“Of course John Carney is evil,” someone once remarked about us. “Why do you think he’s always followed around by a big black car?”
But the black car following us around was not an outward sign of our moral alignment or an omen of dark times that we might bring. Except, perhaps, accidentally. It was a Lincoln Town Car supplied by the firm we worked for, escorting us away from the office to join parties, dinners, brunches or ballgames already in progress. And, horribly, occasionally escorting away from those place back to office.
In time we developed a love-hate relationship with the Town Car. On the one hand, its expansive interiors could make a passenger feel like a some sort of earth bound Roman god patrolling the metropolis in a black chariot. On the other, it was a symbol of the long, hard hours we worked. Being in a town car meant we were leaving our office long after most people had completed their commute and settled into their nocturnal activities.
Todays Bloomberg story on the impending death of the Town Car includes a couple of juicy tidbits.
Sometimes the car's comfort and spaciousness are put to the test.
"Christmastime, you get many, many drunk bankers,'' said driver Andy Koksal, 32, parked near Citigroup's offices on Park Avenue. Last December, he had to plead with a female passenger to limit her back-seat activities with a client because the windows were becoming too fogged.
"This is a very embarrassing situation,'' Koksal said. "But you want to drive safely.''
Of course, our favorite Town Car story comes from the blogger D-Nasty.
"MassiveBank Car Service."
"Hello. I would like to arrange for a car to take me home. Preferably the most blinged out vehicle available."
"Now don't get me wrong, I don't want to incur an extra expense for the firm. All I'm saying is, if there is a choice between a blinged out car and a car that is not so blinged out, give me the bling."
"So you want like a stretch?"
"No. But I'm saying that some cars have Jimmy Hoffa in the trunk and smell like old nicotine. And some have the little DVD players and smell real new. And if you find that it comes down to choosing, I'm all about the blingety-bling-bling."
"I hear you. You want the bling, but you want cheap."
"Right. But don't think I don't like the bling. I'm all about the bling."
"So I'll order you a car from Citicar service. Theirs are nice."
"Have a good night Sir."