Telling a joke online is tricky. Nobody can hear the tone of your voice; nobody can see you wink, grin, or raise an eyebrow. There's always the risk that someone will take you a little too seriously.
I think that's what happened with Elon Musk's recent tweets.
The car, according to Tesla's event last week, will be an absolute jaw-dropper: zero to 60 in 1.9 seconds, a top speed beyond 250 mph, and 620 miles of driving range. Those numbers would make it the quickest (but not the fastest) production car in the world, by a healthy margin.
Maybe it was the near-unbelievability of those performance figures that made folks a little too credulous when :
It's a good joke, nice and subtle. You get halfway through the second tweet before you realize Musk is toying with the idea of a flying car. A moment later, it gets even more outlandish—a rocket-powered flying car. Nice delivery, Elon.
Unfortunately, some folks on the internet seem to have taken it a . Some seem to have seen the first tweet, about a "special option package that takes it to the next level," and started writing without noticing the second tweet, where the gag really unfolds. Others, it seems, truly believe that Musk is proposing to put rocket-powered short-distance flying cars in the hands of human drivers.
My money says it was a joke—or, perhaps, chemically-inspired. In , Musk offers advice nearly anybody can follow: "Tweeting on Ambien is unwise. You may regret it."