1. Monday November 22, 2010: This piece has been circulating via chain e-mails, etc. for a couple of months. The humor's pretty dark, but they say that Time + Tragedy = Comedy, so maybe it'd be tolerable or at least understandable a commemoration of the 47th anniverserary of Kennedy's assassination. It purports to be a translation of a Japanese trade publication linking Toyota's floormat mishaps to JFK's assasination.
Happy Times Good News Express
9 August 2010
Toyota Perfects Floor Mat Technology
Toyota City, Aichi, Japan
In a news conference held Monday at Toyota’s central headquarters, a small ray of sunshine broke through the dark clouds that had hung over the automotive giant in recent months: Toyota’s engineering department has perfected floor mat technology.
“We at Toyota have learned a very deep and valuable lesson from the regrettable incidents of the past year,” said Director of Public Relations Ken Kawatakana, referring to a series of worldwide recalls effecting over 10 million vehicles. “Our shame was great and we have accepted full responsibility for the defects, as unforeseen as slippage of floor mats beneath the accelerator pedal may have been for the postgraduate degree holders in our engineering department. However, today we are pleased to announce the perfection of this technology which will once and for all guarantee a safer driving experience for future generations of Toyota customers and their families.”
Launching into a three-hour Power Point ™ presentation, Vice President of Engineering Dr. Katsuo Ibani then recounted the history of floor mat technology as well as a broad outline of the new technology to a hand-picked corps of automotive industry reporters.
Although the controversy surrounding Toyota’s previous floor mat configurations had been bitter and embarrassing, it is hardly the first, though it may have received the most publicity. As Dr. Ibani’s presentation pointed out, recently declassified military dossiers from the old Soviet Union point to the likelihood that floor mat slippage in Russian tanks may have been a precipitating factor in the accidental running over of scores of dissident Czechs in the wake of the Prague Spring protests of 1968. And the United States has not been immune either: Digitally enhanced analyses of the Zapruder film conducted under Dr. Ibani’s direction reveal the possibility that the 1963 death of President John F. Kennedy is as likely to have been the result of the cheap $2 driver’s side floor mats purchased from a Detroit-area wholesaler as it is that the President was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald or the mysterious “grassy knoll” gunman.
While technical specifications of the new Toyota floor mat design have not been released due to the highly proprietary nature of the design, a simplified narrative explanation was provided to the reporters in attendance. “In layman’s terms,” said Dr. Ibani, “the new design involves a revolutionary paradigm shift in our understanding of friction. Applying the latest university discoveries in the emergent fields of ‘frictology’ (i.e., a rarified subset of physics investigating the role of friction in the motion of physical objects) and adhesigenisis (i.e., an until-now purely theoretical exploration of the manner in which so-called ‘sticky’ objects reduce mobility), we have engineered subtle changes to the surface of the driver’s side floor panels as well as the surface areas and lateral dimensions of the mats themselves.”
Toyota shares shot up 15% in late trading upon release of the information.