Keep on truckin’

I am an avid fan of cars.  They have always been able to catch and hold my attention for hours on end, no matter what mood I might be in.  There’s just so much about them that interests me.  Some are showcases of modern engineering, others are impressive by virtue of sheer beauty.  The Jaguar E-type is a car that fits in the latter category.  It’s nearly in a league of its own when it comes to good looks.  When I’m old and impotent, I won’t need Viagra or any other pill geared towards rectifying erectile dysfunction to get me going.  Just show me a silhouette picture of the E-type Jag and I’ll be ready to take on the entire female population of Sweden, barring of course the small issue of horny 80-year olds not being very attractive.  But my ability to construe automotive design as a way to regulate blood flow to the penis is not today’s topic, far from it.  My gripe is with something quite a lot more bothersome.

A lorry.

A lorry

I travel long distances by car quite often, and it’s something I often take great pleasure in doing.  The mountainous landscape of southern Norway is breathtakingly beautiful, and the best way to see it, barring a personal airplane, is by car.  The act of driving is quite entertaining as well; changing gears smoothly

Beautiful

Beautiful scenery

as the road climbs and descends into valleys and over mountain passes, winding along the topography like a graceful asphalt river.  But there is a fly in this tomato soup.  Actually that is an understatement; there’s a Saab Scania in my soup.  I am of course referring to lorries.

On my last drive home, I was stuck behind one of these motorised warehouses for over one hour.  The road was winding, and I was in a car with a whopping 63bhp and about as much torque as an electric tooth brush, so overtaking the lumbering behemoth wasn’t an option.  The road was also about as wide as my fingernail, meaning even if I had been in a sports car I still wouldn’t have been able to go past the lorry without a jet engine and wings.  So there I was, left to the good manners of a man who gets his opinions from the local radio station of wherever he’s delivering mattresses that week.

“This man was on a mission, and his mission was to make my life miserable.„

When I’m out driving, I’m usually quite the gentleman.  If someone comes up behind me with a speed greater than mine, I blink to the side and let them pass.  Should I catch up to someone who’s under the impression that 80 km/h means “80 only if you want to, but 50 is fine too”, I’ll give a few blinks of the turn indicator and signal that I’d like to overtake them by placing myself slightly towards the centre strip.  The lorry driver was not a gentleman, a fact he made quite clear by driving like he was alone in another dimension where time went a lot slower.  As I was being overtaken by squirrels and old women in electric wheelchairs, wondering if I was going to be home by the next ice age, I thought to myself: What kind of creature might be maneuvering the vessel I was currently stuck behind?  Furthermore, what is a lorryist really like?

“His sex life consists of picking up random hitchhikers…„

For starters, he possesses the intellectual capacity of a common garden snail.  And his physique?  Picture, if you will, someone with the appearance of a furry pear with legs and a hat, and a constant six day stubble.  Such a physique is the by-product of a diet consisting mainly of random sweaty meat products from road-side gas stations, and a workout routine of lifting a half-empty coffee mug thrice an hour.  His name is one syllable, probably Steve or Hank, and he wears a chequered, sleeveless flannel shirt.  He has many friends, but they’re all lorry drivers as well, and he only ever interacts with them on his short-wave radio.  His sex life consists of picking up random hitchhikers, raping them, and disposing of their bodies in plastic bags, preferably in several pieces.

The back of the beast

While picturing what the berk in front of me was like provided quite good fun, it wasn’t going to solve my predicament in a hurry.  This man was on a mission, and his mission was to make my life miserable.  I tried signalling him more times than I care to count, but to no avail.  As we crept along the E134 at 40 km/h, the speed limit being 80 km/h, it dawned on me that this was no longer a matter of a lorryist and his reckless driving.  This was personal.  He could have easily yielded to the side and let me pass at one of the many widened road shoulders we passed, but he just crept on.  I know he was aware of me; the eight million cars behind me made sure of that with their helpful honking and flashing of their full lights.  But this man, in his vast sea of mental retardation, was apparently under the impression that all the craziness going on behind his lorry had nothing to do with him.  In his mind I’m sure the cacophonous disco of car horns and flashing lights was nothing but pleasant ambience to the rattle of his asthmatic diesel engine, which by the way was doing a very poor job of moving his truck forward.  So we kept going, still moving at the speed of growing hair, the truck driver still not showing any sign of intelligent life, line of cars behind me growing ever longer.

