This is one of those questions that comes up periodically in philosophy classes, usually as an example of a sort of paradoxical thought experiment that has no known answer: Could a driver’s intense fear of getting their doors dinged actually cause multiple businesses and buildings to be evacuated? Well, I’m excited to say that thanks to a little thing we call “reality,” this question now has an answer, because this situation actually happened in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, when a person’s home-made door protectors on their 2012-ish Lexus IS caused enough alarm that an entire block of the city was closed off for almost two hours, schools in the nearby area were put on lockdown, and people were evacuated from restaurants and businesses. All because some dude didn’t want his Lexus dinged.
Even better, the owner of the car was actually one of the people standing around after a the restaurant he was eating in was evacuated, watching all of the police activity in the area around where he parked his car across the street. It wasn’t until the cops ran the license plate and called the owner on the phone that the owner realized it was him and his strangely bomb-looking DIY door protectors that were causing all of the ruckus.
Here’s the post about the lockdown – and its later resolution – from the Murfreesboro Police Department:
… and the follow up:
To be fair, those dent protectors do look weirdly bomb-like, especially with those wires between them. I don’t think you could open the passenger side doors with those things on there? They really resemble some sort of explosives packed into sheets and wired to blow the whole side off that car.
Of course, the very existence of these handcrafted door protectors raises so many more questions. Questions like, why? How many times has this guy had his doors dinged? And that seems kind of a high location for where doors usually ding? And why did he park the side with the door-ding guards in an end spot where they can’t possibly do any good, since there’s no car next to it there?
And then of course is the bigger question: does this look better than having a few little door dings? How are they stuck on there? Magnets? Glue? JB Weld? Are the wires there so he can carry them around, nunchuck-style, when not in use? Does this person really prefer the look of driving around with a pair of mummified salamis to just risking some dents?
[Editor’s Note: I’ve never seen someone who could benefit more from owning a Citroen C4 Cactus:
It’s a glorious machine. I’ve driven one. -DT].
Anyway, everything was resolved and no one was hurt, just inconvenienced because of someone’s strange, confusing, and let’s be honest here, pretty needless, attempt to avoid a few tiny little scratches or dents. This has to be the largest recorded inconveniencing of un-related people by an attempt to avoid door dings in history.
I hope if this guy decides to keep using these things, he at least Sharpies NOT A BOMB onto each of the thingies to keep everyone nice and calm.
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