Automotive Would You Rather: Eternally Damp Seats Or Magic Box Of Crap Edition

Wouldrather Cord

I suppose this is becoming a weekly thing now, this bit of mind-expanding cerebellum yoga that I like to call Automotive Would You Rather. I believe this is a good, healthy practice for all of us Autopians, as it lets us explore the rarely-approached conundrums of the automotive culture in a free, welcoming environment, not like when you try to bring these issues up at your local Cars and Coffee, and then everyone turns on you and starts pelting you with garbage and the occasional scissor jack.

We’re not like that. So, with that in mind, prepare to choose between these two carefully-crafted Automotive scenarios, generated by the most advanced AI system you can run on a Texas Instruments 99 4/a computer.

SCENARIO ONE: The Seats of Eternal Dampness

While attempting to change your oil filter one afternoon, you find that the filter is screwed on absurdly tight, and you can’t get a good grip on it at all. So, you decide to use the tried-and-true desperation measure of hammering a screwdriver through the whole damn thing and using the leverage of the pounded-in screwdriver handle to grip it and get it off.

Once you punctured the outer skin of the fuel filter, you hear a loud pop and woosh and a glittering miasma shoots out of the hole in the filter and congeals into a roughly humanoid-shaped cloud, perched upon your air cleaner.

The cloud tells you that it is The Oily Genie Of Filtratia, and is delighted to have been freed from that miserable canister, forced to filter out your long-overdue-for-a-change 20W-50. In thanks for its freedom, the Oily Genie will grant you the lone wish it is capable of providing: any car you touch will become yours, legally, emotionally, in every possible way!

You can go to an auto museum and lay hands on a 1936 Cord 810, and boom, it’s yours. Go to a Mercedes-Benz dealer and lean against a new EQS and all the paperwork will materialize in your hands and you can drive it home, that day. Go to a used car lot and stumble backwards into a 1977 Ford Granada that needs a new transmission and has a vinyl top that seems to have contracted mange, and it’s your problem now. You get it: you touch it, you own it.

There’s one catch, though: once you own the car, all the seats will be quite damp, even flat-out wet, for the rest of the life of the car. You can vacuum them or take a blow dryer to them or sop them up with towels, but, sadly, they will always be wet. This also means that if you touch a Bugatti Chiron and sell it, the new owner will have to deal with wet seats, too.

So, to recap: You can own any car in the world car for free, but the seats will always be very, very moist.


Enticing, right? Now let’s go to your next option:

SCENARIO TWO: The Shit You Need To Keep Your Car Running

You’ve just finished changing your oil, so you’re digging a hole behind your house to dump the used oil in, because you’re too damn lazy to take it to the auto parts store to be recycled. You really need to stop doing that.

While digging, your shovel hits something hard; you feverishly dig and scrape and free the object, a human skull, which you quickly realize is the skull of famous CHiPS actor Erik Estrada, something you deduced by the trademark mirrored aviator sunglasses and the words PROPERTY OF ERIK ESTRADA (yes, that one) IF FOUND PLEASE CALL 424.239.1050 that are inscribed on its side.

You call the number and have a conversation with Erik Estrada’s assistant who assures you that Erik will be thrilled to know his skull has been found, safe and sound, and he should be there within the hour to collect it, and please don’t mention anything about his floppy-looking head, which desperately needs its skull back.

Precisely 58 minutes later you hear a sonic boom and see a figure in a parachute gliding down to your yard. It’s Erik Estrada, his misshapen head mostly hidden under a helmet. He shakes your hand and greedily grabs the skull, flinging the sunglasses to the ground before retreating behind a tree, where you hear sickening squishing and cracking noises.

A few minutes later, Estrada emerges, looking hale and handsome, adjusting the angle of his jaw, and beaming a 1,000-watt smile in your direction.

He thanks you profusely, and tells you that you have a reward coming. He pulls a velveteen sack from his pants and removes an amulet, which he places around your neck. You can feel it warmly pulsing against your chest with a strange, powerful energy.

Erik tells you that this amulet has the power to repair any car, in nearly any condition, via powerful dark magic. It can reconstitute rusty panels, materialize missing hoses and belts and other parts, re-hone cylinders, eliminate electrical gremlins, you name it. And all it needs to work is one pound of your stools, in an open box.

Yes, if you defecate while wearing the amulet, and accumulate one pound of enchanted feces, then place the feces in an open box, and then place that box somewhere inside the passenger cabin of a car, the car will, again, via dark magic, become fully repaired.

