General Interest Articles
Something to brighten up your day!
This is the second time I have written you, and I don't blame you for not answering me, because I kind of sound crazy, but it is a fact that we have a tradition in our family of ice cream for dessert after dinner each night. The kind of ice cream varies so every night after we have eaten, the whole family votes on which kind of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. It is also a fact that I recently purchased a new Pontiac and since then my trips to the store have created a problem.
You see, every time I buy vanilla ice cream, when I start back from the store my car wont start. If I get any other kind of ice cream, the car starts just fine. I want you to know I'm serious about this question, no matter how silly it sounds:
" What is there about a Pontiac that makes it not start when I get vanilla ice cream, and easy to start whenever I get any other kind? "
The Pontiac President was understandably skeptical about the letter, but sent an engineer to check it out anyway. The latter was surprised to be greeted by a successful, obviously well-educated man in a fine neighborhood. The engineer had arranged to meet the man just after dinner time, so the two hopped into the car and drove to the ice cream store. It was vanilla ice cream that night, and sure enough, after they came back to the car, it wouldn't start.
The engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, the man got chocolate, the car started. The second night, he got strawberry, the car started. The third night he ordered vanilla, the car failed to start. Now the engineer being a logical man refused to believe that this man's car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. He arranged therefore to continue his visits for as long as it took to solve the problem. And towards this end he began to take notes: he jotted down all sorts of data, time of day, type of gas used, time to drive back and forth, etc.
In a short time he had a clue: the man took less time to buy vanilla than any other flavor. Why? The answer was in the layout of the store. Vanilla, being the most popular flavor, was in a separate case at the front of the store for quick pickup. All the other flavors were kept in the back of the store at a different counter where it took considerably longer to find the flavor and get checked out.
Now the question for the engineer was why the car wouldn't start when it took less time. Once time became the problem - - not the vanilla ice cream the engineer quickly came up with the answer: vapor lock. It was happening every night, but the extra time taken to get the other flavors allowed the engine to cool down sufficiently to start. When the man got vanilla, the engine was still too hot for the vapor lock to dissipate.
All models then had their gas systems changed. The guy got a new car and also had his car repaired ( now it likes vanilla flavor ). General Motors disseminated an internal official statement, demanding employees to take seriously any claims, even if it sounded bizarre, " because maybe a great innovation is hidden after a vanilla ice cream.
Moral of this true story: even insane-looking problems are sometimes real.