Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Sinking Conversation

Have you heard about this? A giant sinkhole opened up inside the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky and totally nommed eight expensive, collectible Corvettes.

I'm not actually sure there is such a thing as a non-expensive,
non-collectible Corvette. Forgive the redundancy.

Seven of them are still sitting in the hole as of this writing, because of the possibility that the sinkhole might still be hungry and could decide to open its maw a little wider and gobble some more tasty coupes and convertibles. (Note: Since I started this post earlier today, they've actually removed all but one of the 'Vettes. The last one is the only thing standing between us and Bizarro World, or something.)

I'm sure they're fine.

Spoiler alert: They're probably not fine.

Yep, it's a bad deal. Especially because many of the cars in the National Corvette Museum don't actually belong to the Museum, but are on loan from their owners.  Whose precious - and in some cases, priceless - V8 babies are now at the bottom of a 40-foot-wide hole in the floor of the shrine built to cherish and protect them.

Every Corvette needs a man-cave, amiright?

It goes without saying that the guy with the worst job in America today was the guy who had to call the owners of the sinkholed cars and tell them that the rare and beautiful machines they entrusted to the museum had unexpectedly relocated to the brand-new basement of said museum.

How would you even have that conversation?

"Hello? Is this Mr. ----, owner of the white 1992 Corvette that was the one millionth Corvette ever made? Hi, Mr. ----, this is Ed from the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Fine, thanks. Um...first, Mr. ----, all of us at the museum want to really, really thank you for loaning us your beautiful and historic car. Really. That was, uh, just awesome of you.

What? Problem?

Well, it's a funny thing.

Stolen? Oh, no, Mr. ----, nothing like that. Your 'Vette is right here, under - at - AT the museum. Here at the museum. Right where you last saw it. Well, maybe not right where you last saw it.

It's like this. The Earth is full of mysteries. Wouldn't you agree? It's just a And the unexpected happens. It happens all the time, you know? Nature is just unpredictable and...mysterious. You can't blame anyone for that. You can't predict what, uh, wonders this old world is going to unleash when you least expect it.

Like what? Oh, you know, like when a volcano erupts or...

No, no, no, Mr. ----. There hasn't been a volcano eruption. In Bowling Green? That would be crazy! Ha! Ha!


OK, I'll be honest with you. The car you loaned us. The, uh, one millionth Corvette to be built. It's, sort of, underground.

What's that? Yes, it's like a basement. Except it didn't exactly exist yesterday, and we didn't know it was there until the, as it were, floor of the National Corvette Museum, um, collapsed. As it were.

Is it OK? Well...we'll know more when the six cars that landed on it are removed.

That's...a really colorful string of words, Mr. ----. I commend you.

Wow. I've never actually heard some of those words.

Yes, I realize there's only one millionth Corvette. But when you think about it, there's only one 999,999th, too. And only one 687,412th, right? So, you know if every Corvette is unique, then how unique is any Corvette? Right?

Mr. ----?

Well, I'm not sure how kicking my balls up my ass will help the situation, sir. Your car will still be at the bottom of the sinkhole. Yes, I suppose it would make you feel better. But maybe we can just discuss this calmly and rationally...?

That's not strictly legal, what you're suggesting. And frankly, it sounds a little humiliating and painful for me. Let's remember that I'm not the one who caused the floor to collapse.

Hmmm? Well, I guess you could say it was an act of God.

I don't actually think you can file a claim with God, sir. Yes, I'm sure He has deeper pockets than the museum. If you wanted to try, that would be your right.

Yes. Yes, well, stringing me up by my pubic hair certainly would be an alternative. But not financially remunerative, I feel obligated to point out.

What now? Well...there are lots of other collectible cars in the world. I'm sure you could - what? The 1.5 millionth Corvette produced? Well, in what you might call a hilarious coincidence, that particular Corvette is very close to your vehicle at the moment.

How close? Sort of...on top of it. Fused together, one might say.

Now, now, Mr. ----, don't do anything rash. I do have other people to call. What? Yes, I guess they'll be upset.

Will there be enough to create an angry mob? Um...

I think a '63 Stingray just fell into the abyss. I've got to go, Mr. ----. Don't worry, we'll box up what's left and mail it back to you. Postage paid. Thanks for your support.


  1. When a co-worker told me about the Corvette museum sinkhole I waited for the punchline. And then I realized she was serious.

    Fortunately the punchline came, and it was more than worth the wait. In fact I'd say the punchline, which made me laugh so hard the same co-worker came over to my cubicle because she thought there was a hyena having a seizure in it, was worth the price of a '63 Stingray.

    As a special bonus in my head I heard this whole conversation in the voice of President Merkin Muffley from "Doctor Strangelove".

    1. I actually sort of heard Bob Newhart as I wrote it, but I like yours even better! Thanks!

  2. HAHAHAH...this is AWESOME.

    I'm wondering, in retrospect, are they considering that perhaps they shouldn't have built their museum over the biggest system of caves in the world?

    We've taken the kids to Mammoth cave a number of times (a few hours away) and have passed the museum, but have never gone inside.

    It makes me think of Drop Dead Fred. Well...your car is still THERE..just not quite on the surface.

  3. This is probably the best thing I've read in a long, long time. My awed congratulations.

    Not being interested in cars, I'm barely aware of what a Corvette even is (apart from an anti-submarine naval vessel). Now if it was a motorcycle museum I might have something to say!


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