Finally, we came upon a straight piece of road wide enough for us both.  I overtook him, and gave him a polite honk of the horn accompanied by a rigid middle finger.  In all likelihood he’s still trundling along some mountain road, ruining the day for other drivers and killing cute rabbits along the road with his big, polluting diesel engine.  I can’t wait till someone invents teleportation as a way of transporting goods.  Then the lorry drivers can finally reach their next evolutionary milestone, becoming bus drivers.

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Audi-RSQ-cropped

Greetings, trusted reader(s)!  My summer holiday became slightly less productive than I had anticipated, and as such I simply didn’t get to updating the Vacuous Intelligence.  My sincerest apologies. Looking ahead, I’m back to updating the blog on a weekly/bi-weekly basis, all the while making sure the content is qualitatiously approved by yours truly.  Let’s get this thing rolling!

There are many things in this world that amaze me.  Crickets for example. I just cannot get to grips with the earth-shattering amount of decibels the tiny bastards can produce by simply rubbing their legs together.  They are able to produce noise (that’s what it is; noise) upwards of one hundred decibels when calling for a mate.  Imagine if humans had the same ability.  You’d be able to hear the sound of Marit Christensen’s fat thighs rubbing together from the Andromeda galaxy.  On a related note, America would still be the loudest nation on earth.  I’m also amazed by simpler sings, like flatulence.  You see, most things on this planet are made the way they are for a reason.  Poisonous frogs have brightly coloured skin, so that other animals will know not to eat them.  The Flightless Cormorant has lost its ability to fly, because it has no need for flight in its natural habitat.  But what service does a smelly fart provide?  In what way is my life made better by billions of minute bacteria making my burrito smell like death incarnate the next day?  No matter, I’m certain there is a scientist somewhere who has already made his career from cracking the mystery of smelly gas.

One that will never be solved, though, is the mystery of the remote car key.  Whoever thought of that one should be forced to run a marathon wearing nothing but a terribly itchy cardigan and a cilice.

A Playstation 3 or new keys, tough choice.

What on earth could possibly be the reasoning behind such a device?  Forget about smelly burritos being useless, all this thing does is unlock your car from a distance.  “Well that’s a wonderful gadget, saves me the walk!”, you’re probably thinking.  But what use is unlocking the car unless you’re actually going over to it?  Won’t it be just as convenient to unlock the car as you arrive at the door?  I cannot for the life of me think of a single reason why having your car be unlocked prior to your arrival to the damn thing can be of any use.

You might save five seconds if you’ve got a severe case of Parkinson’s, but then you’ve got worse things to worry about than being one twelfth of a minute late to Sunday night bingo.  So if saving time isn’t the reason, then what?  “But wait,” you say, “a remote car key is brilliant, after all it can never be worn out!”.  Unfortunately though, you’d be wrong again.  As soon as the battery runs out, you’ll be on your merry way to the local car dealer where you’ll have to pay upwards of £ 40 to have the battery exchanged by an unclean, pant suit-wearing man named Buck.  That is if you’re lucky enough to run out of battery power when you’re near civilization.  Should you be so lucky as to be atop a snowy mountain when it happens, you’d better hope your cell phone isn’t out of juice as well, lest you be forced to eat whoever’s on the mountain with you until rescue arrives.

“Volkswagen’s [remote] key is bigger than my 2002 Nokia cell phone…„

So we’ve ruled out both time saving and wear and tear as reasons for using a remote key as opposed to a conventional one.  Surely, though, there must be something positive about it.  After all, pretty much every modern car these days uses them.  Could practicality be the answer?  Volkswagen’s key is bigger than my 2002 Nokia cell phone, nothing practical about that.  It certainly isn’t price, I can tell you that.  Mercedes will bill you a hefty £ 250 for a new key.  A “cheap” key costs you upwards of £100 at a dealer, and that’s without the remote thingy.  Is there nothing, then, that can justify using a remote car key in the place of an old fashioned one?  Is it really just some daft device invented to make your neighbour jealous?

In any case, it has the old key beat by a zillion miles in the popularity department.  Funny, seeing as how conventional car keys today have been made so as to be nearly impossible to replicate without the individual code that follows each key.   Several decades of research into the fine art of cutting a metal cylinder into a unique shape rendered obsolete by a useless electronic gizmo that can be disabled by an electromagnetic fart.