Automotive Would You Rather: Magic Fish Or Magic Movie Edition

Wouldrather Fish

It’s a Friday before a holiday weekend, which means that, by law, nothing truly serious or productive can occur right now. That’s fine by me, because it’s a flimsy excuse for me to do another Autopian Would You Ratherand you know how much I love doing those. Besides, David is getting ready for a trip to Germany to see his family, so he can’t stop me! It’s perfect! Let’s do it!

Okay, so for this Automotive Would You Rather, I’m going to give you two scenarios to pick from, each involving some special car-related power and some manner of difficult trade-off. So be ready to really think here. Limber up those brains. Rub that cerebrum down with Astroglide. Ready? Here we go!

SCENARIO ONE: The Magic Fish

You go to the auto parts store to get a few gallons of coolant to refill your radiator, because you’re overheating and you suspect it’s because you’ve been patching hoses with Fruit Roll-Ups and they’re just not holding up. As you open the big jug and start to decant the coolant into your engine, you remember that, hey, your car is a 1971 VW Squareback and has no radiator, and you’re just filling the trunk with liquid. Oh, you!

You’re pissed you made this mistake again, but as you look down to see how much you have to clean up, you realize the trunk is now full of vivid blue liquid and dozens, at least 60 or so, gleaming golden fish, all swimming around. You reach out to touch one, to confirm that they are, in fact, real, when all of a sudden you hear a booming voice, broadcast directly into your brain. The voice says:

WE ARE THE PESCATORIANS, AN ANCIENT RACE OF MAGIC FISH, TRAPPED FOR 500 YEARS IN THAT JUG. PLEASE DO NOT ASK WHY A COOLANT JUG IS FIVE CENTURIES OLD! DOING SO IS A GRAVE INSULT TO OUR PEOPLE!

BECAUSE YOU HAVE FREED US, WE ARE BOUND TO PROVIDE YOU WITH OUR POWER: IF YOU TAKE ONE OF US INTO YOUR MOUTH, WE WILL MATERIALIZE A WONDERFUL AUTOMOBILE FOR YOU TO USE, BUT IT WILL ONLY EXIST AS LONG AS ONE OF US REMAINS IN YOUR MOUTH.

WE EACH REPRESENT A DIFFERENT, BUT EQUALLY FANTASTIC CAR. I MYSELF AM A LAMBORGHINI MIURA. KEITH OVER THERE IS A LANCIA STRATOS. CASSANDRA IS A JENSEN INTERCEPTOR, MILES IS A PERFECT STERLING, DAGMAR IS A FIRST-GEN TWINGO, AND SO ON. USE US AS OFTEN AS YOU LIKE BUT REMEMBER: IF WE LEAVE YOUR MOUTH, THE CAR DISAPPEARS IMMEDIATELY. IF YOU SWALLOW US, IT IS GONE FOREVER!

USE THIS POWER WITH CAUTION! GODSPEED!

So, for this, you have your choice of dozens of perfect, interesting cars you can drive anywhere, do anything with, as long as you keep a smallish fish in your mouth the whole time. That may sound unpleasant, but if you have a jar of water with you, you’d never have to worry about parking! Just spit out the fish when you stop, plop it in the jar, and pop it back in!

Of course, you can’t talk to your passengers, can’t sing, can’t really relax because if you swallow or spit out that fish while at speed, you’ll likely end up dead.

Okay! That’s the first scenario! Here’s the next one:

SCENARIO TWO: The Magic Movies

You’re looking for a new head unit for your car, and you find an ad for one for sale on Craigslist, and it seems perfect: brand new, still in box, all the features you want, like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, PalmOne CarConnect, all that. And it’s dirt cheap. You go to the address given to you by the seller, and he texts you to just open the door and come in.

When you open the door, you find an empty room with a lone, wizened old man clutching a still shrink-wrapped box with the head unit, sitting on a worn leathern ottoman. You hand him your money, he hands you the box, then seizes your arm with a shocking strength and intensity.

