A CASE FOR FAULTY INTELLIGENCE

Recently a friend and his wife took a trip to La Costa Resort and Spa in Southern California.  For the trip my pal thought that a sporty convertible would be an appropriate conveyance for the couple, given the ambiance and climate of the geography.  Accordingly, a month in advance of the trip, he ordered up an Audi A4 Cabriolet, the best offering of the Hertz folks.

 

After over more than five hours of traveling, the couple arrived at their destination, weary from the tedium of airline living.  After their luggage tumbled forth from the bowels of the carousel, my friend took his position in the long line at the Hertz Rent-A-Car reservation counter. 

 

Some forty-five minutes passed before he gained his turn to take command of the cool convertible.  The car was delivered to the curb just outside the exit doors where the couple waited with their luggage. 

 

The missus looked in disbelief.  The Audi A4 Cabriolet is not a large vehicle.  Although equipped with four seats, the arrangement is quite compact, requiring my portly friend to adjust the driverís seat well away from the steering wheel to accommodate all that he brings to the table.  In doing so, space in the rear seating compartment is correspondingly diminished.

 

Being designed for pleasure use more than for utility, the trunk of the A4 is consistent with the compact theme of the overall design.  A stated capacity of 10.2 cubic feet is claimed for the trunk area by the manufacturerís published specifications.

 

A survey of the five pieces of luggage necessary for the week-long venture yields a cubic volume of about 18 cubic feet.  Clearly, a problem began to develop as my friend began to situate the lugged articles in the cozy convertible.  Two bags quickly filled the available trunk space, the volume of which appears to be overstated by the Audi engineers.

 

Viewing more objectively than her husband, the impatient wife quickly observed that the bulk of the luggage, when viewed as a single pile, eclispes the silhouette of the waiting carriage.  She swore candidly at her mate who failed to yield to her logical conclusion that the car was too small. 

 

Decision time has arrived:  Either jettison some luggage or scuttle the car.

 

My friend is a lawyer by trade, and although skilled in his chosen field, he is want of prowess in matters mechanical, logistical, and laborious.  Determined to load all the baggage into the A4, he set about loading and unloading the various components of his cargo.  Their positions were adjusted, resituated, and arranged in every possible geometric configuration, but alas none of the aforementioned reorganizations suited the shape and size of the available space. 

 

The large hard-sided golf club case, being far too long for stowage in the trunk compartment, when placed in the small rear seating area, protruded far beyond the sides of the vehicle.  When arranged in a more vertical attitude, it resembled the Washington Monument extending well above the headrests and windshield height.

 

As these manipulations continued, a small crowd began to gather.  Watching in quiet amusement, a group soon totaling nearly two hundred passersby observed as the barrister-cum-bellhop wrested the luggage alternately about the sidewalk and inner sanctum of the modest motor car.  The wife continued to advise the husband as he set about his task.

 

Soon smiles gave way to giggles as the audience delved more deeply into my friendís discomforting dilemma.  Once a private circumstance of misjudgment, the plight of my pal had soon risen to an outbreak of public ridicule.  Cat calls and false encouragement emanated from the crowd.  Humorous suggestions were abound.

 

Frequently reminded of his miscalculation by the doting spouse, my friend strained to suppress his desire to curse aloud and kick the bags back to Texas.  His enduring love of his lovely wife spared her the indignity of public rebuke for her vocal role in the luggage loading.

 

His patience becoming now moribund, feverishly force-fitting the various valises, the blustery barrister called upon his legal education to end the endeavor.  Pragmatically my friend poured through his wits trying to resolve the bedeviling predicament. In law school he had spent hours studying the art of applying differing perspectives to situations in search of the appropriate answer.

 

"What would Johnny Cochran have done in this situation," he imagined?  Suddenly a light came on!

 

"If the shit don't fit, you gotta' quit!" 

 

That's it!  Quickly vacating the little lizzie, a self-effacing smile shone to the mirthful multitude, my pal rushed back to the Hertz counter for a second forty-five minute wait for his cue in the queue.  The Audi was exchanged in favor of a spacious Lincoln Navigator, a voluminous vehicle suitable to the task of the burden borne by the petulant passengers.

 

Soon situated with the 18.3 cubic feet of cargo heaven, all gear gathered and paraphernalia placed, the drive to the waiting spa could finally begin.  Loading of the giant SUV was quickly accomplished, and respite was found behind the dark-tinted windows of the massive machine.  As the pair pulled away, the throng of interested onlookers applauded and waved.  My friend waved to the crowd as his wife slumped in her seat, shielding her face with her hands.

 

Spent from the battle of the bags, my friend, the attorney, is now calling for an independent investigation into the faulty intelligence that led him rent the Audi A4.  Claiming that the unit was alleged to be well-suited for two-suiters and WMDís (wide model duffels), the mouthpiece vows to get to the bottom of this scandal and hold accountable those responsible.

 

Administration officials concur that the intelligence was indeed faulty, but reject the need to appoint a special counsel.