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The NeXTmobile (some "black humor") (Eric P. Scott)
San Francisco State University
(original, computer, smirk)

I had this terrible dream one morning that Silicon Valley had
sunk into a deep economic slump, and the computer industry was
going through a major shakeout.  One enterprising corporate
head figured that if a soft drink honcho could build computers,
he might as well take a shot at becoming the next Lee Iacocca.

I find myself taking a test drive, and listening to a
disembodied voice...

  Hi!  This is Jeeve Snobs.  I want to welcome you to the next
  road.  We think you're going to loooove this automobile.
  It's got the most advanced instrumentation of any automobile
  shipping today, aaaand it's the first automobile to be
  completely designed by a computer executive.  It features a
  patented collision avoidance system for fewer crashes, and it's
  environmentally conscious, which we think is going to be the
  most marketable gimmick we can hype in the first half of the
  nineties.  So climb into the driver's seat, and let us know
  what you think of your new vehicle.

The sales dweeb busily explains how this automobile is
different from all the others on the market.

+ It comes in your choice of colors, and your choice is black.

+ It's built entirely by robots on one of the world's most
  sophisticated assembly lines.

+ Its lightweight body will never rust, but may burn
  spectacularly well.

+ It has a really cool hood ornament.

+ It's designed for the "professional driver."
  (Kids, don't try this at home!)

+ You'll never need snow tires--a revolutionary tread design
  adapts to changing road conditions so you can drive on
  pavement anywhere in the world.  The tires are made in Japan,
  so they should be of impeccable quality, but a small number
  reportedly blow out spontaneously during the first few weeks of

+ It runs on methanol.

+ There's no fuel gauge.  Instead, a snooty female voice
  announces, "Your tank is out of petrol."

+ It burns a lot of fuel getting started.

+ Its top speed is three times the legal limit, or so they say.

+ It's great on freeways, but not much fun in town.

+ It's popular on college campuses, but students can't get
  "easy financing."

+ It comes in two basic models: a "commuter" version and a
  station wagon.  Amazingly enough, both handle identically.
  The wagon has a trailer hitch.  The back seats have no windows.
  The commuter model is "designed to be stolen."

+ They now have glare-free windshields.  You can order tinted
  windows, but only factory-installed, and they're expensive.

+ The word "sample" is stamped on the side of the engine.

+ The sales dweeb insists the V-8 will "run just fine" on two

+ All dashboard controls bear strange symbols.  There are no
  words anywhere.  Right next to the airflow adjustments, an
  identically-shapped button kills the engine if you hit it

+ This model year, the switch for the windshield wipers has been
  removed because "it never rains in California," and the
  headlamp switch has been moved to the passenger's side so
  you'll need to shift in your seat to operate it.

+ There's no traditional "brake" pedal.  First-time buyers don't
  see this as a problem, but owners of competing makes find it
  takes some getting used to.

+ It uses special brake fluid that you can only buy from the
  manufacturer, and costs three times what you'd expect.

+ It CAN use the same oil as most other popular automobiles.

+ It has four doors and an all-leather interior in the showroom,
  but the ones they sell have two doors and naugahyde upholstery.

+ While airbags were a highly-touted standard feature in last
  year's model, they're temporarily absent--but retrofit kits
  will be shipping Real Soon Now.

+ The airbag option costs $800, but can be yours free under a
  trade-in incentive program.

+ There's an owner registration card in the glove compartment.
  After you send it in you'll receive free detailing (for a
  limited time only).

+ The owners manual is printed on recycled paper.

+ The service manual hasn't been printed yet, but your dealer
  will give you the "books on tape" cassette for last year's
  model.  Last year's model didn't have a cassette deck.

+ It comes with a state-of-the-art stereo system, but no stereo
  speakers.  The CD player skips.  You can order it without a CD
  player.  A company on the east coast markets an adapter to let
  you listen to 8-track tapes.
  [How many of you are too young to remember 8-track tapes?]
  [How many of you remember 8-track tapes?]

+ "TV ads?  Who needs TV ads?"

The product has not been without its critics.  They claim

+ It should run on gasoline, because that's been the Standard for
  everyone else.

+ Some say it should use a rotary engine.  (We hear they've been
  experimenting with rotary engines.)  Others disagree, saying
  rotary engines are bunk.

+ One shouldn't have to use turn signals, just pointing where you
  want to go should be enough.

+ It should have a manual transmission.  It's not really driving
  if you don't have to work at it.

+ They won't buy one unless they can drive it on the sidewalk.

+ They were hoping for a motorcycle instead, or at least
  something priced like one.


(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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