Egads, it’s been so long since we’ve had a real, genuine Automotive Would You Rather! It’s 2023, a year I thought was a prime-number year until I actually checked, which means it’s the ideal time to get back into the hypothetical and ethical mud wrestling that is Would You Rather. This week we’re going to ease back into things in a gentle sort of way, with consciousness-swapping and drug-induced crimes. Let’s jump right in, dammit, what do you want, a cake asking you to please, read on, written in frosting, and the cake is shaped like a DKW Schnellaster, and the inside is red velvet cake? Because that sounds good.
SCENARIO ONE: The Genie of the Fuse
There’s a huge storm out as you’re driving around, with so much lightning flashing in the sky so you feel like a teen pop idol walking down the carpet to the MTV music awards, paparazzi all in your face. Your shitbox sputters and stalls, forcing you to pull onto the shoulder and brave the soaking rain to see what the hell is going on.
You smell burning electrical smells, so you pop off the under-hood fusebox cover, where you see some wisps of smoke arising. As you peer into the smoky box, filled with multicolored fuses that look like a bunch of Jolly Ranchers shoved into tiny slots, a determined bolt of lightning strikes the top of your open car hood, sending gigawatts of electricity through your hand, body, and into the fusebox.
You’re knocked on your ass, stunned, and see a partially melted fuse in your fingertips. Out of the fuse curls a glowing green tendril of smoke, which soon forms into a strange, nearly humanoid figure.
“I am Gary, Genie of the 15 amp fuse!” bellows the figure, vaporous arms raised. “Your body provided the conduit to the power I needed to be free! For your service and sacrifice of your eyebrows, you shall be rewarded!”
“With a wish of my choice?” you ask, so excited you forget how much pain you’re in.
“Ha ha ha no! That’s lamp genie shit. Automotive fuse genies can only do one thing: let you transfer your consciousness into any car, and then re-materialize wherever that car ends up!”
“Uh, I’m not so sure I really wan–”
“IT IS DONE,” bellows the genie, who then disappears with a wet pop, leaving you confused and smoldering by the side of the road.
Over the next few days you learn about your new power: you can walk up to any car, and, by staring at it, find your mind and body transferred into the car itself. You see the world from the car’s perspective, you feel and hear the people inside, feel stuff shoved into your trunk, you sense the speed and the intoxicating flavor of gas or battery-electricity, but you still have to go where you’re driven. When you arrive, you can will yourself back into human form, with your clothes relatively intact, as a bonus.
You can use your power to get places, you can feel what it means to be a car, and that’s incredible. It makes you a better driver, and you learn so much about suspensions and power delivery, because you feel it. Also, you hear all kinds of crazy conversations.
SCENARIO TWO: Oysters And Weird Scabs
You’re driving around when you see a food truck that sells oysters. That’s a pretty unusual thing to see, and you’re so intrigued that you completely forget about your incredibly severe allergies to oysters. Plus, their mascot, a very sexy oyster, kinda hooked you in. You pull over on the side of the road, spraying gravel like a massive mineral spit-take, leap from your car and order a huge bucketful of oysters. You greedily suck them down like a starving otter, and then immediately swell up like an oozing zeppelin right there on the side of the road. You flop down, staring at someone’s old Porsche 928 there in the parking lot across from you. It’s terrifying to see, your reddened, pulsating body, which is why you’re thankful when the oyster vendor leaps from the truck and injects you with a hypodermic needle, which provides instant relief.
The swelling goes down in moments, and the oyster vendor seems pleased that he was able to save your life. Of course, there is a price, and you see it forming on your forearm, moments after the Oyster Vendor yanked out the syringe: a red, key-like shape rising like a hive. In a few painful moments, the hive grows more solid, and forms a dense scab.
You’ve never seen anything quite like it. The Oyster Vendor smiles wide, locks eyes with you, and quickly rips the scab off your skin. You yelp in pain, rubbing your forearm, and watch as the Oyster Man puts the scab-key into the door of the Porsche 928, gets in, and starts the car. He circles the parking lot and stops by you. The window rolls down and he speaks:
“First, you’re welcome. Second, we’re in business together now, my friend! I saved your life with this anti-oysterdeath serum, but a side effect of it is that you will now grow a painful but fully functional scab-key for any car you stare at, intently. As payment for saving your life, I will occasionally call upon you to grow scab keys for me, for cars I may want. And, of course, you can do it for any cars you want, too! Keep them if you like, or bring them to me and I’ll sell them for you (taking only a 14% cut) and, best part, aside from the stealing part, it’s all nice and legal!”
You’re a bit stunned, but the serum seems to have affected your thinking, too, because this seems like maybe an okay deal. Take any car you want? And, it seems, you can actually grow working scab electronic key fobs, too? How the hell does that work? This is some powerful magic.
Okay, so what’s it going to be? Which ridiculous, sort of biological-adjacent scenario do you want to be a part of?