Cold Start: Hope You Like Tetris

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I know Tetris was developed in 1984 by Alexy Pajitnov in the former Soviet Union, and I know it was based on the board game Pentominoes, but is it possible that some of the inspiration came from this old Trabant ad, from also behind the Iron Curtain in the former East Germany?

I mean, probably not, but some advanced tetrisization will be required for that poor bastard in the lab coat to load up all those boxes of whatevers into that little Trabant wagon there.

They couldn’t have let the guy use a van? No one had a real van around for him to chuck those things into? They’re really going to make him try and cram those 20-something boxes into every available cubic inch of space in the back of that Trabi?

Shit, no wonder the Eastern Bloc collapsed.

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21 Responses

  1. I most enjoy that even the commies love the classic-though-kinda-incongruous car ad trope of guys wearing white lab coats.

    For me, it’s right up there with cars in the middle of picturesque nowhere or Rockwell-style paintings featuring people letting the good times roll.

    It’s one of my retro favorites that even saw some progression over the years (e.g., by the ’80s, the ads had women in lab coats sometimes, and people wearing safety goggles!)

    1. When I was a wee little tyke in Poland, my grandfather had a cream colored Fiat 126p. He would often take me into town to accompany him on various errands. One day we parked outside of a store he had to pick something up at, and on the way out I learned just how popular of a paint option that was – there were about five other cream colored “maluchs” lined up nuts to butts at the curb where his was. The only way we could find which one was his was to peer inside looking for the one with the custom hand throttle (he was a disabled veteran), as the license plates were almost completely obscured.

      Also, a family friend had a Trabant sedan. “Spartan” is far too fancy of a word to describe that car’s creature comforts.

  2. “No, we need MOARRR boxes! Make the car look incredibly useful”

    This is what happens when you employ nothing but Yes men. Or worse, when you build a central government around them.

  3. Here’s a fun game. What’s the silliest load or overload you’ve hauled and in what vehicle? During my college days working for a local grocery store, we ran out of bagged ice. I was sent in my 1981 Datsun 310 to the ice company to get 50, 10lb bags. The load easily fit as the rear seats folded down and the car was a hatch back. However, the 500 lbs of ice bottomed the suspension and the mighty 50 hp? car struggled to get the load back to the store. On the upside it was nice and cool inside the car on the ride back.

    Similarly, as an “adult,” I went on an errand to pick up Thanksgiving turkeys for the employees of the company I worked for. Off to Kroger and in one load in my 2003 Ram 1500, I loaded 100, 20lb turkeys. Driving back to the office, every dip in the road set off a 1/4 mile of gentle bouncing as the suspension begged for mercy.

    1. Here’s a fun game. What’s the silliest load or overload you’ve hauled and in what vehicle?

      Easy! A king sized mattress laid across the hood of a Lincoln MkV. Had to transport it about 1/4 mile from one wooded cottage to another across a tree and creek lined, one lane dirt road at the bottom of a steep valley. My job was to lay on the mattress and (somehow) keep it from sliding off. It was the last load of the day so it was dark, Looking ahead all you could see was the mattress magically floating above the road, floating in a way only the ultra soft suspension of an American land yacht and mattress combo could achieve You’ve never experienced “plush” until you’ve done THAT!

      To top off the whole experience the cars headlights gave the road an eerie glow and the soft purr of the engine was the perfect soundtrack. It was as close to an actual magic carpet ride as I’ve ever had.

  4. Took a full-size couch home in my X1/9 (thank you, removable roof).
    Put 85 fence pickets in my wife’s Crosstrek.
    Put my daughter’s full apartment’s worth of Ikea furniture in/on my son’s ’01 Frontier.

    1. Once saw a couple loading what should have been long items as tall items in the bed of a Subaru Brat. I have no idea how they thought they were getting their purchase home. I guess that’s why U-haul has a rental counter at the Ikea in Denver.

  5. This is probably what really happened. Remember this is Communist Russia circa 1972:

    “Sergei, I know you have a PhD in astrophysics from Moscow State University but I want you to load all 23 boxes into that car, Now!” “And take off that stupid white coat too”

    Sergei says “Da Comrade!” and proceeds to empty all 23 boxes, break them down flat and simply loads them up on the cars floor. Then, he takes the clipboard and marks — 23 boxes loaded – check!

  6. I’ve never loaded a Trabi but I think all of that could go in my Honda Fit.
    I’m not saying I wouldn’t need to stack some boxes on the front passenger seat, but it’d all fit on one trip.

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