“This head unit,” he croaks, “she has powers far beyond your comprehension.”

Responding to your puzzled face and significant amounts of confusion-drool, the old man continues:

“Insert a movie on DVD into this device, pause it on an image of a car, any car in the movie, touch the car on the screen with the tip of your moistened tongue, and this car will transform into a perfect replica of the one from the film! Completely functional, with all the capabilities portrayed in the motion picture! If ye pick Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the car will fly! If you pick a Batmobile, it will have all the bat-powers! The DeLorean from Back To The Future can travel in time, which likely will cause all kinds of problems! Actually, let’s say that one won’t work, because, come on. If you pick the Dude’s Torino from The Big Lebowski, it will smell like it had been used as a restroom!”

The old man paused, and looks into your eyes, deeply.

“But be aware: when you choose a car from a movie, that movie will cease to exist from human culture! No copies will remain, no one will remember it, not even you! It will be gone!”

And with that the old man leaps up, explodes into a massive spray of what seems to be Hormel chili, and he’s gone.

You’re holding the head unit, and you have a closet full of DVD movies.

 

Okay! So, what’s it gonna be? Magic fish in the mouth to materialize all sorts of incredible cars, or have any car from any movie, as long as you don’t mind erasing that movie forever! Vote! Comment! Live, dammit, live!

Quiz Maker

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76 Responses

  1. Having to drive with a fish in my mouth versus Movie Box? Movie box. This crowd has it right, erasing some of movie history mistakes has no downsides.

    Now, where does this car materialize? Rules say it does not dissappear, ever. So, you could pick the death star right and live in it forever? Please tell me you could pick the death star?

    1. Park that shit in orbit and you could declare yourself Emperor of the world. Just make sure to put some rebar grating over that small thermal exhaust port right below the main one. Don’t want somebody with a proton torpedo to ruin all your fun.

  2. Anime fan here. Got a couple perfect angles on the “Movie” angle: 1) the OAV “Goddamn!”. The car is a fictitious rally car, the Misawa Laredo GTI. As an anime the show is mediocre and too loaded with national stereotyping to “fly” with a U.S. audience, and AFAIK it didn’t even have much of a Japanese audience. And I’m thinking if the OAV went away the manga (graphic novel) it was based on would survive!
    2) the unfinished TV anime “Galvion”. The hero car is a two seat GTP racer that transforms into a robotlike fighting vehicle. The series was a disaster that got cancelled while still in its first act narrativewise and the tone was horribly inconstant with poor production values. And it gave the plastic model world the BREAST CHASER robot. Tell me that doesn’t DESERVE blotting from collective memory.

  3. There are plenty of shit movies with cool cars. Easy.

    So let’s start by getting rid of all the F&Fs.
    How about Demolition Man next?
    The Wraith? Okay, I’ve gone too far. Those cars are mostly shit, and it is a cult movie with a good Ozzy go-fast song.

  4. Jason, how did you know that I wanted a way to erase the F&F series from people’s memory IN ITS ENTIRETY.

    And I’d get …nine…? [holy **** there’s been nine already….] decent cars out of it. Every car would take 40 seconds to complete the quarter mile, but I digress…

    1. I’m thinking the Elysium Bugatti (it totally counts as a car, and the movie isn’t that good anyway). Will I be able to legally “drive” it? Will I be able to get gas for it? Who knows, flying Bugatti!

  5. Wait, you mean I get a transforming automobile, AND I get to erase all trace of Transformers from history? By making the transformations real, I remove the excessive suspension of belief that makes me hate the movies, but in doing so, I remove the movies themselves…

    Meh, no downside at all.

    Where do I sign?

  6. The fish in mouth requirement makes that option too dangerous to be useful. Otoh, being able to erase stupid movies from cultural consciousness *and* getting a car out of it is the sort of thing that could drive someone mad with power. What would happen if you just Thanosed a franchise out of existence?

