Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rogue Car

I had lunch for the first time in years with my friend George today. George is a car nut. He gave me the latest news about Toyota. I was probably the last person on earth to hear about it.

“People are calling it ‘The Rogue Car,’” he said.

“You mean like a rogue elephant? Why?”

“It runs red lights. It runs stop signs. And the drivers tell the cops they had nothing to do with it. They say the car does it all by itself.”

“My car does that, too,” I said. “When I am going to work in the morning I can’t get out of my own way. But when I go home the car is like a wild stallion. It goes so fast I don’t even show up on the cops’ radar.”

“Is it a Toyota?”

“No, man, I drive a Honda.”

“Well, that’s predictable. Cars are supposed to speed up uncontrollably going home from the office. Toyotas go out of control going to work.”

“You’re kidding.”

“If you drive a Toyota you’re likely to get to work in record time. If you get there at all, that is.”

“I don’t think I’d like that.”

“They spin out of control going to the dentist. They accelerate like crazy when you are going to see the loan shark. And if you’re going to pay the water bill, forget about it.”

“That’s not normal car behavior.”

“That’s not the worst part. The CEO of Toyota is a fellow named Toyoda. And Mr. Toyoda was faulted for not kowtowing low enough when he apologized for making rogue cars.”

“Eh?”

“Well, you see, in Japan, the worse you fuck up, the lower you bow.”

“His nose should be bouncing off the floor, then.”

“Right. Any other CEO would be using the carpet for a snot rag. But he just gave the public a little nod.”

“Little?”

“A little jerk of the head. They say it was barely perceptible.”

“Sort of like the quality he builds into his cars.”

“Yes. He says it’s there, but nobody knows for sure.”

“Shocking.”

“So what’s the problem with these cars anyway?”

“He says the gas pedal gets stuck.”

“Going home from work?”

“No, just any time. Especially when racing toward a red light crowded with other Toyotas.”

“That seems simple enough to fix.”

“It is. But they decided that’s not all of it. The electronics is screwed up, too.”

“You mean the radio doesn’t work?”

“No, the computer that controls the brakes and the engine. The radio works fine.”

“So while the car is veering out of control you can listen to rap music.”

“If you want to you can.”

“So they can fix the gas pedal and replace the electronics.”

“That’s not all, though. They’re saying the steering wheel does not work, either.”

“The steering wheel doesn’t work? Does anything work on that car?”

“Um, the tires?”

“Let me guess. Toyota does not make the tires, right?”

There was a long pause. Then he told me the worst of it.

“They’re commuting OJ Simpson’s sentence. Instead of spending what is probably the rest of his life in a sweaty cage with a bunch of degenerates they’re sentencing him to drive a Toyota.”

“Oh, my God. I’ll bet he wants to be back in jail with all those degenerates instead.”

“He was kicking and screaming. It took five strong men just to get OJ into a Corolla.”

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