06/01/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

When Fiat Met Chrysler

The meetings occurred behind closed doors, there are no transcripts, and we'll never know exactly what transpired, but through the art of simple deduction we can logically piece together a likely scenario of Fiat and Chrysler's discussions.

(It helps if you imagine Fiat being played by Marcello Mastroianni, and Chrysler being played by Ned Beatty.)

Fiat: Ciao, ciao, thank you for meeting. This is very fun.

Chrysler: Where have you been? We've been sitting here waiting for hours.

Fiat: Really? How nice. You are very hospitable.

Chrysler: Well, as you know, we've been instructed to make a deal with Fiat by the White House. If we don't make a deal with your company, they will put us out of business.

Fiat: Interesting, interesting, yes. Do you mind if I smoke?

Chrysler: Well, here in the States, we actually don't smoke in the office.

Fiat: Yes, I see, you have a light?

Chrysler: I do, but...

Fiat: You will light my cigarette, yes?

(Long awkward silence. A cigarette is lit.)

Fiat: Thank you, thank you. Now tell me, how did your company get in this terrible predicament?

Chrysler: Well first we were independent, then Mercedes owned us and --

Fiat: (interrupting) I see, I see, so you are like those American girls who come over every summer, yes? First you get in bed with the Germans and now you will be in bed with the Italians. Ha, this is funny, no?

Chrysler: Well, to be honest, we don't find it very funny.

Fiat: You no see what I mean. Your president says you must make a deal with us, correct or not correct?

Chrysler: Correct.

Fiat: And I think I make a very funny joke. You are like one of those American girls, right? Funny, right?

(Long awkward silence. A forced chuckle.)

Fiat: Yes, see! You agree! Very funny! Okay, now let us go over our business, yes?

Chrysler: Sure, let's discuss the deal.

Fiat: Okay, My English is not so good so I make it very simple. Chrysler belongs to Fiat now. You are our company. To buy it we give you no money, no cash, no dollars, no euros, nothing. In exchange, now we run the whole thing. You get nothing, we get everything, capice?

Chrysler: Well now, that's not much of a deal.

Fiat: Let us review this one-a more time. okay? Your president say you have to make a deal with Fiat, yes? Or everybody loses their job, right? So, how does your Howie Mandel say it? Deal or no deal?

(Long, long awkward silence. A sigh is heard.)

Chrysler: Deal.

Fiat: Bene, bene. See, easy. Relax. No problem. We are through with all this business talk for the day. That wasn't so bad, was it? Now show me your daughters.