Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Douchebags Seek New Way to Compensate for Tiny Penises

By Andy Borowitz

DETROIT (The Borowitz Report) General Motors decision yesterday to stop manufacturing Hummers has struck at the heart of the group who loved the vehicles most: Americas assholes.

Across the nation, leading assholes spoke of a sense of loss and sadness caused by the decision, and suggested that they would now be searching for new ways to compensate for their small penises.

Tracy Klugian, a realtor in Tempe, Arizona, said that he would consider buying a boat with an annoyingly loud sound system, but it just wont say asshole like a Hummer does.

Mr. Klugian, whose penis has been described as microscopic, also questioned the timing of GMs decision.

Right now, the Hummer is the only thing on the road capable of stopping a Toyota, he said. More here.

For Borowitz Report headlines you won’t find anywhere else, follow Andy Borowitz on Twitter.


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14 years ago

Crap. Now us Jeep drivers are going to have to strip our “Hummer Recovery Vehicle” stickers off. (Hummers were famous for being driven by suburban assholes who didn’t have a clue how to drive the things offroad, we were always having to pull their yuppie butts out of trouble with our winches and tow-straps after they got the thing hung somewhere stupid).

– Badtux the Jeepin’ Penguin

Ken Carman
14 years ago

Just bought my first Jeep, unfortunately not 4 wheel. Had a 1980 Subaru hatchback with 4 wheel: had worse traction than all my Japanese trucks. So far I’ll probably buy Jeep again and next time I will get 4 wheel because the house we bought for retirement will probably require it.

The irony behind the Hummer, other that Borowitz’s great satire, is that GM sued Avanti in Villa Rica, GA because they made something that kind of, sort of looked like it called the Studebaker SUV. Drove the company out of the market, the CEO died and his manager kept trying to keep it afloat to the point he got caught in a ponzi scheme.

They were so “hurt” that someone else might make something somewhat like one of their vehicles: so dedicated to it. So now just dump it?

Never you mind Chrysler pretty much shrunk the old Chevy panel van, they did nothing except copy that and make the HHR.

Anyone who has seen my various Inspection columns called No Need in Going on Auto knows I am no fan of management at GM. They really suck at what they do and seem arrogant beyond belief.

Buick over Saturn, and dumping Oldsmobile because it doesn’t have enough youth appeal? And Buick does more so than Saturn? Might have helped if they hadn’t gutted all the advantages Saturn had.

RS Janes
14 years ago

It’s no accident Hummer rhymes with bummer. Some models were underpowered and sluggish which led to transmission and engine-mount problems, and $$$ repair bills. Who would buy an over-priced ride that guzzles more gas than anything else on the road, and is hard to park to boot? Yep, not just an asshole, but a really stupid asshole. (Gov. Schwarzenfluffer owns something like 10 of them.)

I’m ancient enough to recall when Studebakers were made in South Bend, IN, and I never heard a complaint about any of their cars. (Not true for the AMC Ramblers, etc., that came later, of course.) Those Studebaker designs by Ray Loewy were easy to recognize on the street, in the days before most cars looked alike, and the last Studebaker models I remember wiere the Lark and the Avanti.

OTOH, I’ve always had trouble with GM cars, particularly the early ’80s Chevy Citation junkmobile that I had the displeasure of renting for a long trip, although friends who’ve owned Saturns seem to like them.

Ana Grarian
14 years ago

Badtux – just put a Toyota sticker over the Hummer name

Ken Carman
14 years ago

When Stude ended South Bend operations they sold off the Avanti name. It’s had a series of owners and, of course, Stude is gone. Their Canadian plant in Hamilton closed in 66 and what was left of the corp was swallowed up by Worthington, if I remember right. STP I think is related.

I had several Studes: bounces off the Lark and a 61: my first. Called Harvey. I didn’t name him; a girlfriend’s girlfriend did.

Ruddy shame the brand name went down in flames as it did. I met the owner of the company, before he was the owner and just the manager. He seemed a little too suspicious of me and I never saw anyone who ever had one. (The latest Avantis: the SUV was never produced for obvious reasons.)

I probably never would have bought one. Why buy something that looks like an Avanti, but has a GM or Ford drive train and is close to $100,000: more with extras? Basically a Transam, when it was GM train driven, with different body? Or a Mustang with a diff body?

From what I’ve read of the Stude SUV it would have been far better gas-wise and less ostentatious. But your power concerns may have applied.

That design is also a bit too much on the ugly end of the scale for me, and I even like the old bullet nose Studes and loved my VW Thing: so I have have a high tolerance for “ug.”

RS Janes
14 years ago

I liked the ’60s Avanti’s, but the ’50s Loewy designs were the real beauties, including the bullet-nose. It’s true, after Studebaker went out of business, the latter-day Avanti’s had GM or Ford engines and drive trains, but the Stude-made models were reliable, from what I heard. (I knew three people who owned Studes — an Avanti, a Lark and a Golden Eagle, I think it was called.)