  7. So if you crash the fish-car and the impact causes you to swallow the fish, you’re left flying forward completely unprotected into the way of traffic/a tree/a wall with nothing to save you.

    I’ll take the head unit.

  8. According to imcdb.org there is an Aston Martin vanquish and a Ferrari 360 spider in the remake of the Italian Job. Getting either one of those would just be the icing on the cake for eliminating that horrible movie.

  9. The decision is pretty easy, I’d have to go with the movie head unit since I’m sure there are lots of bad movies with excellent cars… I haven’t seen them, I try to avoid bad movies.

    That said, it’s 5am and I haven’t been able to sleep, I want to do an unnecessarily deep dive into our fictional 71 Squareback owner, as I happen to be a non-fictional 72 Squareback owner.

    For the sake of this stupid argument, let’s shift to the third person “he/they” rather than assuming I or you is the “you” in Torch’s tale.

    There are two mysteries to uncover: which lines they were repairing with fruit roll ups, and which hole they poured the magic fish coolant into.

    The former is easy enough to decipher, as there aren’t many fluid lines in that engine bay. There are air hoses, which one could possibly fix with some fruit roll ups and zip ties (I have one held onto it’s post by a rubber band. Holds vacuum better than any other air hose on the engine), but the only hoses carrying fluid are the fuel lines… while I’ve never tested the reaction of corn syrup and gasoline, I’d imagine the two don’t mix well, hence explaining why they leak. Though I’d assume this person would have noticed the leak with their nose even before they noticed it with their eyes… perhaps that’s a bold assumption from someone fixing fuel lines with candy…

    The latter is also easy to deduce, but hard to decipher. There’s really no other hole in the trunk that accepts fluid. Right on the back, there’s a cap that comes on and off with a half twist, revealing the oil filler tube and dipstick. But apart from the fact that pulling the dipstick out would show oil (or maybe it wouldn’t if this haphazard mechanic was more worried about the Squareback’s cooling problem than the oil), the cap also has the word “oil” on it, as well as the VW logo. That’s a pretty good sign that’s not where the coolant goes… but now I’m wondering where the fish went…

    If our good-hearted, bad-brained tinkerer poured the fish down that oil filler tube, the only logical place to put fluid to someone who doesn’t know/remember where coolant goes on their 71 Square, they’d be bathing in the oil pan at the bottom of the engine and impossible to see. You wouldn’t be able to count 60 of them swimming around… the story, however, suggests that this guy poured the coolant into the “trunk.” So did he just lather the engine in fluid from the outside and let it drip onto the floor, killing most of the fish in the process? Or was the engine cover on and he simply poured fluid in the trunk like someone would pour top soil in the bed of a truck?

    To make a long and pointless story short, this whole 71 Squareback scenario poses more questions than it answers, and the fact that this fictional maroon has access to a car, whether it’s an air-cooled VW or whatever fish-powered supercar it may be, frightens me.

    This exercise was supposed to put me to sleep, not keep me up all night!

    1. I think if you’re clueless enough to put coolant in an air-cooled VW, you’re clueless enough to look for the engine up front, and not recognize that there’s no engine, and fill up the washer bottle with fish. But what do I know?

  10. Head unit. You gave me an easy out stating that I also wouldn’t remember the movie. Nice car, no regrets. There’s lots of bad movies with good cars so I don’t see a downside.
    Holding a fish in my mouth? The very thought makes my insides want to come outside.

  11. Hold on.. I think I’ve got this.
    I’m gonna go with the head unit scenario. I’m picking the back to the future Delorean, and going back in time to before I read this nonsense article.

    I’m gonna do it with a goldfish in my mouth to cover all bases.