The fecal box will also be able to prevent damage from happening to the car while the box is in there and the feces is potent – which is, generally, for about a month. Then the feces needs to be replaced. But, this works for crash damage, too: if there’s a box of still-active magic shit in the car, dents will pop out, paint will re-form, scratches will heal, and glass will um, unshatter. It’s really amazing to see.

So, to recap: shit while you’re wearing the Estrada Amulet, and one pound of that shit will repair and protect any car you place it in, for about a month. Refill as often as desired, for as many cars as you want. You could open a car repair shop, as long as you can convince your clients to just deal with a one-pound box of human shit in their car.


Okay, so those are the scenarios! It’s time to vote!


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86 Responses

  1. I owned a Ti 99/4a computer many years ago. The most amazing thing about it was a line from the owner’s manual, which said something like (paraphrased decades after last seeing it): “You can add an 8K memory expansion module bringing the total RAM to 16K, but if proper coding techniques are used in creating programs, no home computer should ever need more than 16 K of memory.”

    1. “…do I get to choose when my touch powers activate?” Nope. Does it have wheels? Did you touch it? You own it. And you will need to own a sizable chunk of the company that makes Depends.

  2. Oh, I chose the moist seats option. For one, Moist is my favorite Henchman from Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog. Secondly, I figure as long at the seats are leather, it wouldn’t be much different from driving any car in the perpetually damp climes of either the Southeastern or Northwestern U.S. I could put up with that for the right car, such as the dual-supercharged 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake ( As an open-top sportster, having damp seats be nice when driving it around on a hot summer day.

  3. Box of shit. Not because it’s useful (it isn’t) but because you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to. The other one is basically a Midas Touch scenario—I don’t actually *want* to own a Hino 195, a company-branded Leaf, my fiancee’s Prius, all the Ford Transits and beat-up Prii my company operates, my parents’ cars, etc. It sounds like a pain in the ass to take ownership of every car I touch, nor do I want to go about my day wearing a Zentai suit lest I accidentally brush up against a stranger’s vehicle and deprive them of their sole means of transportation.

    Both of these “blessings” suck, but only
    one is an actual curse in disguise. I’ll take the box of shit, and just not do the whole shitting-in-a-box thing, which will be easy because I already don’t.

    1. I read it that you only get one car, but this scenario is equally cursed.

      I’d take the box. You’re restricted to any car that’s actually available, but there’s also barn finds and crapcans you could get for minimal cost (and probably the gratitude of the ex-owner) that would be fixed in an instant. And you get the freedom of choice.

      Explaining an open box of Henry the thirds wouldn’t be easy and little difficult to live with, but they’re removable at least. Damp seats are forever.

  4. Well…
    I like to play on variable-traction surfaces-and I’ve damn near shit myself doing it-so option 2 for me.

    Mind you, my 3-legged dog gets flung about a bit while I play, so I might have to secure that there open box of shit inside another container to keep him from becoming fouled. That container might accidentally be airtight

  5. The seat damp would be easier to live with, I think. You may end up having to wear waders every time you drive, but you’d probably get used to that soon enough. Alternately, a few of those dog-proof seat covers might do the trick. I assume even in a situation where you could prevent your person from direct contact with the damp, mildew and interior damage would still be an issue, but rinse/repeat with whichever car tickles your fancy at the moment the previous whip becomes a health hazard.

    For option #2, that would be a hell of an insurance policy if you were interested in longterm ownership of, say, a w12 Phaeton or v10 TDI tuareg, or similar rolling box of pain. Going with this option would require some extreme dietary experimentation (and a generous subscribe and save order of poopouri) to minimize the yuck factor.

  6. I’m trying to think logically about this utter nonsense.. I’m gonna go with the wet seats. At least if you have a passenger you can provide them with a garbage bag and say like ‘sorry, the window seals suck on this thing’ but there’s not really an excuse for a literal box of shit that people would be like ‘oh, okay, makes sense’.

  7. You can always buy new seats, but an open box of crap in a car is not going to do well if you ever have a passenger, or get brake checked, go around a turn or gods forbid wreck your car. Just an airbag full of shit going off ala men at work? No thanks, I’ll bring a vinyl seat cover and buy new seats when I sell the car.

