Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Cars Of The Future from 1948

Three plug-ugly cars which never got beyond the prototype stage. The first one, a 1948 Davis Divan, looks like a cross between a bedroom slipper and a steam iron. It might also pass as a Bob Clampett cartoon character. Supposedly it could hold four people across, or two people from 2017 in a tight pinch. I saw someone on YouTube (Jay Leno - see video below - I found it finally) try to drive a reconstruction, and he complained it kept tipping over.

The second one is oh, oh, my God, just horrible to contemplate, as lumpy as the Elephant Man, an airstream trailer with a horrible disease. I guess it sort of looks like someone's idea of a futuristic rocket, but it somehow does not get off the ground. 

The third one commits the sin of being merely dull. It's a kind of '40s  race-car-type-thing, but why the wheels are encased like that puzzles me. Wouldn't that make them more susceptible to damage? 

There were hundreds of "futuristic" designs like these, and in many cases the designers found backers, pocketed the money, then got out of town fast. 

The grass is smiling at you

Public signs, though useful, are often irritating. Their air of authority and power to order us around and control our movements is a little scary. God knows where we are actually going if we follow them. Seeing these public imperatives twisted and mangled is delicious, especially in Chinglish where the mistranslations are so extreme.

There are so many hundreds of them around that I decided to narrow it down to a category. Food was just too weird: complex and culturally-specific menus are impossible to translate. A lot of signs had inadvertent naughty words in them (and I restrained myself until that last one, which was just too good not to include). I found a few weird and even lovely signs about "keep off the grass", but there weren't quite enough of them, so I expanded the category to Parks and Recreation, outdoor activities that simply demand lots and lots of rules. 

Thus we are told there is a "go aheand smorking" section, that we should "be careful drowning", that we should watch out for falling people, and always "care for life. Do not fun."

I will not tell you what you should do in that last one.