Detroit, MI – Regardless of the industry you work in, we’re all familiar with the kind of raucous debauchery that can take place at trade shows. The combination of high-powered decision makers, exciting new products, alcohol and a (potentially) consequence-free and neutral environment are all ingredients in a trade show’s recipe for shenanigans. And the North American International Auto Show is no exception, as was discovered by this journalist while comparing the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2019 RAM 1500.
Standing at the RAM stage, it was easy to see the excitement that was being generated. Following in the suit of such FCA stablemates as the Jeep Trackhawk, Dodge Demon and Hellcat, RAM had entered 2019 with two captivating projects on the table. The first, RAM’s 707hp TRX had been the topics of countless conversations since last summer, positioned against the likes of Ford’s Raptor. The second, the new RAM Heavy-Duty offering, slated to deliver 400hp and a staggering 1,000 lb-ft of torque.
And it was in the introduction of the latter that RAM associate Lyle Murray made a questionable claim that, “General Motors might have the market cornered in terms of reliability but – while that’s a great quality in a husband – it can make for a boring marriage. Luckily, here comes RAM busting down your door, ready to keep your woman sass-ified.”
Though the comment was largely laughed off as being playfully competitive, it was transmitted instantly to a far wider audience courtesy of live-streaming video and social media posting. Going viral within minutes, RAM and FCA were now being called to answer for a ‘criminal disrespect of traditional family values’ all for little more than telling an off-color, and somewhat outdated, joke.
The outrage would spread across various social media platforms, demanding an apology, propelled by the strength of such trending hashtags as #RAMHatesFamilies
It would seem that Lyle Murray had fallen victim to an epidemic that seems to be claiming an ever-growing number of victims. While the technical term for the condition, ’Butthurtitis’, is pretty much right on the money, the general population might simply know it as the ‘Slow Death of Humor’. A condition which, left unchecked, will prevent us from attempting humor, or finding humor in…well, pretty much anything.
And while the joke did very little for us (as serious journalists, we’re not big on laughter here at ‘The Lemon’) it’s hard not to see the proverbial writing on the wall.
Will the expectations of the overly-sensitive strip us of our right to laugh? Only time will tell, for sure. Equally unpredictable is the answer to whether or not the statement will have a lasting effect on RAM’s success in the immediate future. The only thing I know for sure is this, I have no idea where my wife is. The last time I saw her she was standing next to that RAM pickup over there. Wait a minute. Oh….shit….
I knew that we shouldn’t have come here.