snapshot of her Latin American ‘C-string tug-a-war’ with little Enrique hit the newsstands.”
“No shit? It seems to me there must be more than just the negative publicity engendered from a fashion malfunction affecting her demeanor.”
“Come on Linda, you know as well as I do that Leslie’s awkward ‘push-me-pull-you’ Kodak Moment inspired a global c-string swimsuit craze which just happened to find T. Winston, INC strategically positioned at the very cutting edge of an ‘unforeseen’ fashion trend the likes of which have not be seen since the Wonder Bra fad hit the lingerie fashion category. Then, with T. Winston, INC situated to receive a fluky economic windfall AND with all that recognition plus the associated Industry accolades plummeting directly into your scope of liability, courtesy of Little Enrique’s libidinous trial of strength, you were propelled into the T. Winston, INC spotlight instead of Leslie and you garnered for yourself the unwarranted Executive Management moniker of ‘Flavor of the Month.’ In short, Leslie is pissed!”
“Are you kidding, Linda? Leslie feels cheated! And, I can tell you, after personally enduring Leslie’s professional retributions plus her covetous reprisals, Ms. Kirkelmier considers all the kudos that are being showered upon you as rightfully her due because it was her ‘commando-style moment in the sun’ that triggered this whole fashion vogue. THEN, having you ‘out me’ as Miss Kirkelmier’s personal ta-ta photographer, only served to suck me into the inner office political ‘do-do’ too!”
“Sorry? Is your ‘sorry’ supposed make my last three weeks of hell, all good? ”
“Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! Already!”
“My bad! I am sorry! I apologize, for heaven’s sake! What more can I say? Except, I would have thought after receiving the royalties from your photo AND cashing in the gambling markers from the Shipping Department you would be able to find away to, just get over it!”
“I’m afraid that I never ‘just get over’ anything. I GET EVEN!......”
As the sexy ‘rumba’ of fashion divas salaciously completed the crossing-pattern portion of their stylish promenade each chic ensemble was afforded a focused moment in the voguish spotlight as fashion photographers flashed away, recording the historic ‘greening’ of their trendy industry. Dual-focused Randy continued his whispered backstage conversation with Linda while cavalierly typing away at his directorial keyboard, scripting the informative and witty ‘improvised’ commentary for his affluent uncle to read, in his lilting baritone voice.
The CEO/Master-of-Ceremonies officiously embodied each recycled garment with composted annotations: “Tonight, Travesty is dressed in ground soda bottles, a recycled seat belt and previously owned lotto tickets. These reclaimed resources have been cleverly united by the very talented, environmentally-friendly, ‘Junk-ateers’ from our Design Department into this dramatic business suit endowment, that lovely Travesty is displaying before us this evening. The jacket and matching pencil shirt are constructed from discarded Super Lotto tickets that have been interwoven into this salmon colored business suit that perfectly complements the diaphanous camisole engineered from shredded plastic soda bottles. This eye-catching reclaimed affair is accented with a choker constructed from a scavenged Honda Civic shoulder harness.”
“Randolph? What are you up to?” Linda hissed.
“Well, nothing beyond my usual scope of responsibility.”
“And that would be?”
“Yep! I am presently dedicated to reducing my carbon footprint.”
“That sounds like an admirable objective.”
“I am glad to hear I have Executive Management’s approval then.”
With Uncle Thergood’s concerned sideways glance into the clutter found backstage and his beckoning nod toward his blank teleprompter screen, plus Linda’s befuddled panic-stricken gawk elevating his subsidiary status towards a primary post, the pernicious smirk engulfing Randolph’s countenance was misread read two-fold as Randy fingers sprang into action while tranquilly bathing in his newly found celebrity before continuing his multi-tasked conversation.
“You will find Lovely Courtney is ravishingly recyclable in recycled foam cups, previously owned winery corks and expired T. Winston INC gift-cards. This environmentally sensitive shirtdress sports reworked Styrofoam shoulder padding and second-hand chateau bottle plugs as buttons to hold this medial opening garment together. The understated color pallet found in the T. Winston, INC corporate logo provides an appearance of elegance as the out-of-date plastic is coupled into a textile feel for this extraordinary retrograde shirtdress.”
