When Automans collide

I had this idea that I’d write a Pulitzer-worthy piece on the possibility of an Avian Flu Pandemic this weekend, but instead I sat around and had beers with Brett, talking about how fucking cool it would be if we could coordinate a huge, disruptive “Automan” delegation for the upcoming “Automan Global” conference in Dearborn. (The first link will take you to information about the quickly-cancelled 1983 television series staring Desi Arnaz Jr. as a computer whiz who creates a holographic crime fighter known as Automan, and the second will take you to details about an unfortunately titled conference being hosted in a few days by Automotive Manufacturing Solutions magazine.)

I know there’s other stuff I should be focusing on (like all the administration officials preparing to be indicted), but I just can’t let go of this beautiful image I have in my mind of auto industry executives having to fight their way past throngs of screaming “Automan” fans waving photos of Chuck Wagner in his form-fitting, reflective tape-covered leotard… And I can just imagine what a middle-aged auto guy would say as person after person came up to him, their autograph books in hand, asking whether or not he played a villian in episode 2 (entitled, if you ca believe it, “Staying Alive While Running a High Flashdance Fever“). I know that in reality, even if I tried my hardest, it would probably just be me and Brett there, but I can’t help but dream that we could turn out busloads of people in homemade outfits, and vendors with tables and tables of “Automan” memorabilia.

As the conference begins on Wednesday, however, and as I still haven’t done a single thing, it looks doubtful that anything will happen. Who knows though, maybe I’ll get a burst of energy and call Chuck Wagner tonight and see if he can catch a last-minute bargain flight into Detroit. And maybe I’ll put in a rush order for that Automan costume that Brett found on Ebay… Or, maybe I could at least get my shit together long enough to start a calling campaign, demanding that they put Chuck “Automan” Wagner on one of the panels… Then, when they refuse, we can threaten a lawsuit over copyright infringement (as Shanster suggested in an earlier comment).

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11 Comments

  1. Posted October 11, 2005 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I looked at the fees for attending the conference, and it’s several thousand dollars to get in, so I guess the option of infiltration is probably out (as at that rate, it seems likely the security will also be pretty strict).

    I think we could scale back the plan, and just make a series of signs with the “AUTOMAN” show logo, pointing attendees in the wrong direction, possibly ending up at an obscure place like the field where the Ford Rotunda used to sit, and then just have a big cardboard cut-out of Chuck Wagner standing there.

  2. Tony Buttons
    Posted October 11, 2005 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Or, we could kidnap their technical person and make a rubber mold of his or her face. Then, as the rest of us hum the theme to Mission Impossible, one of us could enter in their place, and sabotage the powerpoint presentations so that every few minutes a short clip of Automan is played.

  3. chris
    Posted October 11, 2005 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Two items:

    1) It appears that Chuck Wagner autographed the box in the lowerr left hand corner

    2) The seller’s email is Hummerwagon@80’skid.com

  4. mark
    Posted October 11, 2005 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    At the very least, we can call the morning of the event, threatening to be from the ABC legal team, and demanding they change the name of their event immediately to something like MANIMAL 2005.

  5. chris
    Posted October 11, 2005 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Oh my God, you have invoked Manimal! Please tell me you were playing quarters whilst watching these shows.

    Or better yet, engaging in a GenX postmodern deconstruction of the series w/ a throng of your peers.

  6. Tony Buttons
    Posted October 12, 2005 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I’ve been standing outside the conference for two hours now, in the cold, and I’m beginning to think that no one else is showing up.

    Everyone’s laughing at me and my Automan costume. And no one’s taking my “Bring Chuck Wagner Back to Primetime” handbills.

    You tricked me.

  7. Doug Skinner
    Posted October 12, 2005 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Tony — You had the wrong day. See you there tomorrow.

  8. Tony Buttons
    Posted October 12, 2005 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Now, he tells me.

    (You probably couldn’t hear it, but I just slapped my forhead with the palm of my right hand.)

    OK, I’ll see you here tomorow.

  9. Shanster
    Posted October 12, 2005 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone remember to reserve a room at the Ritz?

  10. mark
    Posted October 12, 2005 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Teddy, I’d appreciate it if you could have some coffee and donuts ready for us in the morning. I’ll be bringing 50 in a rented school bus.

  11. Lucky
    Posted November 9, 2005 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I just love Automan !

    I really love Chuck Wagner !

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