Friday, 30 July 2010

Top Gear

My blog production team and I had a brainstorming meeting today. When I say a brainstorming meeting, I mean video conference interlink, of course, as I was in my penthouse suite (as per usual), my contributing editor, Kizzmyartz, is permanently located in the Nether Regions (phnar! as LL would say!), and my technical consultant, Stewart, is off having fun in a villa in France which was once owned by The Rolling Stones (I'm so jealous - *sob*!). So we hyper-linked. Inter-netted.

Kizzmyartz ( the artist formerly known as Alistair - see his many insightful and wide-ranging editorials in the comments section beneath, well, most of my posts actually), came up with the idea that I should bring some variety into my blog posts. Taking his advice (he is a vocational trainer of international repute, after all (alarming, but true)), I wondered what other topics I could blog about. Stewart, as technical consultant, suggested I could try something more, well, technical.

Something technical, eh? Interesting. Then I got it! I would look to one of my all time favourite TV shows for inspiration.

It's the coolest.....
It's the funniest......
It's the craziest.....

Top Gear.

The Top Gear team are meant to be reviewing all things car, and car related.

But they are all British and, therefor, mad. In fact, look in the dictionary under "mad" and this is what you will find. Or this. Or this.

Sometimes they actually review cars. Or get famous people to test drive them.

But mostly they just try to think of new ways to insult people. Especially the Germans (you can begin to see why TG appeals to me).

Being a professionally qualified theatre stage technician/pyrotechnic  (you better believe it baby!), I have always envied the Top Gear technical crew. The laughs they must have! Their risk assessments must read like an insurance brokers worst nightmare!

But I don't actually know anything about cars. Absolutely nothing. 

To a lesser blogger, this might have been a problem. Not to me!

"Okay", I said to my team "Let's DO IT!"

SFX: Jeremy Clarkson voice over "And they did!"

The set-up was that Stewart, Kizzmyartz and I would each choose a vehicle, of any description, without knowing what challenges we would have to use them for, and meet up at a pre-arranged starting point.

We were to meet at an auto repair shop in Phoenix, Arizona, in America (it's on expenses, after all!).

[*screen goes to black*]

SFX: "Paris, Texas" fade-up as screen brightens

The day dawned bright, and we see a long-shot of the dusty forecourt of a Phoenix auto repair shop. 

Taking on the mantle of the Hamster, I had been relatively sensible, and had decided to wait until I got there, and then buy a car....   That way, I'd be more likely to find something that the locals would buy and, therefor, most likely to be able to withstand whatever the task was! A-ha - it was a cunning plan you see (or so I thought)!

Sneakily, I had already googled Phoeniz auto repairs and read what the blurb said. It talked about  dry, dusty air and hot temperatures that can adversely affect your vehicle and its drivability (drivability? is that a word now?), and how insufficient cooling can make the engine overheat, or cut out, and how it is imperative to have optimum cooling system functionality in desert areas. I was slightly nervous on reading this information, I must admit. Just a tad. Having an engine seize in the desert seemed to be something best avoided. But I had my cunning plan, so all was going to be well.

So, I arrived at the garage to choose my vehicle.

The Garage

I was a little disappointed with the lack of choice of cars, but they told me they had a British ford escort in stock. "Great!" I thought "A good old, trusty British car - that'll do me, thank you very much!".

Until I saw it:

My Ford Escort

It would probably need a little work before we set off, - a few bits and pieces, just to tart it up, furry dice maybe? Possibly even buy a water pump, so that the engine wouldn't seize-up in the dry, dry Texan desert?

As he was taking time out from his holiday in a luxury villa in France, Stewart decided to keep to the French theme, and arrived in something originally intended for French peasants:

Stewart's Peasant Vehicle

He had also chosen to wear matching outfit:

I was pondering upon just how many ways this was wrong, when Kizzmyartz arrived, in what he described as his new, ride-on ground engaging vehicle (for the weekend warrior), which he had, coincidentally, purchased after reading about it in my blog only a few days earlier. It looked like this:

Kizzmyartz's "Ground Engaging Vehicle"

I told him that he'd been ripped-off, THAT was NEVER a ride-on lawn mower! Hahahaha!

This was obviously news to him, judging by the shocked and hurt expression on his face.

But he seemed to be quite attached to it, and had also got a matching outfit (online, from the same guy who sold him the Korean tank , why wasn't I surprised!).

Without making any sudden movements, I began quietly moving away from Kizzmyartz.

But it was too late.

Already upset at discovering that his vehicle wasn't a ride-on lawn mower, he was getting increasingly agitated at Stewart and I who were, by this time, convulsed with laughter, doubled over, tears streaming down our faces.

We should have taken more notice.

We should probably have stopped laughing. Probably.

But we didn't, and didn't....

We didn't even notice when Kizzmyartz removed his bearskin headgear and got into his tank.

And started the engine.....



By the time he had finished, there was nothing to suggest that our cars had ever been anything other than bits of very flat, random orange and green scrap metal. And when I say flat, I mean flat. Flatter than a flat thing which has lived all it's life in Flatville.

Meanwhile, Kizzmyartz, still in his tank, had carried on, crush-happy and presumably intent on wrecking destruction for at least a wee while longer. Destroying our cars appeared to have had a therapeutic effect on him, as we could just make out the sound him humming to himself over the strains of the tank engine.

Unfortunately for any vehicles in his path, the tune he was blithely humming was (SFX) Ride of the Valkyries.

Ho Hum.....

Stewart and I returned to our motel bedrooms, not quite sure what to do next.

Laying-low was probably a good idea, at least until the National Guard had caught-up with Kizzmyartz.

Reflecting upon the events of the last few hours, we realised that we had completely failed in our mission to pay homage to Top Gear, as we hadn't completed the course of challenges given us by our backroom production team.

In fact, we hadn't even started the first task!

Feeling thoroughly chastened at the prospect of returning home to explain ourselves to the production team who were no doubt eagerly anticipating footage of wild hilarity and exciting car races, we decided that this was another good reason to stay put and hide. At least for the time being.

With nothing else to do, we turned on the TV, and couldn't believe our eyes at what had just come on:


Oh, the irony (and neither of us could remember if Kizzmyartz had a gun turret on his tank).

So, I thoroughly failed in my attempt to write a technical post.

I did learn a little bit about cars, though (eg. they crush quite easily, especially the Dyan).

But it has given me an idea for a post.....

Set in Monaco.......

Formula 1 racing venue......

My all time favourite Formula 1 racing circuit.....



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Frances said...

Those who wish to have their cars checked for much needed repairs would have to check out body shop Phoenix has to offer.