Shallow Trachea’s Inside Scoop on New Business Opportunities


By Jim Penn


Shallow Trachea, Deep Throat’s cousin, did it again.  Her call woke me from a deep sleep at 2:05 a.m. last Thursday.  “Meet me in 35 minutes.  Lower parking level at the Pleasure Inn on I-27.  I’ve got some great stuff for you!”


“Gee, it’s 2 o’clock in the morning, I…”


“Be there!” (Click)


If Shallow Trachea doesn’t start calling at a reasonable hour, my wife is going to leave me for sure.  Once awakened, she can’t get back to sleep, and she was awake.  I hastily told her that I had to meet Shallow Trachea in 35 minutes.  She and Cheddar, my beloved golden retriever, were both convinced that I was crazy to meet this person in the middle of the night.  I didn’t have time to further explain; I needed to brush my teeth and put on some clothes.  I left the house amid the sound of slamming doors.


I made it in 34 minutes and parked near the glow of a pipe in the darkened garage.  I took a chance that it was her.  “Something on the war with Iraq, I bet?”


“No, it’s about the economy.  Deep Throat has decided to let our other cousin, Clear Windpipe, monitor the war.


“Since President Bush is concentrating on Iraq, he hasn’t paid much attention to the economy, but others have.  Three new businesses are being considered which should create more jobs.”


I took out my pen and reporter’s notepad.


She continued, “The automotive and tobacco industries are on the defensive.  Everybody’s upset with the increasing cost of gasoline, and many past smokers are suing tobacco companies. 


“So, they got together and are secretly working on a tobacco fuel that produces excellent gas mileage - a six-cylinder engine that could get 45 to 55 miles per gallon on tobacco fuel.  They’re still working on it, but the possibilities are staggering.”


Shallow Trachea sensed my doubts.  “Okay, I’ve got two more for you.  The first is war-related.  When we invade and take over countries – Clear Windpipe says that Iraq is the first of many countries to be invaded – a new industry will spring up with biblical connotations.  We’re going to collect surrendered weapons and turn them into “plowshares,’ reversing the Old Testament prophesy of Joel 3:10.”


“What does this have to do with job opportunities?”


“Portable smelters, you idiot!  Portable smelters!  Can’t you see the opportunity for export to those countries?  It’s going to make a lot of people rich.”


I stroked my chin, “Well, that could make sense.  What’s the third idea?”


“Ethical assistants and the manufacture of puppets.  Governmental psychologists have…”


“Governmental psychologists.  I never heard of them.”

“Since the first Reagan administration, millions are annually allocated in the federal budget for psychologists.  To combat corporate management wrongdoings, public corporations will soon be required to assign ethical assistants armed with hand puppets to CEOs, CFOs, V.P.s and Chairmen of the Boards.  The devil puppet fits on the left hand and a character called “Ethical Conduct” goes on the right.  It’s estimated that at least 50,000 people will be employed in this industry.”


 “You got me out of a warm bed at two in the morning for this?  Isn’t it possible for us to meet a little earlier and…”


She was gone.  All that was left was the aroma of her pipe which I detected to be Borkum Riff.


Driving home, I mulled over her revelations.  Using tobacco as a vehicular fuel certainly has possibilities, although it seems a bit farfetched.  Smelting down weapons for farm implements has some good points.  The use of puppets to keep ethics alive in corporate America?  Oh, I guess anything is possible, but how am I going to explain this to the folks at home.  Clearly, my wife will think I have a girlfriend for sure and frankly, so would I if the roles were reversed.  I can’t imagine what Cheddar’s going to think.