I thought Stude was sold off, at least partially, to American Motors and they kept the Lark nameplate going for a couple of years, but I could be wrong. (I could Google it, but that would be too easy. 😉

BTW, to an earleir point — no, I don’t know why GM would dump the Olds and Saturn, which had great reputations, and keep the Buick brand. But, then, it’s easy to see why they went bankrupt, isn’t it?

I also don’t know why Toyota, or any car company, would get rid of the simple, reliable mechanical-linkage gas pedal for a more expensive computerized type that malfunctions and is no improvement on the old design. It defies explanation.

14 years ago

RS, you’re wrong – Studebaker was originally going to be part of the merger that created AMC (which was a merger of Nash and Hudson), but AMC looked at Studebaker’s finances and said “No freakin’ way”, Studebaker instead merged with Packard which was not so diligent in doing its due diligence. Studebaker’s finances allowed Curtis-Wright to buy a larger portion of the company, Curtis-Wright wanted Packard’s aircraft engine factory which also made Packard’s big new V-8 engine which Studebaker was counting on to allow them to compete with Detroit’s new big-block V-8 engines that were coming out (Studebaker had their own V-8, but it was a small block with limited ability to be expanded), and basically forced Studebaker to sell them the Packard engine factory, thereby ending any ability of Studebaker to compete in the “horsepower wars” that were then revving up. That was pretty much the death knell of Studebaker as an auto company, the board used the cash from the sale of the engine plant to swiftly diversify into other related businesses such as STP and started winding down the auto side of things starting in ’58 or so, though as mentioned elsewhere they didn’t completely cease manufacturing cars until sales dwindled to the point where it couldn’t be justified anymore because really, if you aren’t making any investments into new product and are just leveraging already-existing facilities, why not?

My mother wrecked my grandfather’s Studebaker pickup truck in 1962 or so, and I spent much of my childhood summers staring at the wreck of that pickup truck, which was sitting beside my grandfather’s barn until the late 1970’s when a collector spotted it and bought it off my grandmother. When the new Dodge Ram pickup trucks were released in the early 90’s, with their big vertical grills and their curving hoodlines, some of the older men in the community smiled and said that somewhere, the ghost of my grandfather was happy, because it looked much like the front end of the Studebaker pickup trucks that he so loved. My grandfather was forced to buy a Chevrolet pickup truck to replace that last Studebaker, because the pickup trucks were made in the South Bend plant and that plant was being shut down by that time to move the remaining Studebaker automotive production to the Canadian plant which was better sized for what few cars Studebaker was still making but did not have room for a pickup truck assembly line too. He never was happy with those Chevrolet pickup trucks, but they were what was available, and he needed a truck for the farm, so that’s what he bought from then until the end of his life.

So anyhow, that’s my personal connection to Studebakers. It’s a shame that Michael Kelly couldn’t make a go of it with his “Studebaker SUV”, but not surprising. Making cars is *hard*, which is why it takes multi-billion-dollar companies to do it.

Finally, regarding the electric throttles: All of the new cars are coming with them these days, because it is the only way to meet the latest emissions standards, it gives tighter control over the air flow so that you don’t get a sudden leaning out of the mixture when you floor the gas pedal the way you do with a mechanical throttle (which in turn results in a sudden increase in nitrous oxides emissions, since you have a surplus of nitrogen and oxygen — i.e. air — to be jammed together in the high temperature of the combustion chamber into that lung-irritating smog-creating pollutant). The other way to combat NO is to run a richer mixture to begin with, which produces the pollutant carbon monoxide due to the lack of sufficient oxygen in the mix as well as some unburnt fuel, but carbon monoxide is easily catalyzed by catalytic converters. The problem is that then you are a) wasting fuel, b) you need an air pump, and c) you’re down on power because you’re no longer completely combusting the fuel. And d) the new standards are so tight that even with this, there’s times you end up out of compliance. This approach, BTW is why the cars of the late 1970’s were so horrible on fuel economy and power and had a habit of catching fields on fire, they were pumping excess gas through their carburetors and then burning it in their catalytic converters, which got red-hot and tended to catch things on fire. Fuel injection with its tighter control of the mixture in the late 80’s largely resolved that problem, but wasn’t enough to deal with the new NO standards. So anyhow, my 2006 Jeep has a mechanical connection to the throttle plate. My friend’s 2007 Jeep has an electrically controlled throttle because it was designed to meet the new 2008 California / 2010 USA emissions standards which tightened NO further. This is a safety issue in my opinion as both a computer geek and a car geek, but one that can be dealt with. And the march of progress goes on…

Enough car geekery. I was a car geek long before I was a computer geek, I seriously considered going into mechanical engineering in college so I could design cars. But then I looked at the state of the American automotive industry in the 1980’s, and decided that was about as good a career choice as buggy whip maker would have been in the early 1900’s, because it was clear that the American automotive industry had lost its way and wasn’t going anywhere that I wanted to go. So it goes.

