Tire Kyckers slam Register silly email signatures report

Must be something in the water

The Register has been inundated with insults and explanations after it ran a report into the dark and slightly mysterious world of e-mail signatures last week.

Although few people seemed to condemn the practice, the exact meaning of the phrase "The tire (sic) is only flat on the bottom" did fire up many of you to write in with some kind of explanation. James McPherson writes: "Car tires are round, except where they touch the ground, i.e. the bottom. This is an example of restating the obvious in a manner intended to be funny but falling, well, flat."

But Bryan Blackwell disagrees. He thinks it means something completely different altogether. “You’ve had a flat tire on your car at some point, right? OK, if you look at the tire, it looks like it’s only flat on the bottom, and couldn’t you fix it by just putting on a piece to fill in that flat part? So the signature line is not surreal, it’s a commentary on people who have no clue whatsoever what the problem is. Imagine Dilbert’s pointy haired boss saying this and I think you’ll get it." Interestingly,

Bryan signs off his email with: “Why do something if you’re not going to obsess about it?” Mmmmmmmm, very interesting, but what does it say about Bryan’s approach to life? We’re also indebted to James Lewis who says in his e-mail: "It is supposed to convey optimism, as in the difference between ‘The glass is half full’ and ‘The glass is half-empty’. But then, what do I know?" Indeed, what do you know, James, when you sign-off your e-mail with: "[If] it doesn’t run on an open source platform, therefore it, by definition, does not matter."

Other explanations included this one from Peter Gimeno who takes the philosopher's approach to the problem. "I think that this quote has a literal meaning to it," he wrote. "Tires, when they go flat, are deformed and ‘flat’ on the bottom. The rest of the tire appears to be all right. I suppose a symbolic interpretation of this quote might be something like, ‘the results of a problem are not always where the problem started’. When a tire goes flat, the bottom ‘flat’ part is really only the result of the problem, and not the cause of the flat tire." Did everyone get that?

And thanks to Bart Trzynadlowski for his upbeat explanation: "Hey, I think I know what that means. It means that when you get a flat it only appears to be on the bottom and it shows that even though part of you is dragging down in the dumps you should keep the rest of your body... inflated. Or in good spirits or something."

The Register welcomes all contributions from freethinking readers who like nothing better than to wrestle with a cerebral challenge every once in a while. But we’re disturbed that so many of the explanations need a doctorate in philosophy—or some mind-expanding drug—to even get close to the truth.

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