AC Delco - In The Future, The Floor Will Be Hot Lava

Continuing our inaugural World's Fair week feature, we bring you another attraction from the GM Futurama: The auto service center of tomorow!

In 1964, AC Delco had a courageous vision of the future of car repair. The floor would be hot lava. They didn't mean the real kind of lava. The pretend kind.

If you're anything like me, you were a kid at some point. Every kid played the hot lava game. In the hot lava game, you had to get from point A to B - say, from one end of the room to the other - without touching the floor. You could climb on chairs or window sills or tall slender cabinets with vials of nitroglycerin on the top, but you could not touch the floor. To make the game really fun, your mission was to retrieve something from the far end of the room, making the return trip more challenging, due to the encumberance of, say, an Evel Kneivel Stunt Cycle.

Anyway, AC Delco seemed to understand that in the future, the floor would become hot lava. That's why they had the wisdom to put the entire contents of the garage up on stands. "But," I hear you protest, "maybe those stands are for access to the underside of the car? Did you ever think of that, you stupid fascist?" Actually, I did think of that, and I don't appreciate the unprovoked attack, thanks very much. The giant circular bases of the stands look really difficult to walk on. It doesn't help that they're styled like turbines for no good reason. So, I'm led to believe that in the future, the mechanic doesn't touch the car. Why else would he be sealed in a tiny Apollo capsule? he can't get out very easily, so maybe he just looked after the repair progress by playing that little Moog synthesizer in there? It looks like the mechanic's greatest hits are displayed on those cool record players near the wall, for easy scratching.

Strangely, though Delco were able to forsee our modern problems with floor temperature, they lacked the vision to predict any means of data storage more sophisticated than the punch card system. "You hand the mechanic a punched card. On the card is the proper performance level of your shocks, brakes, engine, ignition - every vital part of your car." Then they attatch "an electronic device" to the car, but apparently in the future we're still using a data storage solution that can be ruined by "mixing up the pile". This was 1964, after all. Despite the fact that magnetic data storage had been in use for over thirteen years, Delco's clairvoyants imagined the punch card dominating the auto industry for the visible future.

My zinger question to the boffins at Delco is this: what happens when you drop your punch card on your hot-lava floor? A pretend-fire disaster, that's what.


Post a Comment