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Odd Lots


  1. Jonathan O'Neal says:

    The initiative to add sound to electric vehicles at low speeds has some merit. My wife bought one of the first Priuses to hit the U.S., so we’ve been driving it for 12+ years now (she far more than I, it being her car). My car is quiet, but the Prius is silent. I can’t count the number of pedestrians who have blithely walked in front of that car in parking lots, then become highly alarmed when they either notice the car moving or finally hear the brakes (or the horn, or some profanity from the cockpit). The silence, while novel and cool, is frustrating for the driver and dangerous to unwary (is there any other kind these days?) pedestrians. Weather permitting, I put down the windows and turn up the stereo when I’m trying to find a parking space in the Prius. Mostly, though, I avoid driving it and stick to my trusty internal combustion noisebox instead – my car doesn’t have nearly the “cool factor,” but it’s far less likely to produce an involuntary manslaughter charge. (If we ever retrofit the Prius with a sound generator, I’ll lobby for using the Jaws theme and a big subwoofer.)

    1. Erbo says:

      I’d vote for using the sound made by the cars from The Jetsons. (OTOH, I’m not really the target market for an electric car, either. It’s not conducive to big road trips.)

  2. Jim Tubman says:

    The proposal to use The Jetsons’ vehicle sound may be the best idea to emerge from the 21st Century. Erbo, I hope that someday your picture is on a postage stamp [assuming that they still exist] for your idea.

    I am a 9 month-per-year cycle commuter (not because I’m a granola-eater, but because I am a cheapskate) and I too have been startled by hybrid cars passingly me silently. They were not too close, nor too fast, nor aggressive; their conduct was unobjectionable, but it is unnerving not to hear their approach.

    1. Erbo says:

      The only thing in the way of that would be clearing it with Hanna-Barbera, who might claim copyright infringement. (They’re not as sticky about such things as Disney, though, and there have even been documented cases where they’ve stepped in to redecorate preschools and day-care centers that had been threatened by Disney for having Disney characters painted on their walls, replacing the artwork with their own characters.)

  3. Carrington Dixon says:

    Flip-flops existed in the 1960s. Back then they were called “thongs”, a name which is now applied to an entirely different piece of apparel.

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