Linda exclaimed, “Randy? What? No, no, no! Let me be perfectly clear. Executive Management hasn’t sanctioned any deviant venture that you might have percolating in the recesses of your sordid psyche. Randolph Mann, this is NOT the occasion or the venue for the settling of scores!”
“Randy, let me explain! There are protocols to follow! Forms to be completed, in triplicate and committee approval is a mandated prerequisite prior to inauguration of am T. Winston, INC endeavor. There could be NO! I repeat no, None, ZERO Executive endorsed of whatever you have up your sleeve. So you can just slow down mister! In short ‘we need to talk’ about this undertaking before you proceed.”
Confident in his strategy and committed to his accountability, Randy held court off-stage-right, as he diligently labored upon these two-pronged conversations with one ear dedicated to Linda’s lexis while his fingers danced over the Gateway keyboard filling Uncle Thergood’s teleprompting monitor.
“To conclude this evening’s ecological affair, we proudly reveal Leslie, ravishingly attired in discarded inner tubes, surplus file folders and canceled checks. This elegant ‘conversational-ly’ correct presentation delivers a plunging v-neck bodice erected by combining gloomy elastic qualities of black rubber with the rigidly jaded feature of antediluvian suspension folders. The princess waist design fuses this alluring shirt-waist with a full length banded skirt that has been strappingly constructed with colorful alternating ribbons of the various competing banking institution ensigns are clustered as the previously deposited promissory notes complete this graceful even dress.”
Randy commented, “No endorsement? Wait a minute, Linda. You know that would NOT be prudent. After all, our global warming clock is ticking and time is of the essence! Al Gore is jetting around the world, campaigning for one and all to do their part. It is our ecologically aware obligation to ‘cowperson-up’! We really need to move on this.”
“Wait a second Randolph! I know how your mind works. You don’t even separate the empty beer bottles from the empty pizza boxes. So just stop right where you are and explain yourself!”
“Linda, I am a changed Mann.”
“Ok, NOT really. But damn-it Linda, there is a lot of money riding on this skinning and I have no intention of negatively affecting my carbon foot print by needlessly burning greenbacks. So as my partner, if you are willing to cover my third of the gambling loses to the Shipping Department and answer to William for his third we can just walk away from this one.”
“Gambling? Shipping Department? Walk away from what one?”
“William hooked us up with a three-headed skinning whereby we/I must skin all three fashion models participating in the finale of today’s fashion event.
“Loses? A third? How much is a Third!”
“Well we/I earn one thousand bucks for each naked pink canoe we/I exposed and double if we/I can reveal the whole flotilla.”
As had been rehearsed, Thergood Winston beckoned the trio of models to infiltrate the studious assembly to allow for personal inspection of the various garments by those gathered. Piloted upon separate courses each of the featured clothing items made its’ way into and between the multitude of preparatory students riding the slender frames of Travesty, Courtney and Leslie demonstrating the fine craftsmanship and delicate design features and practical application of the reclaimed garments. Friendly ecological dialogue between fashion divas and the passionate students was encouraged as the textile models ambled throughout the scholarly throng.
Linda sighed. “That’s a lot of money!”
“This fashion show is almost over!”
“And the girls are still completely fully clad!”
“They sure are.”
“If we/you don’t get them naked we/I will owe a lot of money.”
“That is the way I see it.”
“I cannot cover that! Randy, Do Something!”
With Uncle Thergood again staring at an empty teleprompter screen exhibiting his customary frenetic executive demeanor while motioning for his written fashion finale Randy began mischievously typing.
“It is T. Winston, INC’s desire to leave all of the young people in attendance at this assembly with a new respect for recyclables and it is from the perspective of visualizing our castoffs destined for landfill as having significant worth that I am announcing how one of the lotto tickets AND one of the gift cards AND one of the checks from each the ensembles circulating among you is worth one thousand dollars each. Free for the taking, Happy Scavenging!”