Friday, June 02, 2006

Volvos are safe cars.

This morning on the drive into work, I nearly bumped one of my traffic neighbors, an attractive young woman in a red Volvo, while I was attempting to change lanes. After the initial "Oh, shit!" moment, I flashed back to a nearly forgotten pop-culture artifact: a sit-com that ran very briefly in the 1980's about the last five or six American survivors of a nuclear holocaust. One of the survivors was directly under the blast, but lived because he was in his Volvo. That's all I remember about this show. Except that it also starred a black man. And maybe a white woman. And perhaps a cockroach. Anybody remember the title?

Volvos were the "safe" car of the 1980's. Thus was the humor of this otherwise tragic scenario. I wonder if Volvo's are still safer than other vehicles? With all the crumple zones, airbags, radar enabled braking systems, etc. in cars today, wouldn't they nearly have to be bulletproof and/or have a paramedic team on standby in the trunk to do that? And now that virtually every car gets a four- or five-star crash test safety rating, you have to wonder, what kind of rolling death traps were we voluntarily getting into back then?

UPDATE: God bless the Internet. I found the show in five minutes on Google. The show was called "Woops!" Fox aired 10 episodes in 1992. The funniest premise, following the gag involving the guy who survived the blast by being in his Volvo, was the episode in which they adopted the twist-tie as their official currency.

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