    1. Yes, because every single article on that site is pure 24k gold, right? They would never stoop to lazy listicles, reposting old, irrelevant content, or screenshotting user comments to avoid having to do actual writing.

      (that was sarcasm, for the record)

  8. I’m really not that squeamish or uptight (which is exactly what someone who is squeamish and uptight would say), but enough with the shit/scat/poop/feces/dung references. It’s all over the site and kinda comes across as infantile. Sorry, just not a big fan of coprophilia.

    Of course, that’s just my opinion, which could be full of crap.

      1. When I find something in The Morning Dump interesting and share with a friend, I always share the link to the source article because The Morning Dump is such a bad name that I don’t want to be associated with it by sharing it.

        1. Is it a cultural thing in North America to feel demeaned by this stuff? I didn’t originally see the toilet humour behind the name until I clicked through – just thought of it in ‘news dump’ terms – but even so it’s hardly something I would expect an actual friend to think less of me over.

      2. Aw, don’t try TOO hard. I’m a perfectly respectable grown-ass adult with a job and matching shoes and everything, and I personally judge Torch’s mastery of the scatological evocation to be the highest height of highbrow hilarity, and one of the reasons I love this site so much.

        Butts, and the things that come out of them, are endlessly, eternally amusing.

  9. I think we’re missing a critical piece of information: Does the box of shit need to remain in the car? If you remove it, does the car revert to its pre-shit condition, or does it stay fixed/restored?

    1. Everything hinges on the answer to this. If the feces need to stay in the car, that limits the selection to convertibles only. No way I’m going to swoop with my troop in my coupe and some poop!

      1. Ah. Well, it’s still useful in emergency situations. Break down on a trip? Drop a load and make it home, then fix it for real. Would be useful for getting non-running project cars home as well.

        And wet seats are just unpleasant. Ok, box of poop it is.

      2. Alright I have to ask this,
        If you have a SHITBOX, does it continue being a SHITBOX, IF YOU REMOVE THE BOX OF SHIT?

        Does it continue being a SHITBOX, if you keep the box of shit.. in vehicle?

        NOW, as a hooman who is harboring another hooman (also called a Father with a son aka a 50TON WRECKER, towing a 90T trailer), I know my tiny hooman can make a MASSIVE DOOKIE. Am I allowed to “use” his DOOKIE to further my automotive exploits? I mean, either I use them for my uses, or I risk backing up the toilet again and being contacted by the Federales!

        ALSO, at what point can I put ENOUGH of those car wash scent trees to make my car.. NOT SMELL LIKE 1lb of human feces?!

        Inquiring minds… are inquiring.

  10. Poop, all the way. For one, I live with certain… conditions, which makes keeping that box full particularly ready.

    Secondly, the poop box is full of loopholes. Go to a scrapyard, get a seat from your dream car, and put the box on it. Boom, your car regrows magically. Just re-title and have at it. If it gets busted up, put in a fresh box and remove.

  11. Arnie Cunningham would still be alive today if he just kept a box of shit in Christine instead of getting mixed up in all that demonic possession. Hell, he probably wouldn’t have even noticed Buddy Repperton’s crap on his dashboard, because the car would have already fixed itself by the time he got there. It would have been an entirely different story altogether.

  12. Choose the damp seats, take possession of a bunch of cars, and then start a global charity providing people with eternally self-replenishing water sources. All you need is a little work to squeeze the water out of the seats. The water never runs out, the cars can be easily transported from place to place – this could basically solve any drought or water crisis. If we could get some manufacturers to work with me – design new “vehicles” that are basically just a stool mounted to a skateboard, sign over to me technical documents giving me ownership of the factory, and we can manufacture millions of these handy water fountains for minimal cost. Perhaps, with a little work, someone could figure out how to convert the creation of water out of nothing into clean energy. Thinking even bigger, with some work, we could even start to terraform Mars.

    This is, of course, the curse of a mischievous genie, so no doubt it’ll eventually be revealed that this violation of the laws of thermodynamics will have horrible long-term consequences – but that feels like a future-me problem.

    1. I see a Humanitarian of the Year award coming your way.

      You could also use the power for evil. Take posession of the cars of your enemies and then quickly and quietly transfer ownership back to them before they notice.

  13. Wait – think what you could accomplish for the classic car industry with just a colonoscopy prep.

    There’s some true societal benefits here that can be realized with a simple “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” philosophy applied to our daily hygiene routines.

