In some versions of this legend, a bad stench emanating from the conjoined cabs is what prompts the salvage workers to separate them, thus leading to a horrible discovery. In a slightly different variation, a semi truck hits a VW Beetle but, because the car is so small, the truck driver doesn’t even notice it stuck to his grille until hours later.
Playing on fears surrounding the disproportionate size difference between vehicles on the road, a modern-day equivalent might pit an eighteen-wheeler against a Smart Fortwo. As someone who was T-boned and pushed across the road by a big rig (curiously enough during the time I was working on The Billionth Monkey), I can assure you the fear is not unfounded. And I was driving a car considerably larger than a Beetle!
|The Smart Fortwo would be the modern-day equivalentin the "VW Bug Smash" urban legend.|
[Image from pointy-haired-dilbert’s photobucket page, where it is available as prints, cards, etc.]
Such is the urban legend that is referenced on page 200 of The Billionth Monkey.
FOR FURTHER READING
Jan Harold Brunvand. “The Smashed VW Bug.” In Encyclopedia of Urban Legends (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2001), 391.
Jan Harold Brunvand. “Big rigs can squash cars like a Bug.” Spokane Chronicle, July 22, 1987, C1.
Anonymous. “Crushin’ Roulette.” January 28, 2009. Snopes.com.