TOO MUCH INFORMATION

By John J. Bradley

“Ya got a smokin’ deal there, m’ man!” and his hand rose above my head and, in a sort of airplane glide, dived toward me, then up again in a kind of modified, bent-arm, Nazi salute. “Five?” he said, tilting his head in question. “Five?” he said, and I reached up, palm out, to meet his hand. His wide, toothpaste commercial smile blazed.

He opened the driver’s door of the car I had just purchased, and I slid into my new American-made Honcho. I pushed the button to start it and was about to drive off when it started. On the inside of the windshield, projected somehow, with one of those heads-up displays, semiopaque letters used in fighter jets, scrolling up like the credits at the opening of STAR WARS, gray words:

GRAND COMANCHERO, LIMITED

Invincible Motors Corporation, HUSKY MACHO Division

Armando Fratrachelli, President

“What’s this?” I said, but the door was closed, so I had asked myself.

BODY BY D. PRATON, MASTARANI DESIGN Exterior Design

Enhancements, Trim & Accouterments

by

Holliseeter-Forbes Design Group & Good Buddies

“Hey,” I yelled as the window slid down. “Hey! What’s this?” I pointed to the windshield

where more words were scrolling up.

Fleximount Mirrors

by

ORIGINAL FLEX-O-IMAGE CORP.

Fabrics, Coverings & Interior Accessories

by

ISABELLA FRANSOLINI-EllIS-CHARLSTON of Milan

Driver’s Side Airbag

by

Tunisian Plastic Weavers & Glass Blowing

Tires by THE BLIMP TIRE COMPANY

“What’s what?” the salesman replied.

“This stuff scrolling down here.” I pointed to the inside of the windshield.

“Why, that’s a brand-new feature,” he said loudly enough for all to hear. “Gives you the
names of some of those involved with putting this beauty together,” he raised his head proudly
and touched the fender with the tip of his finger, like God in Michaelangelo’s “Creation of Adam,”
painting. “Gives them real pride in their work; gives them the recognition they deserve for
building this automotive achievement!”

“So, every time I start this thing, I’ll have to read the name of the person who tightened
the lug nuts before I can drive?”

Smile undiminished, he said, “It’s a reminder of the excellence you purchased. It’s part
of our new value-plus platinum plan. It’s free and our researchers designed it so you’ll get used
to it in no time. You look through it, see, like those fighter pilots do.” He reached over, waving
his hand in front of the windshield. “Gotta run!” he said as he turned and hurried off toward the
showroom.

What the–, I thought. Words continued rolling up and then stopped. How could I get rid
of this? The owner’s manual or Google. I’d figure out how to turn it off.

But how did it get started? Huh! I knew! Hollywood. And I was partly to blame. I sat there
in the theater and in front of the TV silently as they kept adding names and titles to the list of
credits at the start of films and TV shows until now; we have to view nearly half the movie or
show through strange names and titles, Co-Executive Producer, Associate Assistant to The CoExecutive Director, Casting, a dozen regular Producers, Musical Score, Animal Wranglers,
Story Writer, Screenplay Writer, Funniest Person on Set, Van driver, ad infinitum.

At first, there was only the name of the movie, its title, what notables were in it, a
producer, writer, director, period. Then, because moviemakers, in negotiating pay to
participants in the film, gave prominent “head or opening credits,” instead of money. Then it got
out of hand. A lot of those names that used to scroll down after the film have moved up to the
front because everyone knows the only people who see the names at the end of the film are
those people whose names are in the credits.

I’m forming a group, ACA, Anti-Credits Alliance, before the guy at the Chevron who fixed
the flat on the crew bus gets a head credit, instead of being paid.

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