Taking an American Car for a Spin. A 720 Degree Complete Loss of Control Spin.
I drove an an American car the other day. I didn't even know that Americans still made cars any more, at least not for export. I'd never driven an American car before. Now if you have been reading my blog you may know that I drive a Hummer, but I will point out that a Hummer is not a car. In the US it is classed as a light truck and in Europe it is classified as a continental siege machine.
The car I drove was made by General Motors. Oddly enough, I couldn't recall ever hearing of a General Motors or what part of the armed forces he served in, but I hoped he was involved in the occupation of Japan and while there had learned the secret of making cars that don't suck.
The car looked very good on the outside and the interior was very nice too. I was starting to find it hard to believe the American reputation for shoddy workpersonship, but then, when I got in the car, I discovered that it had a pedal missing. They forgot to put the clutch in. In a way, I have to admit I was relieved. It meant I wouldn't have to go to the bother of changing the stereotype that I had adopted after the laborious process of watching an episode of The Simpsons and eating octopus balls with some Toyota executives. Those shoddy American workers also forgot the gearbox, although that wasn't much of a loss, as it wouldn't have been much good without a clutch. Instead of a gearbox there was just a stick that I could only make slide up and down on a single axis. I presumed some drunken American worker had stuck it there to make it look like she had installed a proper gearbox and her cocaine addled supervisor hadn't noticed.
This was all quite unfortunate as I had a trip to make and too many kilometres to cover in too little time to walk and I hadn't managed to acquire the key to any other vehicle. I would just have to try to start the car and make the trip in whatever gear it was in. I preyed upon the common decency of human beings on this continent and acquired the assistance of a group of them in pushing the car until it was moving fast enough for me to attempt to start it without a clutch. This worked surprisingly well. I then headed down the road towards the highway. As I refused to stop at intersections I was photographed by red light cameras on the way, but no negative consequences resulted from this as the car wasn't registered in my name.
Soon after running a bus full of kids from Camp Cancer (or possibly Camp Neo-Nazi) off the road and merging onto the highway, I realised something interesting. The car appeared to be changing gears by itself. And not just randomly, but in a way that seemed to suit the speed I was driving at. It was then I realised that I must be in one of those self driving robot cars I had read about. I was pretty impressed. I thought it would be at least a decade before I would have a chance to steal one of these babies. So I decided to relax, pushed my seat back, put my feet up on the dash and took out a book.
You ever see The Dukes of Hazard? It's an old American TV show about a Confederate General who is reincarnated as a car, but who has his plans to create a plantation based slave state foiled by his two stupid white henchmen week after week. Oh, how I would laugh at their antics and when they cracked their running joke about the US Civil War being about state rights, specifically the right of states to have slaves. Anyway, I mention this because in that show the car had a habit of flying. This appears to be a characteristic shared by American robot cars as well, as I soon found myself airborne over a large patch of bushes of a type we usually call lantana or sometimes choking noxious Argentinian death weed.
I have to say there was nothing shoddy about the suspension on that robot car as it survived the impact of landing surprisingly well. In that respect it seemed quite over engineered. And, as luck would have it, by the time I made it back to the highway with me in firm control, I had actually managed to take a shortcut of a few hundred meters. So top marks for the ability to survive a hard landing. However, I found out a few kilometres down the road that its ability to survive a kangaroo impact was rather low. Oddly enough, the robot car also appeared to be an autobot, as it attempted to transform into a blimp before it died and inflated several large balloons around me. While it failed to complete the transformation, this did have the fortunate side effect of cushioning the impact for me. It was an unfortunate end to the first robot car I've ever driven, but on the bright side it was almost out of petrol anyway.