I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but years ago I used to be an idea writer for the Onion’s old video branch, the Onion News Network (ONN). For years I cranked out about 25 ideas a week, and, while sometimes they made it to full production, the vast majority of those ideas were rejected. So, for the hell of it, I decided to do a quick search for some car-related rejected ONN ideas. And guess what! I had some! And you, lucky you, you get to read them, just like if you were an Onion intern in the mid-2000s!
The format of these was a one-sentence idea and then a short description of what the video would be. Remember, these were for a fake news show (or for the Today Now ones, a fake morning show) in the mid-2000s, so that’s why there’s references to President Obama and other news and events that may seem faraway or even quaint now.
Oh, and remember, these were rejected ideas, so, you know, keep those expectations nice and low!
Ready? Good. Off you go:
Due to aerodynamic quirk, Truck Nuts found to improve gas mileage by 2.3 mpg
A subset of the Kamm effect is suspected, and GM will be making them standard on trucks to meet new federal mileage requirements; also, Priuses will get them to maintain their mileage-leader status in face of new competition from other hybrids.
TERRORIST: Green faction of Al-Quaeda claims responsibility for attempted car bomb made out of a Honda Insight hybrid modified to be a plug-in hybrid
A suspicious car parked in San Francisco’s crowded business district raised suspicion when the smell of rich, organic fertilizer became noticeable to passers-by. Upon inspection, the 1999 Honda Insight was found to have a crude but potentially potent bomb installed inside, along with a well-engineered modification to make the hybrid car a plug-in hybrid, along with battery upgrades. The bomb, made with all recycled materials and filled with shrapnel made from reclaimed building material waste, is an impressive piece of green engineering, one of the first public demonstrations of how massive destructive power and eco-frendliness needn’t be exclusive. The statement from the Green Crescent faction of Al-Quaeda mostly talks about these innovations, and only discusses the need to kill Americans as a sideline.
(Today Now Segment) Wonderful new options for getting rid of elderly parents: Tracy and Jim visit a new, automated RV that you can stick your parents in for years! They love that shit!
Building off the recent technological advancements in autonomous cars (DARPA’s, Google’s Stanford’s, etc) this is a great new solution of what to do with our nation’s elderly as an alternative to increasingly crowded and expensive assisted living centers. These are totally automated RVs that you park your elderly relatives in, and it wanders the country, stopping to refuel and take on supplies at special centers across the US. You can even track them on GPS in case you ever want to find them to visit! When they die, special sensors aboard detect this and the RV is driven directly to the cemetery of your choice!
TODAY NOW: Landline phone enthusiasts hold first telephone concours
A lovely interview with a father and son who are landline telephone enthusiasts, part of the growing Puget Sound Landline Telephone Club, where they find and restore old landline phones. This kid and his father found an old abandoned office and restored a lovely black 1989 Alcatel desk phone to near-factory specs. They bring it in, and it’s a boring old black office phone, but they’re wildly careful with it, etc. Direct parallel to classic car guys, but boring landline phones.
Special series on coping with high gas prices: biking to work
ONN special series reporter has biked to work, and is talking to the ONN anchors— he’s sweating like a pig, is filthy, his suit is rumpled, wrinkled, and ruined, he’s still a bit out of breath.
Maybe he’s puked down the front of his shirt, too. He raggedly describes the abject horror of biking to work, of the near misses, the incredible difficulty, the hills, loosing his laptop bag, etc.
But, his tip is that now he has absolutely no problem in paying nearly $5/gal for gas— it’s worth every fucking penny to be able to sit in an air-conditioned box on the way to work, absolutely. He recommends everyone bike to work once so they can see how much it sucks, and then paying for gas is no big deal.
GM unveils new, larger “freedom gallon”, announces across-the-board improvements in fuel economy
As a quick way to give their cars significantly better MPG numbers, GM is basing all their ratings on the GM “Freedom Gallon”, a great new kind of gallon that translates to about 3.2 US gallons. Now you can get a GMC Yukon or a Cadillac Escalade that gets over 50 mpg! Who says you have to give up SUVs?
Obama motorcade stopped repeatedly by police in wealthy suburb
This can be either during campaigning, or even after the election, should he win. Cops always demand he get out of the car, and repeatedly ask him if this is his motorcade, etc.
