"if a car was like a computer" joke

MICROSOFT:' If G.M. had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving twenty-five dollar cars that got one-thousand miles to the gallon.'

GENERAL MOTORS:' Perhaps, but if G.M. had developed technology the same way Microsoft has, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day. You would just accept this, repair the damage and drive on.

2. Every time the lines were repainted on the road, you would have to buy a new car. You would accept this too.

3. Occasionally, but most often during rush-hour or when you are running late, your car would just die on the freeway for no apparent reason. Again, you would just accept this, re-start, and drive on.

4. Occasionally, executing a normal maneuver, such as a left turn, will cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart. In such cases you would have to reinstall the engine. 5. Tech support will be available 24x7 via in-car satellite link. Unfortunately after being on hold for 2 hours the tech will usually not be able to solve your problem and will recommend that you buy a new car tomorrow.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single' general car default' warning light. 7. Installing oil or antifreeze which do not carry the GM brand AND copyright AND trademark will be automatically detected, often causing the problems listed in items 1, 3, and 4 above and voiding the warranty.

8. The airbag system would say' Are you sure?' before going off.

9. Occasionally for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key, and grabbed hold of the radio antenna. 10. G.M. would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of Rand McNally road maps (now a G.M. subsidiary), even though they neither need them nor want them. Attempting to delete this option would immediately cause the car's performance to diminish by fifty percent or more. 11. G.M. would become a regular target for investigation by the Justice Department.

12. Every time G.M. introduced a new model, car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as they did in their old car.

13. To replace the oil filter, fuel filter or spark plugs, your mechanic will have to crawl under the hood, via the trunk.

14. Before you can drive your car on the (information) super-highway, you'll have to make special adjustments by sticking a very long probe up the tailpipe and executing procedures normally expected of heart surgeons doing arthroscopic surgeries.

15. Accepting free trial offers for AOL gasoline or MSN gasoline will place two 100-lb bags of sand in your trunk, on top of the two 100-lb bags of MSN and AOL deadweight sand already there, which GM neglects to mention when you buy the car. It would require an expensive major tune-up to remove this dead weight should you decide to not use those brands of gasoline exclusively.

16. From time to time GM will change the terminology used for familiar parts of the car and invent new words or new definitions for old words. Thus under GM-Newspeak(TM) your' defroster' could become the:' Real-World Visual Basic Interface Re-Integrator(TM)'

16a: New labels like' Real-World Visual Basic Interface Re-Integrator(TM)' would carry a convenient anacronym like' ReWoViBIRI' which you would have to learn to pronounce in order to sound hip.

16b: When you encounter these newly invented words in the GM documentation, you will be expected to already understand what they mean.

16c: New terms like' Real-World Visual Basic Interface Re-Integrator(TM)' and' ReWoViBIRI' will not appear in the' GM Glossary of Technical Terms,' because GM refuses to publish a Glossary of Technical Terms.

16d: GM will be happy to sell you expensive classes to teach you the meaning of life, the universe and the definitions of the newly invented GM-Newspeak(TM) words and terms.

16e: These classes will not feel like the brain washing experienced in Socialist Re-education camps as reported by former POWs. Much.

16f: Every 2-6 years, concepts like' Real-World Visual Basic Interface Re-Integrator(TM)' will be re-named again to something even more obscure and cryptic like:' Windscreen Renoberator(TM)'

16g: As the cycling of changing names for technical concepts continues, sometimes the circle will close and this time the new term will be (SURPRISE!)' defroster'

16h: In 2-6 years, the name for the concept formerly known as' defroster' will again be renamed, this time to something even more obscure and obtuse... just to keep you alert and on your toes.

17. You'd press the' start' button to shut off the engine.

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