Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A glove compartment full of fun

Yesterday, I spent the day junking my vehicle and clearing every bureaucratic hurdle that goes along with that. I kept the owner's manual as a souvenir. The 1993 Chevrolet S-10 manual is one the most thorough of its kind ever printed; you can literally learn how to drive using this thing. It's also chock-full of great art and photography. While going through it again, I marveled at the comic possibilities of much of its content.

The manual begins with a handy guide to symbols used throughout:

Study this one carefully, and take notes if necessary. Got it? Good! Let's continue.

Section 1: Check out this sweet ride!

First, let's take a look at some of the equipment on your new vehicle:

Do not play "Bohemian Rhapsody" around this wheel. Ever.

Every Chevy truck comes with a theft-proof AM radio (really, who's going to steal it?).

Each vehicle comes equipped with a crowbar, and at least one companion hole. In an emergency, the crowbar can be used on other vehicles as well. Just remember to steal something more interesting than the spare tire.

Section 2: Drive it like you stole it

In addition to familiarizing you with the simple logistics of your vehicle, the manual also offers helpful tips on being a sharp motorist. The lesson here is that you must always be in the proper state of emotion and preparedness for the driving conditions that you face.

Under no circumstance should you ever carry nine glasses of alcoholic beverages in your vehicle; most models are limited to four or fewer cup holders. If necessary, down the first five drinks prior to taking the wheel.

When chasing down deer or other road-dwelling game, it is best to engage overdrive and turn violently in a zigzag motion to confuse your target. Horrible weather, conveniently broken windshield wipers and a look of extreme psychosis all add to the fun! In the picture above, we can deduce that the motorist is driving away from her ex-boyfriend's house, where she has just been served a "Deer John" letter (get it?!!); she has thus learned the value of taking out life's little frustrations by strapping on the racing gloves and maximizing the full potential of her 4-cylinder Demon of Death. Practice often.

When driving to the roller derby, it is understandable that you might want to practice your craft during the ride. Always exercise proper judgment when doing so. By not wearing a seat belt, for example, the man on the Red Team is better equipped to whisper trash talk into the enraged driver's ear. By contrast, all the buckled man on the Blue Team can do is adjust his lights and fume quietly in a fetal position.

Seat belts work because they act as the first line of resistance against the force of a human body. The makers of your vehicle already knew that; they didn't really have to scar this poor kid for life to hammer that point home. But it was fun to watch! Besides, it taught the kid to never again ride his bike without wearing his safety belt. Now he knows. And knowing is half the battle.

Section 3: The vehicular game of risk

Some motorists are surprised to learn that a motor vehicle is not a toy, and that some practices are unacceptable in the operation thereof. Below are some tips on how to avoid doing some very wrong things. Remember that challenging circle-slash symbol you learned at the beginning of this manual? Well, it's here to show you that the following things are BAD:

Q: What's wrong with this question?
A: Anyone who needs to read this is probably too dumb to read

God may be your co-pilot, but even the baby Jesus is impossible to hold in a collision. But if you love your baby so much that you simply cannot bear to secure her in a car seat, then at least leave her with this parting thought: "This will hurt me a lot more than it'll hurt you."

NEVER let kids drive your car!! They fail to understand the current fuel crisis that has oil prices at record levels, nor can they comprehend the ramifications of carbon-dioxide emissions on global temperatures and the contributions of pollution to the desiccation of the ozone layer. Oh, and also because most young children can't even feed themselves without wearing half of their lunch on their shirts. And that gets on the seats. Icky!

Remember, teens: when you share a seat belt, you're sharing that seat belt with every other person who wore it before you. Always carry an air bag for protection.

As if it weren't bad enough that fashion magazines and television shows have caused such severe self-loathing among young girls with their impossibly ridiculous definition of beauty, now car manuals are getting into the act? Girl, don't listen to the mean car people. You're beautiful just the way you are!

When slipping your roofie-tanked date into your car for a night you'll never forget (and she'll never remember), it's bad form to buckle her in. In this position, belts offer little protection and actually restrict access to your girlfriend's comatose body. Still, it's probably the only protection you have, right, you forgetful loser?

And for god's sake, DO NOT PARK IN FIRE!!

Section 4: Yep, it's eventually going to crap out on you

Eventually, your vehicle is going to die out. Make sure you're near a payphone when it happens, and dress accordingly so Roadside Assistance will assume you just drove away from a peepshow (or perhaps a Columbo convention).

When your vehicle dies, you may witness its ghost rising from the engine. Make the sign of the cross with your left hand. But avoid a cheap feel with your right hand, necromaniac.

On behalf of ourselves and our models, we hope you enjoy years of driving satisfaction!


Flamingo Jones said...

"don't park in fire!" = priceless.

I miss your truck already.

The Goblin Slayer said...

Well done, Ian. Very funny.

tango jellybean said...

sheer brilliance! I love the "Larger Children" one.