Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bumper cars

I love it when my auto show brethren share on Facebook the ridiculousness that happens to them in their own displays. This comment, from a particularly inventive visitor, is one of my favorites of all time:

"Are the airbags in this car on the inside or the outside?"

Now, people. Really?

The booth bro who shared is little gem is a much nicer person than I, or at least I assume he didn't immediately fall down, pointing and laughing and gasping for breath while loudly relaying his question to his coworker's as I would have been tempted to do (and no, the visitor was not referring to that Japanese iSave thingy, just regular old airbags).

No, while in the moment and faced with such a delightful piece of material our "Be nice to idiots" training kicks in and we just smile and say, "The inside, sir. Like all cars," with only the slightest hint of patronizing. I tend to deliver such responses with a tighter smile than I probably should, but after hearing this kind of ridiculousness for this many years it's truly miraculous I don't just hand them a dunce cap and walk away silently.

But if I could spend my days messing with people's heads, here is what my own response to that brilliant question would have been:

"This model comes standard with a bubble wrap exterior. Interior airbags are part of our $3000 Bumper Car Special Edition, which includes a helmet and a vengeful, nauseated little sister."

Come to think of it, that's a brilliant idea. Someone get iSave on the phone.


  1. After driving on solid ice for 2 straight days, that would be delightful to have cars with the bubble wrap exterior so I can go driving like a maniac like other non-icy days. I could just bounce off the sliding cars without snow tires and keep on going.

    (Back when I started working on airbags in the late 1980s/ early 1990s, they were ready to put airbags everywhere, including the outside of the cars. And for motorcycles. Maybe this person was from that era.)

  2. Actually, that's not such a dumb question. Here's a few links:


  3. Anon - To reiterate, he said OR, not AND. If he had said AND, then it is safe to assume he would have been talking about the iSave system, which I addressed in the post already.

  4. Their is some sort of experiments going on external airbags, but up to my knowledge those haven't installed in any of the model, he may or may not be seriously asked about this but really those are exist.

  5. Cars have always fascinated me, especially its design and parts such as the batteries. I think it is one of the greatest inventions that truly affected the lives of so many people. Thanks for sharing this post!

  6. ...this one's up there with some of my favorites from my days in hospitality:

    ~"How many ribs on that PRIME RIB?"
    ~"What kinda sauce comes on that Fetahkine Alferedo?"
    ~"May I have a wine list?" (a few minutes of meaningful perusing pass then...) "I'd like a glass of your finest white zinfandel."

  7. This is hilarious! I couldn't even imagine an airbag popping out from the front bumper of a car. Well, come to think of it, it's a good idea. Before a car crashes onto another car, an airbag can be deployed to reduce the impact of the crash, lessening the damage on property and the risk of injury.

    Dewey Setlak


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