– Badtux the Car Geek Penguin

Ken Carman
14 years ago

Bad Tux…

Of course you’re right about Stude finances, but there’s another qualifier. The big proponent of AMC and Stude was George Mason who dreamed of combining companies to compete with GM etc. However he died, a combination of pancreatitis and pneumonia. Romney wanted nothing to do with the idea.

The Hamilton plant put mostly Chevy engines in in the end, especially after 64 when they ran out of Stude engines.

I’m actually working my way through all this: a project I’m involved having been a Stude nut since the mid-60s. I plan on visiting South Bend this Spring.

Studebaker also had a rust problem, worse than most. They were fooling around with unibody but didn’t get it right. They essentially crimped pieces of metal tohether which, of course, collect salt, sand. Ex-dealers I’ve met claimed they came off the damn truck with rust problems! Erg.

Sometimes being an innovator has its disadvantages: especially when you don’t have the finances to be one.

14 years ago

AMC (another early proponent of unibody design) had rust problems too. In AMC’s later years, the sheet metal was often rusty *before* it was assembled into cars, because the sheet metal storage warehouse where they stored the stamped parts had a leaky roof and a dirt floor and AMC could not afford to fix it. It also didn’t help that they were using mild steel rather than high-strength galvanized steel because their antiquated stamping plant could not handle the new stuff. All of the American auto makers had rust problems until they switched over to high-strength galvanized for their car bodies in the early 80s, which is why you find few older American cars on the road today from before that changeover — they all died of body rust years ago.

RS Janes
14 years ago

Badtux, fascinating post, but I’m not entirely wrong about a Stude-AMC connection; according to Wikipedia:

“Studebaker’s General Products Division, which built vehicles to fulfill defense contracts, was acquired by Kaiser Industries, which built military and postal vehicles in South Bend. In 1970, American Motors purchased the division, which still exists today as AM General.”

This must of been where I read of the AMC-Stude relationship many years ago.

Of course, I was wrong about my friend’s ‘Golden Eagle’ — it was a ‘Golden Hawk,’ made in the late ’50s. (I’m chalking both of these up to my aging memory banks, koff, koff. Now where did I put my car keys?) 😉

As far as the mechanical-linkage vs. the electronic throttle, I’m sure you’re analysis is right, but it seems like a smart engineer could devise a better mechanical throttle system that would satisfy emission standards while not burdening the car with further computerized geegaws that cause the kind of problems Toyota is currently experiencing. Speaking of which, now would be the time to buy a new Toyota — I bet they’re willing to make any kind of deal to move the inventory off the lot.

Ken Carman
14 years ago

Ironically my wife and I had an AMC Gremlin when we first got married her father bought for her the summer previous to the ceremony. Within 6 months the rust ate through the rocker panel area (If you could call it a “rocker panel:” I seem to remember it being one piece with the rest of the body.) …and we traded it for an International truck to haul stuff south. It had rust problems too but the trany on the Gremlin was making real funky noises. I could tell the drive train on the Scout was superior. It had that slant 4 that International made. If I remember right that engine right it was designed by simply taking half of one of their V8s. very reliable. The 6 on the Gremlin… eh, “OK,” but the trany was problematic.

Now the Rambler Americans her parents had seemed to fare a little better.

14 years ago

RS, the principle technological limitation is the time required for the oxygen sensors in the exhaust to heat up or cool down and thereby change their resistance based upon how much oxygen is passing past them. What this means is that throttle opening and closing, in order to meet the new NO standards, has to be done slowly enough that you don’t outrun the oxygen sensors and thereby the ability of the injectors to adjust the fuel-air mix to keep the mix within emissions bounds. There’s no way to limit the opening and closing speed if you have a direct mechanical connection. Short of some new oxygen sensor technology that can respond faster, we’re stuck with the electronically controlled throttles for the foreseeable future.

Ken, the I6 in my Jeep is a direct descendent of that I6 in your Gremlin. It’s the same basic block with a different crankshaft and piston rods to give a shorter stroke and a better-breathing cylinder head. The thing has proven reliable as a brick over the decades. Your Gremlin probably had a Chrysler’s TorqueFlite 904 automatic transmission, or if it had a manual, a Borg-Warner unit. These were generally reliable units but the rest of the car around them, as you correctly point out, was not a very good car even by 1970’s standards. The most that could be said for it is that, unlike Pintos, it did not blow up when struck from the rear, and unlike Vegas, its engine lasted more than five miles off the dealer’s lot. Faint praise, certainly, but all that the Gremlin merits.

Ken Carman
14 years ago

Ah, my 71 Pinto. Brit engine. They went German after that. Paper thin metal that practically dented if you spit on it. “White” metal door handles and window rollers. All the power of a pre-sluggish squirrel after a heavy night’s drinking. Went through at least 7 solenoids: you could see the post melt before your eyes as someone else turned it over. Now that car was real a “fine” piece of…

The day I got rid of it I had my soon to be mother-in-law tow it to the junkyard so no one else would have to suffer such consequences. Unfortunately my mo-in-law used a very, very short rope and decided she was on a race track for most of the 20 miles. Are there cursed cars? I did have an almost equally cursed Toyota Crown once. So… maybe.

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