One of the scars of being raised by television is I have a few thousand advertisements welded to my brain, inseparable elements of my karmic whole. This stinks. One of these little beauties is the phrase "rack and pinion steering!" yelled at me from Ford truck commercials as long as I can remember.
Um, thanks, Ford. We the truck buying public that makes up your raison d'etre have no idea what in hell you're talking about. Y'all done some engineering thing with the steering, huh? Neato. Well, you know, we all kinda already figured that on account we use a steering wheel instead of pulling on rope ends.
Oh but if only we could salve these lesions of our consciousness by soaking them with humour. Or: Why the heck doesn't Ford have the good grace to follow the modern trend to smart advertising and put up a webpage titled What The Hell We Were Talking About, explaining the innovation of rack and pinion, why they cared about it, how the advertising campaign was developed, how it lasted through the decades, and the rather amusing admission that it never did a damn thing for selling trucks.
I'm actually kinda surprised I couldn't find a fan site about it.
Oh wait, here's something. (Oh dear god. It was an Australian invention. That explains so much.)
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© 2000 Owen Briggs
last modified on 15jun00