Adventures In Wikipedia Fiction: The Origins Of The Michelin Man

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The brilliance of Wikipedia is vigorous peer review on even the most minute detail and completely humorless administrators. That genius produces a fairly reliable and constantly evolving public encyclopedia. Unfortunately, it also manages to kill some absolutely brilliant fiction in favor of maintaining the "truth" about past events. Take for instance the origins of the Michelin Man, an advertising icon almost as old as the tire company it represents. In the real world Bibendum, the actual name of the character, was created by an artist specifically for advertising purposes. In Wikipedia's revisionist record, the origins of the Michelin Man show the murderous past of an out of control robot on a rampage.If the Wikipedia archive page ever goes away, which, if we understand how that whole thing works it won't, you can view the revision page we're talking about here because it is a masterpiece of imagination. Below is the entire account of the life and times of Bibendum:


The company's symbol is Bibendum, (aka "Bib the Michelin Man", "Bibelobis", or simply the "Michelin Man") Composed of stacked, bleached white tires, the Michelin Man is a behemoth of the advertising industry. His feats of incredible strength are matched by none, and his legendary tales make Sylvester Stallone look like Pee Wee Herman. Those who have crossed The Michelin Man and attempted to defraud or defile his name have often been reported missing shortly afterwards. The authorities are looking for any help regarding the missing persons case of Alex Banjodark, who has apparently been missing most of his upper body and head since in 1998. HISTORY: The Michelin Man was created in 1898 by a crazed German hermit named Berthold Heinz-Dieter who lived in a junkyard. Berthold could not stand to touch another human's skin, so he lurked in his junkyard every day, creating crude robots fashioned from chunks of metal and mud. One day an unannounced tire truck dumped off a load of used tires into his lot, falling upon the metal framework for a robot he had previously created to smash in the windows of his neighbor's house. A chemical reaction soon took place and, energized by a strike of lightning, this robot literally "came to life" and immediately "murdered" Berthold. Unleashed upon the public, the deadly robot roamed the wilderness and survived by murdering rabbits, bears, trees, lions, hats, mountains, and other stuff that lives in Germany's woods. He was captured during the US defeat of German forces at Ruhr Valley on April 1st, 1945, and treated as a prisoner of war.
Eventually he befriended a kind-hearted American named Colonel Henry "Sharkface" Sam, whom he persuaded to bring him to the United States. Upon reaching Camp Beauregard, the German killing machine immediately murdered Colonel Henry and his wife and children. Michelin Tires Inc. captured this marauding menace and, through a rigorous series of training events, taught him to refrain from immediately murdering people. They dubbed him "The Michelin Man" and promoted him as "the most trustworthy lump of talking tires that will mostly certainly never immediately murder you." While many trained actors donned the Michelin Man costume and attended various store openings and other promotional events, the true Michelin Man was kept inside Michelin's maximum security prison until 2001, when their leading engineer claimed the Michelin Man was "safe enough" to be released. As soon as he was exposed to the outside world, the Michelin Man immediately murdered the twelve guards escorting him and eventually embarked on a state-wide raping spree in which he violated 48 females, 23 males, nine post office boxes, and a majority of the animals and instruments at a pork factory.

This is seriously magnificent. Murderous autonomous robots, crazed German hermits, WWII, and violation of pork factory instruments. It's got everything. This history is way better than the real, boring history. [Wikipedia]