During our recent Membership Drive, we learned a great deal about our readership. It’s overall, extremely impressive; according to our database, the average attractiveness level of an Autopian reader is 8.672, and that’s using the Los Angeles scale, not the Lansing one. You’re all prosperous and happy and have many skills and have near cult leader-levels of charm. It’s impressive. The one real alarming data point I noticed is that our diverse readership includes celebrants of wintertime holidays as diverse as Happy Honda Days, Toyotathon, Lexus December to Remember, Sweden’s Greetings, Chevy Red Tag Sales Event, Volkswagen Sign Then Drive, and more. Each of these saleabrations are beautiful and sublime in their own way, but I was disheartened to read our members’ painful stories of intolerance and conflict around this time of year. Most was centered around clashes between the two largest factions: the Toyotathonians and Happy Honda Daysians. I’d like to address this conflict, and do what I can to help.
The tension and hostility between Toyotathonians and Happy Honda Daysians is long-standing and well-documented. Papers have been written about it, anthropologists have given TED talks about it, and, sadly, families have been torn apart because of it. It’s a shame because deep down, both saleabrations have the same goal: to put people in high-quality, reliable and sensible cars at end-of-the-year blowout prices. And they both trace their origins to Japan, and both have well-known spiritual leaders.
There are, of course, some fundamental differences as well. Happy Honda Daysians revere the teachings of Soichiro Honda, and hold dear stories of the great GM Smackdown, the beautiful mystery of the Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion (CVCC) pre-combustion chamber, and all await the moment that VTEC kicks in, yo, for all humankind.
Current Happy Honda Days celebrations can involve songs of joy, like this strangely repetitive and semi-hypnotic chant:
Toyotathonians, on the other hand, revere Akio Toyoda, seen to be the current incarnation of Toyota’s founder, Sakichi Toyoda, and strive to live their lives based on Two Concepts of the Toyota Production System (TPS): jikoda, roughly translated as “automation with a human touch,” and the “Just-in-Time” ethos, where each human action produces only what is needed for the next action in a continuous flow of energy and spirit.
Recent Toyotathonian rites include ordained Tototathonian priests and/or priestesses (salespeople) blowing what may be religious-use cocaine on cars to induce illusions, as seen here:
As you can see, both Toyotathon and Happy Honda Days have deep, powerful teachings and a rich, complex history, along with fantastic sales numbers, year after year.
So how can you help your mixed family of Happy Honda Daysians and Toyotathonians enjoy this time of year in harmony? Here’s our tips:
Avoid Overly Specific Greetings
Once, at a holiday family dinner, I saw my Uncles Murray and Sidney get in a three-hour-long oil dipstick fight because Murray told Sidney that one day they may live to see VTEC kick in, yo. Also, I had two cousins who wouldn’t talk to one another for years because Shoshana insisted that Melanie told her to stay Grounded to the Ground even though she knew she drove a Fit.
To understand why this is so offensive, here’s what that refers to:
As you can see, these simple salutations can be loaded.
As a result, we suggest everyone simply say something more generic that will serve for any saleabration, like Savings Greetings or Happy Year-End Blow Out. Remember, you’re there for each other, not the great savings you can be getting with zero down and 0% APR for six months. Save that for the showroom.
Find Common Ground In Conversation
The dinner table is no place for comparing spec sheets or bringing up the latest recalls or grilling one another about dealer markups or delivery fees. Toyotathonians and Happy Honda Daysians have far more in common than they have differences. Steer the conversation to the wonderful rise of all Japanese cars in America, or how important hybrids became in the automotive landscape (just be sure to mention both the Prius and Insight), or, and this is more of a desperation move, steer the talk to all the problems late 1990s to early 2000s Volkswagens had — something everyone can participate in and enjoy.
It’s definitely possible to focus on what’s common instead of what is divisive.
Break The Tension Early And Hard
If you know you’ll be inviting some real zealots from both camps, plan your evening so they arrive early and together, take them to a safe, ideally unfurnished room, and let them just hash it out. Let them yell at each other about how Soichiro Honda kept trying to make air-cooling work long after it made sense, or how Toyota seems to have forgotten how to make its wheels stay its their cars.
It may come to blows, and almost definitely tears, but it needs to happen. The pressure must be released, the fire must burn itself out, and better to do it in a controlled environment where you can extract teeth from forearms or block the blow from a swung lamp before really severe damage happens, and, once exhausted, the zealots won’t go nuts during the meal and ruin it for everyone else.
Define Your Boundaries Early
When inviting Toyotahonians and Happy Honda Daysians, let them know from the get-go that your house is neutral ground, where all forms of incredible year-end savings and deals are respected, and you will simply not permit any behavior that ruins the evening for anyone, followers of Soichiro or Akio or otherwise. Talk to potentially problematic parties well before your gathering, and make sure they understand and tell you personally that they will abide. Otherwise, they are simply not invited.
Consider Drugging People
There’s so many widely available recreational drugs that can simply make this a non-problem. When serving drinks to your more ardent followers of Toyotathon or Happy Honda Days, simply drug their beverages with a drug like MDMA, which the National Institute on Drug Abuse states could have the following result:
That should solve it, right? Sense of well-being? Empathy? Extroversion and emotional memory discussions? Sounds like a memorable night for everyone involved, no matter what sort of incredible closeout all-inventory-must-go car sales event you follow.
[Editor’s Note: The Autopian does not condone or support illegal drug use or unwittingly drugging anybody, regardless of how much they get into their Holiday Sales Events. – JT]
The point here is that all of us, each and every one of us, deserves to have access to incredible end-of-year savings on new cars, and to enjoy every sales event possible, no matter how we choose to express our own beautiful and unique forms of saleabration.
It’s all about the savings and deals, my friends. Here’s wishing you all no money down, and a giant novelty bow on your new car.