Location: Japan, some years ago…
The executives are seated around the giant table, stern creased faces all round. The matter at hand is heavy. They whisper to each other in hushed voices, covering the side of their mouths with one hand, and giving slow, deliberate nods after each whisper.
Boss Chan walks in. Chairs creak and scuffle about, as their occupants shoot to their feet in a swiftness that defies their ages.
“Haaach!” they say harshly, bowing slightly at Boss Chan.
Boss Chan waves them down, the large sleeves of his yukata flowing regally in the air. They all sit is unison, as if Boss Chan’s hand has pushed them into their seats. They don’t look at him, but each stares straight ahead, into the air. No more whispers going around.
Boss Chan’s voice is heavy, guttural, commanding… It reverberates against the painted walls and echoes around the room, saturating everything in its immensity…
“You know why we are here!” says Boss Chan, taking time to look around at each of them. They don’t flinch or look at him. They just stare straight ahead. “We have to name our model to-day!” His fist punches the air. You can almost hear air scream as it moves away. “It has to be a memorable name! Something our generations will remember and be proud of!”
“Something that will bring Japan glory and honour!”
Boss Chan strokes his white beard and twitches his white eyebrows. The large patterned sleeves of his yukata flap, making a pop sound as he stretches out his hands.
“Suggestions are welcome!” he announces.
One of the men around the table shoots to his feet, so fast and so abruptly, it’s a miracle he doesn’t get a bit airborne…
“I suggest Home Car,” he says, bowing a bit, his hands clasped together in utmost respect. He sits. There is a moment of silence. Boss Chan begins to look exasperated…
“I know this is hard,” says Boss Chan. “We have had so many models, it’s becoming difficult to find names! But let’s not become stupid! Our models don’t stay at home! And we don’t want the word car in their names!”
Boss Chan starts pacing about the room a bit. The men are now looking at him, and they fix their stares at him as he paces about. It looks as if they are all doing unison neck exercises…
“We must find a name that suggests comfort! That people will love! That is easy to say! That is…”
Suddenly the unthinkable happens! One of the men interrupts Boss Chan. No one ever, EEEVVVVVEEERRRRR, interrupts Boss Chan.
The man shoots to his feet, fast, gets a bit airborne, and lands back on the floor. His right hand is in the air, he has a brilliant idea that has him so excited to the point of defying protocol…
“How about Car Seat?”
There’s a moment of silence. Everyone stares at him in horror! Not only did he interrupt Boss Chan, his idea has car in it, and is stupid too…”
Boss Chan loses it. His 80 year old body suddenly moves like a lithe 16 year old’s. He gathers the folds of his yukata about his knees, lets out a scream, and in a swift move fishes out a katana from somewhere… His knurled bulging knees move like an oiled rabbit… Hop, hop on the table, the katana, and his sleeves make a whoosh in the air as he swings…
The man with the stupid suggestion looses his head. For real. His head leaves the rest of his body, hits the wooden floor with a dull thud, and rolls across, leaving a trail of red blood behind it.
The katana dissapears even before the rest of the body hits the floor. Boss Chan is back to his old composed self.
“Any other suggestion?” he thunders.
The men around the table are trembling. Staring straight ahead. Biting their jaws hard.
Still, another one shoots to his feet. Like a rocket. Excited! He has a brilliant idea, he’d rather die than not air it!
“How about…” he bows a bit before going on… “How about instead of Car Seat…. We can reverse the letters, and maybe misspell one…”
The man braces himself, waiting for his head to also fly off. But Boss Chan is smiling…
“Aaaaaaah!” says Boss Chan in admiration. Guttural voice. “Like Sit Car?”
The man smiles. “Yes, Sir. But reverse the letters, not the words…”
“Aaaaaaaaaaah!” Boss Chan strokes his white beard and his white eyebrows twitch. He is sold! He stretches out his hands and makes the proclamation:
“So be it! RACTIS will be the name!”
This story was first published on Facebook on December 31, 2017.
Image source: https://www.deviantart.com/danxpert/art/Supreme-master-Pai-Mei-523920643