A compendium of craft masquerading as art, art masquerading as craft, and craft extending its middle finger.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Junk in the Trunk


When I was tooling around Nebraska in a rented Ford Focus last weekend, I ran into this little gem. You may call it the apex of industrial design if you wish. It's a glow-in-the dark pull tab in the trunk of the car that lets you know that you can pull the tab and run away if you get locked in the trunk. Apparently, somebody else is riding the same wavelength, as evidenced by THIS Flickr link. The next time you find yourself locked in the trunk of a rental car, just look for the luminescent glow of salvation.

LINK

31 Comments:

At 11/03/2005 09:10:00 PM, Anonymous randium said...

Cool idea. However, when I was a kid anything "glow in the dark" had to be exposed to a certain amount of light before it would "glow". That still being the case, how is this thing supposed to glow if when its whole life is spent in a dark, black car trunk?

So if I'm ever abducted, I should hope & pray that my abductors leave the trunk open long enough for this thing to energize its glow cells. And god forbid I'm abducted at night...

 
At 11/03/2005 09:39:00 PM, Anonymous Bentheo said...

My 2000 Mercury Sable has the same thing. It is probably my favorite part of the car.

 
At 11/03/2005 10:13:00 PM, Anonymous Virion said...

I have a Focus and that little tag always gets a comment when people spot it, I personally like how it reminnds me of the "Get out of Jail free" card, but with a little overjoyed kidnapped man hopping out.

 
At 11/03/2005 10:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my 2000 ford taurus has it, and i believe i've seen older cars with it. regarding the requirement for light: things glow for a long time (faintly)when exposed to a small amount of light. and even at night, most trunks light up when they are opened, serving to charge the tag. in pitch blackness, it would be difficult but not impossible to see. also, it hangs such that you should be able to find it eventually.

 
At 11/03/2005 11:40:00 PM, Anonymous 55seddel said...

They even put them on camper shells that go on the back of pickup trucks, but they tend to get stuck in between the liftgate and the tailgate.

Still a good idea!

 
At 11/04/2005 12:41:00 AM, Anonymous melisslissliss said...

I'm pretty sure that there is enough light from the brake lights that gets into the trunk to "charge" that adorable little thing. It's so damn cute!

 
At 11/04/2005 01:38:00 AM, Anonymous Adrian Elliot said...

Saab has been doing it for years.

 
At 11/04/2005 02:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They probably don't do this, but they could put some tritium paint on it, it would glow for a few thousand years. That's how they make glow in the dark sights for guns, they don't have to be exposed to any light to give off a consistently bright glow in the dark. Although I expect it would be costly, and who knows how much radiation would be released with that much tritium...but hey...it would definitely glow.

 
At 11/04/2005 06:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

put some tritium paint on it

because getting irradiated is in this season.

 
At 11/04/2005 08:57:00 AM, Anonymous Andrew said...

Maybe a 30-cent LED would be the easier solution (and you wouldn't set off the rad detectors in any tunnels).

 
At 11/04/2005 09:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in addition to its cleverness and general utility, my favorite part is the set of non-verbal directions involved. Just in case you weren't sure what to do when you pulled on the tab, the handy picture indicates for you to do a Family Circus style leap out and run! (I rented a focus and nearly stole the tag as a souvenier)

 
At 11/04/2005 09:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is sort of ancient news ... been in imported cars like BMW for many years.

 
At 11/04/2005 10:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I WONDER IF THE MAFIA HAS REMOVED THESE TAGS FROM ALL TRUNKS OF THEIR CARS BEFORE PUTTING THE NEXT "SNITCH" IN IT???

 
At 11/04/2005 11:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

interestingly, they're sort of cool keychain fobs...you'll notice that many have been previously removed from the rental cars you get.

 
At 11/04/2005 12:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tritium gun sights (and other tritium illumination devices) function by the radioactive decay of tritium. Tritium is a relatively weak beta emitter with a half-life of about 12 years. Since tritium is an isotope of hydrogen, it is a gas, and must be stored accordingly. Generally, the gas is stored in a glass tube. The inside walls of the vessel are coated with phosphorescent material which glows when bombarded with the released beta particles. The beta particles are slow moving electrons which lack the energy to penetrate the wall of the glass vessel. Even if the vessel were to be broken, it is unlikely that the beta particles would penetrate the outer (dead) layer of human skin, and as such would only be hazardous if inhaled.
see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tritium
Despite its relative safety, Tritium illumination is not commonly used in the US due to regulatory issues.

 
At 11/04/2005 12:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I WONDER IF THE MAFIA HAS REMOVED THESE TAGS FROM ALL TRUNKS OF THEIR CARS BEFORE PUTTING THE NEXT "SNITCH" IN IT???

Of course we have, you mook.

Joey "The Torso" Corso
La Cosa Nostra

 
At 11/04/2005 12:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're cool, but lots of cars have had these for years.

 
At 11/04/2005 06:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yah, cars have had these for years. i remember being overjoyed at getting a rental car with one some years back. i was hoping to be locked in the trunk so i could test it out. alas, it was never to be.

 
At 11/05/2005 09:35:00 PM, Anonymous MSF said...

I laughed when I saw this in the trunk of a Mustang that I recently rented. My daughter wanted to pull it, but my initial reaction was "No! It looks like we're supposed to run away right after we pull this thing."

 
At 11/06/2005 10:55:00 AM, Anonymous furiku said...

yeah sho nuff its a good idea, but really, you think people are gonna kidnapp someone and put them in the back of a ford focus?

They always have some huge american car in the movies, ford focus is in no way a kidnappers car.

 
At 11/07/2005 02:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its for kids who "play" in the trunk of cars, like the few that DIED last summer. How soon ye forget

 
At 11/10/2005 08:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is cool but any self respecting kidnapper is going to check his car and see if it has one of these. and, no, they were not originally intended for kids who play in the trunks of cars. hence the full grown man RUNNING away.

 
At 11/10/2005 12:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a rental Focus a few years ago and I loved the little thing. My friend and I actually played around with it like many of you have said you would have loved to do. She hopped in the trunk...I got out and went into the pizza place we were eating at...a few minutes later she hopped out and scared a few people walking by. It was the best!

 
At 11/11/2005 03:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anyone know if/where you can buy one of these babies if your car doesn't have one?

 
At 12/16/2006 01:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 9/21/2007 03:37:00 PM, Blogger Diana Coronado said...

Hahaha great idea !!

 
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At 8/29/2014 07:30:00 PM, Anonymous Central Florida Auto said...

What a crazy article. I would sell that car for junk and get rid of it for good. If you want to junk a car, you can always visit my towing and junk car removal site. Thanks.

 

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