Thanksgiving, I will never understand you. In theory, setting aside a day to give thanks is okay, I guess, even though you should do that every day. In practice, everybody looks like I just told them that I have a rare sexually transmitted disease only found in bears when I say I hate turkey. It’s become a dumb holiday about gluttony that doesn’t even have tasty food.
“Traditional” Thanksgiving food is just bad and bland, no matter how I’ve had it prepared or how excellent a chef someone says they are. Turkey tastes like chicken that’s gone bad. It’s gross. Don’t even get me started on the nasty sides, either. Both dressing and stuffing are vile yuck-mush that I want nowhere near my mouth.
Not even a gallon of hot sauce can cover up the badness of Thanksgiving dinner. For years, I usually ended up with deviled eggs, rolls and pie until my parents finally relented and got me some real meat (usually a steak or something) on the side. The best Thanksgiving dinner I ever had was a lasagna with exactly zero percent turkey content. Other foods are good! Give thanks over them.
The fact is, though, there are car parts that look vastly more appetizing than a Thanksgiving turkey. Here. Have a few. I’m off to have some animal that doesn’t taste rotten.
Look at these tasty licorice loaves that in no way taste like licorice whatsoever! That sad period in American history where “impact bumpers” ruined every good European car’s lines also produced a series of rubbery chunks that look far more edible than a Thanksgiving turkey will ever be.
Early USDM 944s were particularly silly about this, adding big black fluff-chunks to bumpers on both its front and its rear.
You can gnaw on early Porsche 944 bumperettes and be assured that you’re just going to taste something rubbery with road grime. That doesn’t sound particularly crave-worthy, but it’s an improvement over turkey’s “chicken that’s starting to grow mold” flavor.
BMW M5 Seats
If anything on this planet is just soft, inviting and comfortable, it’s not the sad, often dry hunks of Thanksgiving turkey. It’s BMW seats.
One year, I covered the 24 Hours of Daytona as BMW’s guest, and the M5 they gave me to get to the airport and the track had deep red seats. Those even looked like meat, and by meat, I mean real meat that never gobbled ever in its life.
I’m not even a leather seat fan, as I have too many bad memories of searing my thighs when I sit down on crappy leather seats on hundred-degree summer days. But these M5 seats were a revelation. Soft. Supple. Like the weisswurst of vehicular components.
If you’ve been exiled for being the only member of your family with functioning tastebuds at Thanksgiving dinner, I hope you drove an M5 there.
No part of a car looks more like candy than suspension bushings. The polyurethane versions even come in fun colors like red and blue!
Sure, the bushings that keep your suspension in place probably taste like even oilier, grimier versions of the bumperettes if you pluck them out from underneath your car, but even those still look more appetizing than turkey, which tastes about like foot funk in bird form.
I mean, I’m deeply surprised that Haribo Stabilisatorlager aren’t some kind of weird, German-market-only thing, anyway. We’ve got little airplanes, animals, cars, and all manner of random shapes available in gummy candy form. Step up your game, candy companies. Make gummy suspension bushings.
Since gummy bushings don’t exist, you’ll sadly have to pick up the real automotive version to gnaw on all night. It could be worse! I mean, at least it’s not that gross cranberry garbage that still looks like the can it came out of.
Candy-Colored Engine Fittings
When Porsche showed off its 919 LMP1 engine, its myriad red, purple and blue bits sort of stole the show. Who needs that candy dish on Grandpa’s table when a Le Mans-winning engine appears to have the same little strawberry hard candies all over it?
These probably taste like metal instead of like Jolly Ranchers, but my point is, they look like they should taste good. Really good. Sweet and fruity kind of good.
Weird Mushroom-Shaped Shifters
Mushrooms are fungus and I’ve never been able to get over their texture, but somehow, when Thanksgiving dinner looms over the calendar like an albatross of suck, the weird mushroom-shaped shifters like the one in this 2014 Mercedes-Benz start to look appetizing.
“Eat me,” they say, taunting me with their weird-to-use shape. “It’s not like you enjoy using me to shift into drive anyway.”
You heard the shifter, speaking vicariously though the hungry voices in your head that start to speak up more when you run out of acceptable side dishes. You should eat it. I bet it even tastes better than a real mushroom, too.
This is cheating a bit, but you can cook tastier food with your car if you’re not up to gnawing Oldsmobile armrests for sustenance. Manifold Destiny is an entire recipe book dedicated to cooking with the various heated surfaces of your car, for example. Rednecks have been sticking sausages in foil under their hoods for years. Just remember to wire it up so it doesn’t fall off before you can eat it.
My favorite solution, however, has always been to surround the hot exhaust of your car with a full-on barbecue smoker. The 24 Hours of Lemons car of Team Sensory Assault did this for a few races, and the ribs that came out of there were pretty legit. I live in Texas, so my bar for “legit” is higher than every Willie Nelson/Snoop Dogg collaboration ever recorded, and somehow, this exhaust smoker delivered.
If you have a long drive ahead or an endurance race, smoke some pork ribs. Pork ribs even make you sleepy like turkey except they actually taste good.
DISCLAIMER: Jalopnik does not recommend the eating of actual car parts. They may or may not be hazardous to your health.