Spock's Spiffy New Riviera Edition

Just before NBC cancelled "Star Trek" back in 1969, executives toyed with the idea of boosting the show's financial returns through a series of product placement deals. While never approaching creator Gene Roddenberry with an actual plan, the idea at the time was to use the Enterprise's time travel storylines for continuing visits to the present, where the crew could interact with modern-day goods. Why an automaker such as Buick could only dream of the boost to the engineering prestige of its Riviera delivered from an endorsement by first officer Spock as "highly logical."

OK, none of that is true, but it makes as much sense as canceling the show in the first place. Trying to make the illogical seem logical can be a real struggle, as Chairman Kaga showed when discussing BMW's stripe-tease:

My housemate's 21st birthday, we all drove up to Dallas. About a dozen of us. We ate crabs and drank beer out of 4 foot-long tubes. We went rock climbing. We fell. We went to his grandfather's tax shelter house in Grand Prairie. There was a motorcycle in the garage. We found the keys. There was a keg. We drank. There were handcuffs, but no keys. There was a broken chair from which the person who was handcuffed escaped. There was Goldschlager. After that, there was nothing.

I awoke the next morning on a towel in the back yard. Crawling into the bathroom, hand over ass over hubcap. We all took turns yarfing into whatever porcelain fixture would accept our lurching, heaving corpses. I wanted to strain my schlub for gold. I laughed. I'm rich! I puked more.

Time to go. I couldn't drive. My other roommate, one of the few who remained sober, drove me all the way back to Waco in my own car. My '83 Rabbit Diesel, no air conditioning, mid August, Texas. I vomited almost uncontrollably for the majority of the two hour drive, my head resting on the window frame, releasing whatever dredged itself from the bile tinged depths of my ruined guts with wanton regularity, like some great deranged, slobbering St. Bernard.

Three days later, after I'd finally overcome the alcohol poisoning that should have resulted in my hospitalization but actually ended with my skipping two shifts at work and filling a wastebasket with yellow-green foam, I went for burgers and to wash my car.

The flat, acid-eaten stripes along the side of my wasabi green VW looked a lot like the stripes on that BMW.


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