(first posted 3/24/2017) MAD had lots of fun at the expense of bureaucrats, road crews and other frustrations. These are at least 40 years old, but at least 80% still ring true today. How about the “…finding a vacant space where you left your car”?
Lotsa’ laughs there, boys! Keep ’em coming!
Now which ones are things of the past? Like “…gas station attendants“?
Gas station attendants are still in Oregon, aren’t they? I always found that annoying when visiting.
And New Jersey as well.
…which you’d think would, y’know, tell Oregon something, but it doesn’t.
And oddly enough, gas is cheaper/the same price in Oregon compared to Washington despite the wages of the attendants, but let’s not get into that.
Ditto New Jersey WRT Pennsylvania and NY.
Apparently the last fuel station with full driveway service closed a couple of years ago, but there are some that offer assistance for people who need it – none or nearly so of the major chains, where they ususally only have one staff member on duty.
Re: “Getting a flat tire while dressed to the hilt…”
Actually happened to me the day after I proposed to my wife of now almost 29 years. We both dressed (waaay) up for church (me in white dinner jacket and black bow tie) and when I picked her up at her apartment, we came back out to find a flat on my Samurai. Thankfully was easy to change!
The radio signal dropping are definitely relics of another era, as they mostly affect AM radio. I remember growing up riding with my parents, an the radio would go out whenever we went under overpasses and high voltage power lines. You could also hear the crackling of lightning and atmospheric interference, depending on conditions.
FM doesn’t really suffer from any of these problems, nor does my Bluetooth phone.
Of course now you can loose your cell signal.
FM does however suffer from multipath..usually in downtown or hilly areas where the reflections interfere with the main signal causing a “picket fencing” sound. Or I’ll be at a stoplight inching forward and the signal will turn to static till I can inch forward some more.
I too have the stoplight FM issue. A few feet can make a big difference. I assumed it was the wire loop sensors under the pavement. Is that right?
Radio signal dropping is most definitely NOT a “relic of another era,” at least not with satellite radio, and where I live.
Both of my cars have buffers, which helps for several seconds, unless you get stuck under an overpass or in a tunnel. Best is what they have in Boston, with satellite radio signal repeaters in the tunnels!
That is the only thing good about driving in Boston.
True that, HBEAN!
The first time I drove to Boston it took me a half hour to get to my hotel after I first saw it. I even ended up back on the Mass Turnpike back to Cambridge at one point. I should have just disregarded the one way signs and pulled into the damn place.
For someone who both drives very little and lives in a very logically laid out place, driving in Boston is mind-boggling. Still love going there though!
Indeed, our xm radio does it all the time in tunnels.
There are certain spots where the Sirius/XM radio in our Kia will invariably cut out with an “ACQUIRING SIGNAL” message. Every time.
None of them are in tunnels or valleys. Just strange dead spots.
The one about losing your car in a lot with 10,000 other cars happened to me and my aunt, sort of. My poor, 70 something, aunt had driven to LAX to pick me up (as I was afraid to use the shuttle to get from the airport to her house). When we came out of the terminal to get in the car, she couldn’t remember where she had parked it. Even though she had a 10 year old Nova, we couldn’t find it on any of the 5 levels. Of course, it didn’t help that I remembered it as caramel colored when in actuality it was light green. It would wind up taking 20-25 minutes to locate her car.
DON’T YOU HATE……having had this magazine and remembering reading this?
….having bought it new…
It made me laugh as i remembered reading this way back when .
…still having it on your bookshelf…
I don’t remember this one, but I do remember a “automotive accessories we’d like to see” feature that was quite funny – and a few of those actually did turn up in one sort or another a few decades later.
I loved the one about used car ad abbreviations. Only MAD could make “2tn.rd&crm.” to mean “Two tons of rusted and corroded metal”.
I’ll post that one soon.
Yes, I have that one at home somewhere. One of the ideas was a stylus attached to the horn button on the steering wheel; when the sleeping driver nodded forward (this is long before the advent of shoulder straps), their chest would contact the stylus and honk the horn, waking them up.
I think I also have the issue where they rip the Edsel to shreds as well – my uncle had a subscription to MAD and I ended up with a bunch of his old issues.
The Edsel featured in this “automotive accessories” too (a bullhorn to shout things at inattentive drivers in other cars, this one being an Edsel).
+1 … and why did I obsessively keep Road & Track and Cycle World for decades, but just toss Mad Magazine. What, me worry?
Yea they still pump gas for you in Oregon. Thank you for this funny article.
New Jersey as well if I am not mistaken.
Attendants pump your gas in New Jersey too – I love it in the winter time, as I don’t have to stand next to the car freezing, or can go inside Wawa and grab a drink.
They have changed the law so rural areas of Oregon can be self serve. But only during the hours of 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Maybe the first step (slowly) to statewide self serve.
I remember a Mad Mag article about seat belts (the lighter side of seat belts?) from around the late ’60’s that was pretty funny
I used to have a large MAD magazine collection. I’m not sure what happened to it. Either way, I have seen these specific images. They’re so funny and still relevant in some ways. The MAD books are even better.
My kids enjoyed my collection of MAD books. Still have them all on a shelf in the garage.
The MAD back cover that folds to change the picture was so clever. One example of a printed magazine being better than something online. Besides the magazine traveled well to tree forts, and clubhouses and was fun to trade with freinds.
Mad magazine is the best. I always make sure to grab the newest issue and take it to the courthouse when I get called for jury duty. Funny thing though, I usually end up on a jury.
Locking your keys in the car is also a thing of the past, at least for mine- it won’t even let you push the door pins in if it senses the key is still inside the car.
Big improvement from my moms 89 LeSabre. She was picking me up from bowling league and managed to lock the keys in the car with the engine running (the car still had the GM 2-key Saginaw column setup.) my dad wasn’t too happy about that call.
