Home » Applying Magical Thinking To More Than Just Tires: COTD

Applying Magical Thinking To More Than Just Tires: COTD


Magical thinking is something that’s interesting to think about. Psychology Today defines magical thinking as “the need to believe that one’s hopes and desires can have an effect on how the world turns.” Now, that’s some serious business and usually deals with ghosts, patterns, or the idea that if you do something a certain way, a desired outcome will happen.

Applied to cars, you might arrive at the topic of this Cold Start: the Firestone Non-Skid tire. In reality, while printing NON SKID on tires is wishful thinking, the tires probably worked OK given the state of car tires back then. None of this has stopped our hilarious readers from dreaming up other scenarios:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom


I’d like a fuel tank stamped with “never empty.”


That Michelin ad looks like it’s depicting a roadside service call from the viewpoint of Bibendum as a tech who’s tripping balls of such magnitude that he can deal a tire out of his torso like a playing card from a deck. I’m convinced that this ad contributed to the moral panic that led the French to ban absinthe in 1915.



The same approach did not bear fruit when applied to my underwear


With the mattress and cantaloupes from yesterday’s cold start, followed by the piano between bicycles, Jason’s handling simile game this week is like a meth-addled squirrel piloting a bumper car.

Oh, and Bibendum up there provides the first recorded example of a smoking tire.

I can’t stop laughing! Thank you for that. For a final COTD nomination, we go to Lewin’s story about how the Ford Godzilla V8 will be powering school buses for years to come. Rollin Hand wants to tell us a propane story, and it’s not about Hank Hill:

Ok, long propane-related story here:

My uncle was fairly high up in the Royal Canadian Air Force (he personally made the case to Trudeau the Elder to buy the F18 Hornet). At one point in his career, he was stationed in North Bay.

They had a large underground garage where the base’s trucks and vehicles were maintained. The people working in this facility were getting headaches and missing a lot of work. They figured out it was because of emissions.

The staff presented my uncle with a solution: move everything over to propane. He agreed and tried to get the OK. The RCAF said no.

My uncle, however, believed that rules were just guidelines to be skirted when suitable. So, he applied to do a study on the effects of switching everything over to propane. This got approved and he was off.

What happened? Fewer sick people, no one was getting carbon monoxide-related headaches, no change to operations — a grand success.

Then the RCAF said “Hrmf…results are interesting. We’ll review them further. Shut it down.”

At which point my uncle presented the (perhaps slightly exaggerated) cost to switch everything back.

As he expected, the Air Force balked at the cost, and the propane fleet stayed.

He always smiled when he told that story. RIP.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

(Topshot: Michelin via eBay)

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Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
24 days ago

The fact that the military balked because of costs shows the difference between the Canadian and United States military. How much do they pay for hammers in the Canadian military?

24 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Hard to get to your 2% GDP if you’re buying toilet seats from a Home Depot.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
24 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

That’s a Monel alloy non-sparking hammer with a titanium handle for the life support systems on the A-12, thank you very much!

23 days ago


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