Fiat's Espresso Maker in the Car & Five Other Really Bad Ideas

Have you ever been driving 70 miles an hour through the rolling hills of Highway 290 and thought to yourself, "You know what I desperately need right now at this second? An espresso!" But when you have this thought, it's not a drive-through Starbucks that you have on the brain, it's the home-brewed kind. And when you're thinking home, you really mean car. If you didn't follow any of that, that is okay; the entire concept is nonsensical.

This week Fiat announced that its new 500L would feature an espresso machine, stating that it would be "the first standard-production car in the world to offer a true espresso coffee machine." What was the first standard-production car in the world to offer a fake espresso coffee machine?

Just when you thought driving couldn't get any more dangerous and distracting, let's add insult to injury by giving folks the option of brewing coffee while behind the wheel. Lavazza, an Italian coffee chain, is building the machine and it will use coffee pods, which have grown in popularity over the past year. You can argue that using those coffee pods is a simple one-handed job, but that hand should probably be on your steering wheel and/or finding a good channel on the radio/calling your mom/finding directions on your phone/putting on your makeup.

Apparently the espresso machine won't make it to the U.S. version of the 500 due to apprehension over driver safety. I give kudos to the United States for understanding what a horribly bad idea this is. No one needs an espresso machine in his or her car.

Like so many of the worst ideas that are conceived, in theory they are good ideas, but they should call it quits in the novelty stage. There are many bad ideas that have gotten the green light over the years; here are our top five.

5. Asbestos

When asbestos was invented, it seemed to be a good idea. Asbestos became the insulation of choice in the late 1800s due to its "sound absorption, average tensile strength, its resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage, and affordability." What no one realized then was that when you needed to do work on the asbestos-lined areas, the fibers became toxic and in some cases deadly. Inhalation of asbestos can cause clubhand, meaning your fingers clubbing together into one giant claw. The EPA banned most products that used asbestos in the late 1980s, but the damage was done. Testing the product on human beings prior to deployment must not have been on their radar.

4. Olestra

Do you remember when Olestra (Olean) products hit the market in the late 1990s? It felt like a miracle. Through the divine intervention of science, they found a way to make potato chips without fat or cholesterol. Hallelujah, we were saved. Sadly, these chips were not the second coming but more like causing you to run feverishly to the bathroom for the second time in ten minutes.

3. The Hummer

Aww, it's a little monster...that destroys the environment.

It is probably treading on dangerous territory to say that the Hummer is one of the worst ideas in a Houston-read blog, but we are here to speak the truth. The car devours gas, (ten miles per gallon), is a complete eyesore, overpowers smaller cars on the road, rendering them blind to traffic ahead and -- the worst part -- when you climb behind the wheel of one, you magically turn into an asshole.

2. Hammer Pants

Why did this happen? There is no plausible reason that an entire country, quite a few educated and scholarly, collectively nodded their heads yes to the idea of hammer pants. Yes, we as a nation will wear these hideous pants because they so nicely flow outward at the hips and then taper tightly at our ankles, which accentuates all of our best features, and we like that they are shiny.

1. Anything on an Infomercial

I know; I've been there too. "I do need an easy way to boil my eggs without the hassle of opening the shells!" "I do need a solution to making my hair poof up higher on the top of my head!" "I do need an aerosol can filled with fake hair!" Like all bad ideas, these came from the best intentions, and those intentions are monetary. If you saw it on TV, it is a bad idea, especially at 3 a.m. when you think it's the best idea.

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