  12. Maybe I’m too late, but I think I have the perfect solution:
    1) buy a camera
    2) shoot some bullshit movie near a Bugatti showroom. Make sure to have it on frame long enough to see the cars.
    3) release that crap on YouTube (juust to be sure in case it needs an audience in order to qualify)
    4) burn it on dvd
    5) Rinse, repeat, profit!

  13. Despite the oral fixation of needing to luck everything I am the movie pick who cares if a movie dissapears.
    However with the fish create the car sell it someone. After the check clears take out the fish and take your old beater back. And repeat.

    1. Cop: “Do you know why I pulled you over sir?”
      You: “Look over there!” *points* then spits fish out when the officer turns around
      Cop turns back, to find you just sat on the side of the road, with no car.
      You: “So why did you pull over officer?”

  14. This is an absolute no brainer. Do you have any idea how many horrible movies with great cars there are? I think my first movie would be Redline. You could chose a Ferrari Enzo, Saleen S7 Twin Turbo, Koenigsegg CCR, Ford GT, Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster or a Mercedes SLR McLaren and I doubt anyone would miss that movie.

  15. I was thinking ‘what monster would choose to steal from our culture to have a cool car’, but then I remembered The Batman. Definitely better off as a sweet custom car than a movie. Also, I’ll take that sweet sweet custom RX-7 from Tokyo Drift.

    1. That movie is full of interesting cars. I’ll take the pre hears XKE and the International Travelall airport limo in the background in one scene. Hell, if I could take multiple cars from one movie but could only choose one movie. Harold and Maud would be it.

      So what if it’s gone.

      I don’t think anyone who hasn’t seen it will and those that have, well.. so long.

      “I would be remiss in my duty, if I did not tell you, that the idea of… intercourse – your firm, young… body… comingling with… withered flesh… sagging breasts… flabby b-b-buttocks… makes me want… to vomit.”

  16. I’m picking the movie option because I would be able to have Inspector Clouseau’s first-gen smart car and the only downside is that no one remembers The Pink Panther (2005) which, let’s be real, no one remembers anyways.

  17. You could make an ass-load of money by selling the fish cars, then spitting out the fish once they’re loaded into their enclosed trailer. Then buy a car (or cars) with no magical stings attached, and a house to keep them at.

    That said, I’d be doing the world a favor by removing Grand Theft Auto (the Ron Howard film, not the video game) from existence, and I’d get a Silver Cloud out of the deal.

    How does the magic DVD work with TV episodes? If I want Steve McGarrett’s Mercury from Hawaii Five-O, or Magnum’s 308, does the world lose just one episode, or the whole series?

  18. Before I respond, I’ll need to consider. And I can’t do that without first marvelling at the wonderful and awesome power wielded by JT and his imagination. Impressive!

  19. I am by nature fairly selfish. I will opt for the head unit and get whatever I want without regard for whatever movie is erased forever. I want it, so I’ll take it. End of discussion.

    Having said all that, can anyone recommend a movie featuring a Mercedes Benz 300 SL?

  20. Spite is a big motivator with me.

    I’d take the head unit and would enjoy removing decades of terrible movies from our cultural history. I’m coming for ALL your reboots. Bonus points if it eliminates the money earned by those responsible for the films.

  21. Magic Head Unit by a mile. Just think of all of the Fast and Furious movies you could undo! Or how about some of the stinkier James Bond movies? There are lots of bad movies with great cars!

    Go ahead and send the the link. I’ll meet the creepy guy for you.

  22. . . . driver suddenly panic-stops Porsche Cayenne on the side of a busy highwa; he steps out and insistently, impatiently, silently urges (through increasingly frantic hand-waving) passengers to do the same;
    holds small jar to his face, and sneezes.
    (If he doesn’t succeed in capturing the snot-coated fish, they’re all stranded.)

    1. Related question, can a Bullet Mustang still be a Bullet Mustang if there was never a movie? Not that I’d love it any less, but I’d def be taking Steve McQueen’s ride in this scenario.

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