Dec 212012
Portrait of Henry Ford (ca. 1919)

Portrait of Henry Ford (ca. 1919) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FORD: Behold! The automobile!

(FORD unveils automobile)

FORD: The driver sits here and maneuvers the car with this wheel. He uses this pedal to accelerate, and this pedal to decelerate. It is an amazing new way to travel.

SHIRLEY: Where does the saddle go?

FORD: Pardon?

SHIRLEY: I don’t see a place to fit a saddle.

FORD: This doesn’t need a saddle. You sit in the seat, instead.

SHIRLEY: No saddle? Sounds unsafe. I can’t imagine traveling without a saddle.

BRIAN: Seriously, Ford, is this some kind of joke?

FORD: No, see…

BRIAN: You can’t travel without using a saddle.

FORD: Yes, if you’re riding a horse, but this is a car, you see. The paradigm is completely different.

BRIAN: I don’t see a place for a bridle, either.

FORD: But there is no need.

SHIRLEY: Oh, right. We just use bridles to control direction. No big deal.

FORD: But this uses a wheel to control direction.

SHIRLEY: Of course. That’s why everyone else uses a wheel to control direction.

BRIAN: Ford, nobody uses a wheel to control direction.

FORD: That’s because everyone else rides horses. This is a car.

BRIAN: There’s a reason everybody rides horses, Ford.

FORD: Yes, because they don’t have cars. This is a car.

SHIRLEY: We have a lot of money sunk into a saddle-based infrastructure. Do we just throw all that away?

FORD: Well, I guess you could make something else out of the leather, or use the saddles decoratively.


FORD: I don’t know. The point is, you don’t need saddles.

SHIRLEY: All our laws regarding travel are built around horse riding. If you can’t feed this car or tie it to a post or saddle it, how are we supposed to control it?

FORD: Well, there will have to be new laws.

BRIAN: So, we’ll just scrap a bunch of old laws and make new ones. That sounds safe.

FORD: It’s not like murder will be legal, it’s just that new paradigms mean lots of things have to change.

BRIAN: So, murder will be legal.

FORD: No, there’s no reason to change that law.

BRIAN: I don’t see why not. That’s basically what you’re proposing. All the laws and saddles and hitching posts that have served us so well up to this point are just stupid compared to YOUR idea. Your one single idea that nobody else is actually doing.

SHIRLEY: I mean, I could understand cars working on a small scale, but they’d never work here.

FORD: What do you mean?

SHIRLEY: Well, there’s no saddles, for one thing.

BRIAN: I’m not saying the whole idea is bad. I like those lights in front.

SHIRLEY: Yes! Maybe we should take the best of both worlds. Ford, could you stick those lights on a horse?

FORD: Not really. You kind of need a power source.

BRIAN: You could harness the horse’s motion.

SHIRLEY: I like where this is going.

FORD: So, you want me to rig up an elaborate structure that will most definitely slow the horse down for the purpose of attaching lights to its head.

BRIAN: I thought you said cars were faster than horses.

FORD: Yes, but….

BRIAN: So, which is it? Are cars faster or are horses faster?

FORD: Cars.

BRIAN: So, what’s the problem?

SHIRLEY: Why don’t we just try the light thing, and if it makes our horses faster, then maybe we’ll consider using more of the car.

BRIAN: And see if you can figure out how to fit a saddle and bridle on it.

SHIRLEY: That would be ideal.

[curtain falls]


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