The potato's search began with reading reviews of hundreds of different sport utility vehicles. Although there were countless 4 wheel drive models to be had, most had the idea that 'off road' meant driving on someone's lawn. Spud wanted a rugged machine that could take on the toughest trails, scale huge boulders and cross raging rivers.
The vehicle that best
fit the bill for performance was the Hummer. Unfortunately, the Hummer
was so enormous, he needed to be airlifted to get into the drivers seat.
The tater had read in one of the magazines that there was a Jeep manufacturing plant in nearby Ohio that may be able to produce custom work, so the potato set off to the Buckeye state.
Ohio had always intrigued Spud as this was the first state to serve the hot dog in 1900, introducing North America to the art of dining on crushed internal organs and raw skeletal muscle stuffed into animal intestinal casings.
As this was the first time that Spud had been to Ohio, he thought he'd take in a few of the sights. The city of Cleveland was along his way, so the potato made a stop in town.
Cleveland, Ohio carries the glorious distinction of being the birthplace of rock n'roll after disc jockey Alan Freed coined the phrase in 1951 to describe the new flavour of up-tempo black rhythm and blues music that he began playing on the radio. He considered naming it 'Disco', but changed his mind after being pummeled by his co-workers.
Since 'rock' was born in Cleveland, it is only appropriate that the city is also home to The Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. Being a huge fan of rock music, Spud shelled out his admission fee to explore the hallowed halls of this great glass pyramid shrine. As the potato wandered up and down the corridors it soon became apparent that there was one key inductee that was missing from this Temple of the Music gods. Spud was dumbfounded to find that musical impresario Stompin' Tom Connors was nowhere to be found within the walls of the Hall of Fame.
How the Directors of the Hall could have overlooked the music genius of the songwriter behind such classics as 'Bud the Spud' and 'Ketchup loves potatoes', was beyond the tuber's comprehension. Outraged, Spud demanded to see the Board responsible for nominations. The young lady behind the cash register rolled her eyes and picked up the phone to summon Security. A few minutes later, the potato found himself being launched into Lake Erie behind the Hall of Fame
So much for sightseeing. Spud hauled himself out of the drink, dried off and then continued on his journey.
The Jeep manufacturing facility was located in Toledo, Ohio. The same place that was home to Corporal Max Klinger, who brought 'cross-dressing' into vogue.
The Toledo plant had been churning out jeeps since 1940 when the military required a need for a lightweight 4 wheel drive vehicle capable of carrying half its weight. Over the years, the Jeep was refined and its off road capabilities became legendary. Spud had heard that the Jeep's legendary reputation for quality and performance came to and end in 1987 when Chrysler took over Jeep's parent company, AMC. Still, he wanted to see for himself.
Spud entered the offices of the facility and told the Director of Operations and his Design team of his need for a 'compact' Jeep. The group listened intently and then set off to work in developing the tater a prototype. The efficiency of the plant was astounding and within a few days, they had built a 4 wheel drive off-road machine that fit the potato perfectly.
The tater jumped into the seat and roared off to the manufacturer's proving ground where he tested its performance in rugged trail conditions. The 'tato put the Jeep through its paces, climbing enormous boulders and storming through dense mud bogs.
The potato was elated
as the vehicle performed flawlessly in 2 solid hours of testing. Perhaps
the rumours of Chrysler's substandard parts & workmanship were nothing
more than just myth. Spud happily paid for the vehicle and then set off
on his 250 mile (400 km) trip back to Toronto.