Friday, July 17, 2015

A visit with Certy. He lives in a Post Office Box.

Hi there. I’d invite you to sit down, but as you can see, there’s no room for chairs in here. Can I get you an eyedropper of coffee or a prune Danish crumb? No?

OK. This is completely off the record, right? OK, then.

You can call me Certy for now. It’s a nickname for CERT, which stands for Coalition for Efficient and Responsible Trucking. We’re pushing 33-foot pup trailers. It’s an increase of only 5 feet and it will save fuel, end driver turnover, and eventually lead to world peace. Those longer pups will be so pretty that citizens will picnic along the Interstates just to watch them roll by.

Of course, in pairs they’ll increase overall length by 10 feet. It won’t be easy merging onto the highway with one of those babies, ha ha. But that’s not our problem is it? We stick to the script around here.

Anyhow, I work in post office boxes for some of the biggest PR firms in the world. Those guys hire me when they don’t have the budget for an office and for a stooge in a Neiman Marcus suit to front for them. If that was the case they’d be CERT at, say, 1000 K Street, Suite 5A.

But with all their money, those cheap big-trucking guys wouldn’t spring for that. No surprise there, eh? So what you’ve got is CERT at Post Office Box 66361, Washington, DC. That’s me, and as you can see, it helps to be really small.

Anyhow, the PR guys help corporations like the big truckers invent organizations that sound agreeable. At least they try. Before CERT, these guys came up with Puppies for Longer Operational Pups. But PLOP didn’t send the right message. Then they tried Veterans for Trailer Lengths Divisible by 11. VTLD11 didn’t work either -- though it does make a good PayPal password.

One smart aleck wanted the name to reflect reality. He wanted to call it AGELYV -- A Grand for Every Legislator’s Yes Vote, but the agency’s CEO nixed that one. Guess that’s why he earns nine figures every year.

So they wound up with CERT. Almost a breath mint, but not quite.  

They have a website that makes it look like CERT’s a popular groundswell, not some of the biggest trucking companies in America plus one anonymous PR firm. And they’ve got some great stuff on the site. My favorite is a letter from the National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition (NNOAC), which claims its 55,000 members can’t wait for twin trailers to go from 28 feet to 33 feet. I’m serious, dude. The letter says longer trailers will be safer for “law enforcement officers working on the road.” 

Not sure how that works, but there’s one cool claim, don’t you think? I’ll bet they could get the National Drug Smuggler Association and the Coalition of Hijackers & Freight Theft Professionals on board too!

But nobody listens to what I have to say anymore. The only reason I’m here at all is that CERT wants a physical address, not that anything really comes here. I used to be a lot busier before the Internet and email. There were actually letters and stuff in here with me. Now the unpaid interns back in New York deal with the email. But most of that is resumes and ads for pallet jacks.

Anyhow, this gig is winding down. Looks like the big boys are going to get their 33-footers, and that will be the end of CERT.

Me? One of the big PR agencies is putting together something called Grandmas for Teen-Age Truck Drivers. Not sure if they’ll be headquartered in a post office box. Depends on the budget, but I hope so.

Well, nice meeting you. Watch your head on the way out.