Imagine this. You go to buy a new car. The dealer proudly shows you the latest Hyutishi Monarch D’Elegance;it’s sparkling, chrome highlights everywhere and looks like a million dollars. You open the door and slide into the seat, the smell of finest fake leather envelops you and makes your head spin. You reach out to caress the polished wooden steering wheel and…
…you find yourself holding two handles suitable for steering a tank.
As you examine the controls further you notice other alarming unfamiliarities. No friendly push buttons to control the windows and stereo;here you find little flip switches that you have to flick one way or another and then manually flick back to the neutral setting to (hopefully) stop them at the right point.
No easy radial dials where you’d expect them either. Instead you have clunky push buttons that change the setting by one step at a time.
Then worst of all, you look down to where the pedals should be and… nothing! There are no pedals at all. The accelerator is a twist grip hand control on one of the “tank steering handles” and the brakes… oh yes, they’re activated by turning your head to a 35 degree angle and doing an impersonation of a nodding dog.
Wait! There is one pedal there – you press it hoping for some sense of order to be restored, only to find your stomach churning as the windshield wipers come on.
“What kind of crazy son-of-a-motherless-car-designer came up with this?”you ask the now sheepish-looking salesperson.
“Didn’t you hear the news? General Detroit Cars won their lawsuit on people copying the steering wheel and pedals for controlling cars. If you want anything like that you have to buy their products.”
“That’s insane! This is just basic standard stuff that everyone is familiar with. How the hell can GDC get away with claiming it owns such basic things?”
“Ask the U.S. courts,” the salesperson mutters. “Show yourself out.”
You shake your head and head for the door, only to find there’s no handle. You push on one side or another to no avail, no signs of buttons or any other opening mechanism is in sight. Only a large rubber knob to one side.
The salesperson calls out from his office where he’s downing vodka from a large bottle.
“I guess you didn’t hear about the American Door Fixture Companies victory on door handles either.” He grimaces. “Bend over, drop your pants and reverse onto the rubber plug.”