DETROIT—Emphasizing that its workforce and facilities were just waiting for the go-ahead to start up production, the city of Detroit pleaded with the American people Tuesday to just give it something—anything at all, really—to manufacture.
Mayor Mike Duggan, addressing reporters on behalf of a municipality where the unemployment rate remains above 10 percent, repeatedly asserted Detroit’s willingness to turn raw materials into finished products of any kind, be they plastic goods, textiles, electrical equipment, industrial supplies, metal products, paper, chemicals, heavy machinery, biomaterials, processed foods, or something else entirely.
“The city of Detroit is eager to build anything and everything for the American people—seriously, whatever you guys want,” said Duggan, who recently sent a press release to thousands of CEOs nationwide explaining that tens of thousands of employees and many millions of square feet of industrial space in the city are “ready to go at a moment’s notice, so just let us know.” “People need tables, don’t they? We’ll make tables, and we can do chairs, too. Or dishwashers, concrete blocks, farm implements—you name it. Say the word and we’ll start churning ’em out.”
“We can even do weapons,” he continued. “We’d be happy to do weapons. Want weapons?”
“We could also just put stuff in boxes. We don’t care. Or just give us the green light, and we’ll knock down whatever buildings you need and put in those big wind turbines. Everybody needs energy these days, no question about that.”
Duggan then spent approximately 12 minutes naming products Detroit could make, a list that included but was not limited to sailboats, commercial printing presses, memory-foam mattresses, household appliances, lotion, file servers, industrial solvents, suction cups, backyard meat smokers, pharmaceuticals, hooks, machine tools, glue, artificial knees, bonded lubricants, aerial radar systems, cushioned insoles, shipping containers, sporting goods, pillow shams, dried pasta, packaging materials, shower curtains, shower curtain rings, shower curtain rods, hinges, laminate flooring, board games, pneumatic hoses, hydraulic winches, novelty ice trays, drywall, handbags, and cigarettes.
Pulling out his cell phone and guaranteeing the assembled press corps that he could get people started on any of these projects within the hour, the first-term mayor told the nation to just go ahead and send his office the schematics for whatever they need and the rest can be sorted out later. He then quickly added that if they didn’t have any schematics, that was okay, too, saying that as long as they had a vague idea of what they were looking for, “Detroit can get it done, no problem.”
“You know, we’re not really married to the name Motor City anymore, either,” said Duggan, claiming that Detroit would gladly become “Ladder City” or “Deck Sealant City” if need be. “I was just talking with some residents the other day about how we could easily become the pool supply capital of the world. There are thousands of pools in the United States, and they each need to be cleaned, right? We could make the chlorine, or the pool skimmers, or that long vacuum thing that sucks stuff off the bottom, or those big covers that go over the pools when it’s winter and they’re not being used—all right here in Detroit.”
“We’re not picky,” he added.
Shortly thereafter, Duggan was seen grabbing both sides of his lectern and lifting it several inches into the air while exclaiming that, if given the word, he could have 500 lecterns just like it made up by next Monday. The mayor, appearing visibly flushed and perspiring, then looked around at those in attendance, pointed to individual reporters one by one, and asked them if they needed any extra tape recorders or “those lanyards you’re always wearing.”
“Hey, if you don’t need anything built but have some stuff you want painted or sanded or fireproofed or something, we could do that instead,” said the mayor, his voice steadily rising as he strained to maintain a wide smile. “We could also just put stuff in boxes. We don’t care. Or just give us the green light, and we’ll knock down whatever buildings you need and put in those big wind turbines. Everybody needs energy these days, no question about that. Or maybe we could make the whole city into one big 140-square-mile organic farm. Those seem pretty popular, right? Is that what you want? Fine by me—just tell us and it’s done.”
“How about mining?” he continued. “Anybody? Coal, iron, silver? I’ll bet there’s something underneath here that would be valuable—real valuable!”
At press time, sources confirmed a red-faced Duggan had grabbed a shovel and was frantically attempting to dig through the rug of the City Hall briefing room.