Locking the key in a running car? I’ve done that in my ’91 Crown Vic. Right in front of the book drop-off at the main library when I was in college. Thankfully I had enough gas such that I didn’t run out before AAA came to unlock it.
My sister did it while double-parked in my car years ago. Luckily it had a quirk where the rear door lock snips were at the same height unlocked as the locked front door ones (went right down to the door trim when locked), so the back door was actually open – and she realised this at the time!
I STILL remember the MAD cartoon showing all of the types of gasoline coming from the same tank undeneath the pavement! I had been telling friends for years that gasoline was a chemical mix, and the various companies added whatever their “catchy” title (V-Power, Techroline, etc.) to a basic mix. When the pipeline supplying S.E. USA was ruptured, I was vindicated as the single point transfer station was out of gas! 🙂
Oh I missed that one! That must have been the inspiration for The Simpsons episode in which Homer takes a tour of the Duff brewery – they have a huge pipe with a 3-way splitter on it, going into separate tanks labeled ‘Duff,’ ‘Duff Lite,’ and ‘Duff Dry.”
It might not quite have been when this post first ran in 2017, but that exact change only toll lane probably is a thing of the past now, or will at least soon become one. It’s been years since I’ve seen a toll road that accepted cash at all; now they’re all enforced by taking a picture of your license plate.
MAD was great! I’ve never seen this one but do recall “Automotive Accessories We’d Like to See” (discussed above) and the one about drive-in movie etiquette. Also tangentially related: “The MAD Guide to Power Boating”, one of their funniest ever. One chapter was definitions for of a few dozen common nautical terms, headed by the two most important ones you need to know before heading out on your boat, “port” and “starboard”:
Port: When you are in your boat and facing the bow, “Port” is on your left. It’s easy to remember – “port” has four letters and “left” has four letters, so “port” is left.
Starboard: Since there are only two sides to a boat and “Port” is one of them, it’s obvious the remaining side is left. “Starboard” is left.
That’s only slightly more ambiguous than many real instructions I’ve read.
That got me. To this day I still have to google which is which.
Wow, whole thing is online now: https://www.madcoversite.com/mad089-31.html
and here’s “Auto Accessories We’d Like to See”: https://www.madcoversite.com/mad090-38.html
(some of these have actually happened, or at least something similar).
Can’t find the others I’m looking for but they’re probably there somewhere.
Holy wah! I have the DVD, but that’s a nuisance to use these days compared to this site; thank you! That first issue you linked contains my all-time favourite Don Martin cartoon. Cracks me up every single time.
…and right across from the Drive-in movies primer I was looking for earlier too!
As to that Auto Accessories We’d Like to See piece, well…life imitates art twice in awhile:
More than twice, even – “Tailgate Blaster” is essentially diesel coal-rolling. There are cars with remote-controlled back window shades, as well as manually controlled rear side window shades, but I’m unaware of any remote rear side shades. As for “Volkswagen Costume Jewelry”, VW themselves weighed in on it:
I was an avid reader of Mad magazine back in the mid ’60’s and ’70’s, junior and senior high. I had this issue. I haven’t looked at Mad in years. Now there is so much parody humor, SNL comes to mind, and even more tasteless shock humor full of obscenities.
Mad was a haven for mostly tasteful, snarky humor, the kind that you could occasionally slip into your family conversations. It was a level up from the comedy we saw on shows like Ed Sullivan.
The irony is that MAD was essentially the last survivor of the highly controversial EC Comics line that also included the grisly Tales from the Crypt, Vault of Horror, and Haunt of Fear. Publisher William Gaines was essentially driven out of business by the Comics Code, an industry self-censorship arrangement modeled on the Hollywood Production Code, so he turned MAD into a magazine (it was a comic book for its first three years) not subject to the Code. It was also probably the most successful of the line, spawning imitators even early on. Gaines found they were able to get away with more as satire than in other genres, and he went to court more than once to to defend their right to parody.
Even the early comic book issues hold up quite well, with some definite classics — e.g., “Superduperman,” drawn by the great Wally Wood, and “From Eternity to Here!” a parody of the 1953 movie drawn by Bernie Kriegstein. (“I can still here Majjio’s dying words… whispering with his last breath, ‘I ain’t Majjio! …I’m Sinatra!”)
I grew up reading MAD Magazine in the 50’s and 60’s. My wife says it still shows, but that’s a topic for another time.
Car related; one illustrated “I’d like to see ’em make” idea to make drivers more parking conscious was to offer bumpers that make a large farting sound/ emit a noxious odor when bumping another car (a female driver, of course). Naturally the nearby pedestrians were holding their noses and making faces.
Back when a bumper was a bumper!
I remember that article – you’re referring to the “Bumper Barfer” for “Zelda Bumperthumper”. There was also a food dispenser for people who liked to eat and drive (“Sidney Facestuffer”) and a hookah inhaler for the smokers.
Forgetting where you parked your car in a 10,000 car parking lot. Lol!
Only takes a 100 car parking lot for me.
Thank God for remote key fobs and cellphone cameras.
Not two cars taking up three spaces, but certainly one taking up two.
(I don’t normally blank out plates, but I know the guy, and he knows me)
A great chuckle with my morning coffee. I had stacks of MAD magazines back in the ‘70’s, and I got many a laugh out of this same article.
“New car’s A/C konks out”. Why old cars seem ‘stripped’, now. And, why the phrase ‘less stuff to break’ was common. Car companies answer then was “buy a new one”.
Now, most former luxury features/options don’t break often.
Motor Trend did a long term test of 1976 Pontiac Sunbird, and its A/C broke down during the first 12,000 miles.