Newly discovered diary of Karl Benz suggest prime motivation for development of modern automobile engine stemmed from his being sick of staring at horse anuses
Karl Benz, developer of the modern 4-cycle gasoline internal-combustion car, kept a journal for years, though the location of it was unknown until it was found in an abandoned storage facility outside of Munich. Benz writes a great deal in his journal about his distaste for constantly staring at horse anuses as he drives his wagon. He grows more and more agitated about it, and, after slaughtering his horse in disgust, pours himself into developing the engine that will free mankind from this cruel fate.
Will new regulations mandating incredibly heavy, unstackable, and awkwardly shaped cars prove to give American automobile manufacturers the edge they need?
In a thinly-veiled attempt to give American cars a competitive advantage without resorting to tariffs or closing the market, new DOT standards will mandate cars that are extremely heavy, as non-rectiliniar as possible, and unstackable. In short, they’re unable to be shipped from oversees in any conventional way with any degree of efficiency. Some good images of the bulbous, awkwardly shaped cars would be grand.
Congressman’s repeated references to the Buick LaCrosse prompt investigation into ethics issues
It hasn’t yet been confirmed that he’s been paid to talk about Buicks, but the name came up over a dozen times in a 7-minute speech, and on two other occasions he’s used his floor time to describe how amazing the ride is in a new LeCrosse. Other senators have been suspected as well, as they showily drink cans of soda with the labels clearly visible, etc.
Toyota to recall several hybrid models due to cases of unintended conversation
A rapidly increasing number of reports from owners of several of Toyota’s popular hybrid vehicles have shown that in certain situations, the vehicles can cause sudden and unwarranted bursts of conversation directed at the driver. In these situations, the driver is often unable to free themselves from the unintended conversation, both positive and negative. Toyota has linked the incidents to the vehicle’s prominent hybrid badging systems.
Honda recalling 50,000 cars from people who’ve just done some awful, awful things to them
Honda of America is announcing a selective recall of over 100,000 Civics and Accords from 1999-2010, based on the painful, horrible things many owners have done to them including, but not limited to, insane huge spoilers, “powered by Honda” window stickers, shoddy ground effects kits, Lamborghini-type scissor doors, etc. The recall comes directly from Hirotoshi Honda, son of Soichiro Honda, founder of the company, who he felt would feel intense shame at what has been done to his products. A partial refund for the recalled vehicles will be provided.
Obama’s parents-in-law show up at White House, park RV on front lawn with water and power lines leading up to it, stay for months
Michelle’s father just purchased the 32-foot motor home, and, since his retirement, has been touring around the country with his wife, Michelle’s mother. They parked the motor home on the lawn because the designated parking areas of the White House are in a large parking/garage area with just terrible views, and out front the Robinsons can take advantage of a power outlet and water hose fitting in the shrubbery around the front of the White House.
Biden starts national program to teach Americans how to drive stick
In what he describes as his “pet project,” VP Joe Biden will be spearheading a massive program to educate Americans on how to drive a car with a manual transmission. With only around 15% of Americans driving a manual transmission, there is plenty of room to grow this number which will, according to the vice president, cut fuel consumption by 4-7%, as well as making American so much cooler. Once enough Americans have learned, Biden will show them how to lay some serious rubber.
Space Shuttle on museum market, Eclipse, found to be a fake after being sold to Australian National Aeronautical Museum
Representatives of the Australian National Aeronautical and Space Museum were initially delighted to find that they were able to purchase Eclipse, the fourth orbiter in NASA’s former space shuttle fleet, and the most recently retired shuttle. Unfortunately, further inspection upon delivery found the alleged Shuttle to be a 70s-vintage Boeing 727 painted in a black-and-white pattern similar to the spacecraft, and with canvas extensions on the wings to give an illusion of a delta wing. Sources say they should have been more suspicious when the price seemed both too low, and the seller insisted on a cash-only transaction. The museum insists next time, more research will be done.
TODAY NOW: Interview with the inventor of the first totally green tire, the edible EcoRadial.
Tires have been steadily improving for years, but they still are a major landfill component and a major source of pollution. Vulcanized tire rubber cannot be fully recycled, causing a huge issue. But no more! Tracy and Jim talk to Charles Rempel, inventor of the EcoRadial, a high-performance tire that is made with low-environmental impact materials and methods, and is the first totally edible tire ever. It’s not recyclable in a conventional way, but when it reaches the end of it’s 5 year lifespan, it’s available to be eaten by the owner. Tracy and Jim encourage the inventor to show them with the green sample tire he has brought with him, and he does, eating the tire, chewing the incredibly tough and foul material. The tire has to be eaten in one sitting, as the chemistry of it renders it highly toxic if left uneaten for more than 40 minutes at a time. He should be quite miserable as he tries to eat the entire tire.