    Places like the Lane Motor Museum could wipe out all their budget concerns and simultaneously revive everything in their collection if there were an admission option along the lines of “$12 or one turd per adult, children free with dirty diaper”.

    You’re welcome.

  14. Definitely the box of feces. If it causes the vehicle to repair currently existing damage, that damage doesn’t instantly reoccur if you take it out (or at least that’s not explicitly stated). So just put it in the car for a few minutes when it needs something fixed, then take it right back out. Not as helpful after getting in an accident if it needs the repairs to limp home, but a small price to pay for the best of both worlds.

  15. Two Words: Tupper Ware! (Thupppt!!! Steel good!). Option 2 fo-sho! Seal that shit up!
    Especially when I have a FJ-55 land cruiser, a 1950 Merc pick-up and a 1985 4-Runner (w/ solid axels).
    One duce a day (say .5 lbs) = 1 lb every 2 days x 3 = one week of poo = one month of (used to be) very rusty vehicles running as they were intentionally designed. 😀
    OR…. I could move out to the rust belt, open a shop and sell shit and make millions! You can’t tell me you wouldn’t pay MONEY to even FIND a car you could wrench on without it falling to little bitty pieces out there. (Torch, you can’t tell me you wouldn’t choose option 2 based off all the shit you brought into your shop, (let alone the shit you sent out!).
    Now… if you had said that it’s the SMELL that keeps the rust at bay… well… I’d probably have to go with the moist seats. 🙁

  16. Wet seats for sure. A previous boss and fellow car-guy was amazed at how often I manage to find exotics in the wild… I had a Bugatti pull up next to me at a Shell once, and then got caught in traffic with 2 Aventadors on the way home, I couldn’t make out the specifics of the yellow one which passed me before I could get my phone out, but there was a black SVJ right behind him.
    It would be nice to have a better use than to tell my (mostly uninterested in cars) friend group “I saw a cool car today” for my superpower.

  17. After a couple of difficult shitbox showdowns, I was more primed for this lighthearted article than I thought.

    The Eric Estrada part had me laughing out loud!

    I thought the actual shit box scenario was safer. I missed the part about it needing to stay in the car before I voted, but I’ll live with that.

    1. If the parts store is 10 miles away, and there’s a field next to your house, you’d be surprised how fast you can make a hole with a post-hole digger. Though when I was a kid, long ago and far away, we didn’t bother with the hole. Just don’t pour it where you’ll step in it. If you dug a hole, you might run into the arsenic insecticide some farmer had buried in 1933.

  18. With some nice wood bead seat covers and well fitted dear skin gloves I’ll rock the oil filter genie scenario.

    At my old place of work all the higher ups did next to nothing and all owned expensive luxury cars while the workers on the factory floor busted ass all day and drove shit boxes.
    My first stop with my new power. Gonna go back and even that up a bit.

    There’s an undercurrent of moral code beneath the surface of these crazy questions. That’s basically a superpower to steal the oily genie gave me.
    Now how can I use it for good? How can I not become a terrible person. The damp seats barely even matter.

  19. If I were to pick the wet seats, could I remove the seat cushions seal them in a plastic bag then put another layer of fabric around that? So the seats remain wet but that humidity doesn’t escape the bag and rust the car from the passenger compartment out?

    1. Not how genie magic works. (They’re actually demons, you know). New seats? Instantly wet. Covers? Samesies. The magic is just *there* and cannot be covered up or circumvented. Only way out is find the genie, and do whatever vile, unconscionable thing it demands to reverse.

  20. Learning that the box of crap is constantly needed to improve your crapbox makes it a little worse, although I assume there are mitigating factors you could use (well-sealed boxes, placed somewhere outside the cabin).

    On the other hand, every single car you touch is yours, presumably forever, and with no mention of how to get rid of them? That could end poorly very quickly, trying to find parking for a bunch of damp cars you don’t want.

  21. I would be both the greatest and shittiest demo derby champion in history.

    And the great thing about the poop box is its diagnostic uses. Not sure if that vibration is an out of balance tire, suspension or steering issue? One box fill later and you’re taking a quick glance to see which parts changed before placing your order and disposing of said diagnostic device.

  22. Having been a biker for many years, I can assure all of you that a wet seat is no big deal if you know how to dress. And you would only need half of what you need on a motorcycle ( tidbit: Krad in old German as in Kraft Rad or powered wheel). Just wear the bottoms and have a bag of towels handy.

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