Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Whatever Were They Thinking?

This picture, and other similar ones crop up every now and then on the net. Look closely. Look at the serious faces, the driver, we've seen his type a thousand times, he's a generic hero, we know, earlier that morning, the girls in the office at the top-secret works watched as he shook the hand of the chief engineer, and stepped out to the waiting car that would take him to the test-track, we know those girls dabbed tears from the corners of their eyes, with their lace embroidered handkerchiefs. We know, if he survives this, in a few years time, he'll be going ashore as a commando to destroy a nazi u-boat nest, or he'll be wrestling the controls of a shot-up fighter plane, he MUST reach allied territory to tell of the secret rocket-site hidden in the cliff, above the dam.... they have to know, and somebody must take it out before the bombing raid at the next full moon, or they'll be flying into a trap!

So. Here he is. The all-purpose 1930s hero, about to take a test drive in the X-23...
Beside him is Georgie, the all-purpose upper-class chap, always good for a laugh, courts danger with a whisky flask in one hand. Good old Georgie. He'll die, very bravely, just before the movie ends, and we'll realise, Georgie's not the dilettante playboy we thought him, all this time.

So here they are. At the closed down racetrack, about to take X-23 for a spin. Try not to think about Carruthers, and X-22. Took them four days to collect all the bits of Carruthers and Professor Peat. And at the end, they had one kidney too many in the bucket. That may never be explained.
This contrivance is the future of humanity, it will.......
Oh Bollocks! Any fool can see this thing's the stupidest idea ever. It doesn't take any sort of genius to figure out that it will not handle at all well even on the flat, that any bump will launch it into crazy wobbling disaster, that braking... oh no. let's not even ask about braking. Or downhill.
Or carrying loads. Or .....
Or indeed any way at all in which it would outperform a car or a motor-cycle. That thing obviously cost a load of money to build. How did its advocates pitch it to the money-men? Just how, how did they imagine, in their crazy opium dreams, this thing was going to improve humanity's lot?

I just found a whole heap more on monowheels at Dark Roasted Blend, a blog of the bizarre that never fails to amuse.

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  1. Have you ever let anyone talk you into getting inside of a tire & rolling down a hill? That's what I kept thinking about. It seems to me it would be too easy to lose control & not be able to recover with the one wheel concept. Sooner or later you will fall over. "Be your own gerbil" Haha!

  2. I've never done that, though we used to roll tractor tyres downhill when we were kids, I remember just how solidly they'd whack into the barn wall.

    If I was ever anywhere near a Zorb ball, I'd be stupid enough to volunteer.

  3. Interesting. I can't believe they didn't catch on. I love things like this. (And steam stuff - they should have invented a steam monowheel. Ouch.)

  4. I want one.
    How does one steer this thing, anyway?


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