I realise this may be an awful lot to start the week with, but the question popped into my head, and I see no reason we should let this fester. It’s one of those issues that’s best confronted head-on, so, whatever we decide, we can make peace with our decision and move on, productively with our lives. So, with that in mind, here we go: Are exhaust pipes the anuses of cars?
I know not everyone anthropomorphizes cars, but I think it’s a very human thing to do, and I’m not sure any of us really can not do it, at least on some level. We call tires “shoes” because we analogize wheels to limbs. We talk about a car’s “face” and its body and its beltline and, of course, the eyes, which are the headlights.
If we follow the general logic of analogy from automobiles to humans or animals, then there’s really only one possible counterpart for a car’s exhaust pipe: the anus.
Both are orifices of waste expulsion in the form of a noxious gas (to be fair, biological anuses can also eject solid materials), both exit (normally) at the rear of the vehicle/being, and both are the terminus of a larger, waste removal system composed of tubes that twist and weave their way throughout the body (exhaust system for cars, intestinal system for biology).
So, if we accept that, yes, the closest automotive analogue to the biological anus is the exhaust pipe, then it’s worth exploring how dramatically differently we treat them in automotive contexts.
In most human cultures, the anus is something to be hidden, covered, denied. While it certainly has a place in human eroticism, the overall status of the anus in culture is certainly not a celebrated one.
Exhaust pipes, though, are symbols of automotive power and potency. Big, loud exhausts are hallmarks of muscle cars, and even today finding false exhaust tips on cars is incredibly common.
To contrast, false anuses have never been a popular fashion trend in any human culture I’m aware of.
I suppose the obvious reason for this dramatic difference in how the orifices of waste are treated in car vs. person has to do with our natural and understandable revulsion to the products of a biological anus.
Sure, car exhaust is often unpleasant and unhealthy to encounter, but for the most part people can have a car cover them in a cloud of exhaust and they’ll recover and be able to go about their day pretty quickly. If this same general situation happened with the biological counterpart, the result would be far more miserable, and likely involve lots more screaming.
Yet this still doesn’t change that one of the most known and celebrated and, yes, perhaps even fetishized components of the internal combustion engine is, primarily, an organ for the expulsion of waste.
Am I wrong about this? Is there a way that exhaust pipes aren’t analogous to the anus? This is important, so please inform your bosses at work that you’ll need some time to consider your response here. They’ll understand.