The Assassinated Press
Retail Scientology: Garry Trudeau writes sitcom for Jeff Bezos about 20 retirees living in a 400 square foot trailer in the middle of the desert and working in an Amazon distribution center.
Creator of Doonesbury chronicles wacky Nordhausen working conditions for aging American work force.
By HELEN EARTH
The Assassinated Press
Garry Trudeau famous for his neo-liberal, tell-it-like-it-is comic strip, Doonesbury, has taken on a new project for Amazon TV called Trailer Fogies.
The sitcom starring Willie Nelson and Raquel Welch as a couple of down on their luck octogenarians who crash their El Camino in the Arizona desert and wander up to a monolithic Amazon distribution center 80 miles outside of Resume Speed Arizona and as far from OSHA as inhumanly possible.
They wonder up to the main door, dazed and dehydrated and are immediately scooped up by Amazon security and whisked off to a windowless room. After a few minutes two Amazon Team Leaders known as Overseers enter the room. Like the security personnel, the Overseers have shaved heads looking for all the world like circumcised penises, big goofy ears, wild maniacal eyes with black pupils and an hysterical, girly laugh, a cross between a hyena’s howl and the cackle of a serial killer skinning a victim.
In fact, all of the management level employees possess these Bezos like physical traits.
And the laughs continue for the Trailer Fogies. Nelson and Welch characters are called Blunt and Poochie Swampfart. After a brief terrifying interview by Bezos himself, reminiscent of a scene from Silence of the Lambs, the elderly couple is drugged and made to sign a ‘Terms of Employment Agreement’ with Amazon --- in blood.
They are then shoved out of the complex and told to return for the twelve midnight 24 hour night/day shift to slowly prepare for the two week Bataan Death March Christmas Seaon shift. A kindly employee, Clunker Scorchedbeaver, just canned by Amazon for taking time to tie his shoe while not on break played by aging character actor, and hat rack, Clint Eastwood, invites the couple to live with him.
The Swampfarts, who have lost their home to foreclosure, their savings to a Jamie Dimon//Larry Summers inspired fraud and their 5 children to friendly drone fire in Afghanistan have no other choice but to accept.
There new home turns out to be an old 400 square foot AirHole Silver Bullet 5000 Trailer which they share with 20 or so other destitute seniors.
Then the fun really begins.
How fulfilling is Fulfillment?
On their first day on the job a pregnant 15 year old collapses on the warehouse floor and gives birth. But rather than have an Overseer turn in a poor performance report which could mean her job, the teen drags the baby behind her by her umbilical cord until her shift ends. Still Amazon fires her and hires her newborn who’s immediately put on the floor as a picker filling orders for guns, garters and power tools. Amazon garnishes the teen’s wages and sues her for breach of contractif not a breached birth.
After a 24 hour shift, the Swampfarts stagger to their trailer, eat a meal of beans and coyote scat and collapse on a pile of old Amazon workers stacked like a heap of old coats at a house party. They are both raped repeatedly.
And the laughs keep on coming from the pen of our neo-liberal cartoonist/writer, the one, the only Garry Trudeau.
In the second episode the Swampfarts, pickers themselves, witness a man collapse form the 136 degree heat in the warehouse and suffer a fatal stroke. But quotas must be met, so in the best tradition of Lucille Ball meets Pol Pot, the other pickers simply step over, or in some cases on the dead old guy, in order to fulfill their picking quotas in the Scientifically Managed Frederick Winslow Taylor nano-seconds provided by Amazon’s bald penis headed Overseers snapping their work or starve psychological whips.
Finally a worker stuffs the old picker’s carcass into a slot reserved for pool linings and by the end of the day, the corpse is on its way to a family in Indiana that just a month ago purchased the Drowned Toddler 2000 above ground swimming pool not realizing their purchase was only for 200 lbs. of chlorine, 6 styrofoam swim noodles and 600 copies of the Ted Cruz coloring book. Give the man a rolled up twenty and he’ll show you how to stay in between the lines.
It’s refreshing to see such an avowed egalitarian such has Trudeau, with his stiff lifeless cartoon figures, find common ground, even if that ground is a commodified cemetery, with an authoritarian outfit like Amazon and its Martian leader Jeff Bezos who has already committed hundreds of millions to return to his home planet on the backs of the human race.