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April Fools Stories Come True - Butterfly Effect

Not Knowing When To Keep Our Traps Shut

Almost a decade ago, yours-truly wrote a story while working at 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine that involved testing different spray-in bedliners with a shotgun, .22 pistol, and a military rifle. They all failed the rifle test, but some withstood the pistol and shotgun blasts. To make a long story short, some Colonel working at the Pentagon read the article and next thing you know, Line-X is spraying government buildings and other vehicles and material with spray-on bedliner. And no, we didn't get any residuals - unfortunately.

Then, for some reason, a couple years ago editor Cappa though it would be funny to have an April Fool's story in Jp. Once again, yours-truly came up with a farcical tale about a company in the African country of Burkina Faso, Province of Sourou which had begun manufacturing a line of bolt-on portal boxes that mounted to the ends of your 4x4's axles and would increase ground clearance, offer selectable 2.4:1 or 1:1 gearing, and....well, I forget what else was promised. Your silly author even went so far as to cobble one together using blue anodized Spidertrax wheel spacers and a Spicer 18 T-case. The concocted portal box was then affixed to Jp's '99 Cherokee for our "spy photos". Well, guess what cool, new product was standing the SEMA show on its ear in 2008? Yup, bolt-on portal boxes. They're making them and by the time you read this you should actually be able to buy 'em.

Finally, last year yours-truly wrote a story for the April issue (noticing a trend here yet) about a stoner pair of Estonian immigrants, Piral and Losof Yorituck (anagrams for April Fools and Trick You) who were making biodegradable Jeep tubs out of hemp fibers and an all natural resin they boiled in a kettle in the middle of the Vermont woods. The article said they got the idea from a Cheech and Chong movie. Well, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction because biodegradable Jeep parts will soon be coming to a vehicle near you.

Perhaps it's fitting in some way that we're bringing you this news in the April issue, since the Bio Bodies story was the impetus for this whole thing, but apparently some young go-getter in the Bush administration who read the story on a plane thought the idea had merit. So, crowbared in amongst the other rules, regulations, and stipulations imposed on the Big Three in the great Detroit automaker bailout of December '08, was a mandatory "greening up" of Detroit's manufacturing processes; namely, a drastic reduction in the use of CFC-producing plastics and polymer-based composite material.

So what does all this mean for the Jeep brand? Our sources inside Jeep are saying that certain items such as the flexible fender flares on JKs, dash pads, and plastics used in structural areas may remain unchanged. However, if it's purely cosmetic it will have to be made completely of recycled, natural composite material by the year 2012. That means your instrument bezels, trim pieces, and quite possibly even your Wrangler's grille will be a granola-crunchy, hippie-approved biodegradable blend of recycled newspapers, nutshells, and all-natural binding agents.

With a track record of three-for-three, the next time yours-truly is asked to write one of these stories it'll involve a winning lottery ticket and an island in the South Pacific.