Tapping road rage for fuel efficiency

Yesterday, The Onion posted audio about “New, Anger Powered Cars” and I thought “I’ve heard this one before.”

A quick web search let me to this page from 2004 with the identical headline and the same $2 per gallon gas prices (!). It’s still a marvelous observation on our attitudes about driving.

“By drawing a significant percentage of its motive power from the unbridled temper of the American motorist, the new anger-powered car will change, or at least take mechanical advantage of, the way Americans drive,” General Motors vice-chairman Robert A. Lutz said. “We plan to have these furiously efficient machines careening down America’s highways, byways, and sidewalks within two years.”

As early as 1984, they began to look for ways to take advantage of the limitless supply of bad temper generated daily by American drivers—outrage currently vented wastefully into dashboards, steering wheels, and passengers.

An engine burning clean, white-hot hatred will release few harmful byproducts into the atmosphere — bad vibes and a small amount of water vapor will combine to be released in the form of human spittle. In addition, anger technology will turn the standard fuel-economy paradigm on its head: An anger-powered engine is actually more efficient in heavy urban traffic.


A lot less funny: Shareef Allman apparently began yesterday’s shooting spree in Cupertino after his union shop steward confronted Allman about his dangerous driving at the cement plant where he worked.

The rampage came less than a week after [union leader Mike] Ambrosio confronted Allman, telling him that as his union shop steward, he would no longer represent him to management over the numerous safety violations he was accused of committing.

“He’s had so many accidents,” Ambrosio said. “He was an unsafe driver.” Ambrosio said Allman had turned over a truck and snagged overhead wires when he left the truck bed in the air.

Last Thursday, Ambrosio told Allman that “no one has ever had so many accidents in the company like you have.”

Ambrosio set up a meeting Monday morning with management, telling officials that Allman’s safety record was so bad, his driving so reckless, that “the workers weren’t safe.”

Company officials, Ambrosio said, responded by encouraging his fellow drivers to document any further problems.

“The workers were tired of complaining and the company not doing anything,” Ambrosio said.

Allman was shot and killed by police in Sunnyvale early this morning.

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