h a l f b a k e r y
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The deafening roar of the crowd dissipated finally as the
Announcer made his way to the centre of the
Hippodrome, the sand whipping about his feet with an
impatient ferocity. A microphone descended from the
heavens and laid itself directly into the Announcers open
palm, and without hesitation
he boomed forth the tale
of Formula Ben-Hur.
Tis in this very drome of dust and dirt that you shall
bare witness to the greatest spectacle of the 21st
century! A race so fantastic as to shame those that bore
the name Ferrari, McLaren and Williams upon their
breast. A race so feverishly exciting youll be telling
tales of it upon your deathbeds! And now, my beloved
The roar of the crowd exploded over the audience like a
spark at a gas main as the Riders entered the
Hippodrome. Already mounted upon their powerful
steeds they waved at the crowds and paraded around the
course in a lap of pre-emptive glory. They stood upon
their Ben-Hur converted Ford Escorts, Vauxhall Cavaliers
and their Saab 900s and rode them by the reins with an
air of authority. Stood upon the chariot platform
attached to the roof of the car just behind the sunroof,
the riders pulled taught their seat-belt reins against the
steering wheels below. The Riders revved their engines
with the extended pedals by their feet and looked
magnificent in their full body leathers, helmet, and
bright flowing capes. The bonnets of the cars had been
beautifully ordained with crafted mechanical metal
horses torsos that moved with an elegance and prestige
that could only pertain to axle rotation.
When the Riders steered their beastly apparatus in line
with the starting point the suspense was unbearable. The
crowd, softened only by their anticipation for the
starting pistol, had been reduced to a dull thunder. The
Riders strapped themselves in and tested the instant
release mechanisms, should they need them upon a roll
of their carriage. They assured the instant roll-cage
extender bars of the chariot base were working properly,
whilst the pit crews sharpened the protruding spokes of
Some Riders waved to loved ones in the crowd, others
prayed to God to keep them safe from trampling wheels,
and another held a steely gaze fuelled with rage at a
single opponent - the ruler and presiding Champion of
the Hippodrome - with 20 years of slavery pounding
vengeance through his veins. This will be the day. This
will be the day. This will be the day.
The moment was imminent
the race poised and ready
like an arrow quivering in a tightly strung bow. Revved
engines, smoke, dust, cheers, grease, metal, and but
one thing remaining
[DrBob, Jan 30 2007]
Here's an alternative interpretation
[Ned_Ludd, Jan 31 2007]
||That's not a bad plan their . The most important thing however is that the main part of the steering control is using reins, so if you can design a remote control device that is controlled by reins then I'm all for it.
||Actually, the horses torsos are the most important part. I like those.
||Oops, thanks for that [jurist].<edited>
||I also had a thought that throttle control could be manipulated with some kind of whip device, and breaks would be pulling back on both reins at the same time. No idea about gears though.
||flappy paddle jobbies actuated by two thin leather straps would do the gears nicely, [theleopard].
||Memories of the movie 'Grease' come to mind.
||Reminds me (rather too much, in fact) of 'Car Surfing' - a particular craze involving standing on the roof of your car, holding onto reins (fashioned from the seatbelts being stretched out of the windows) and getting your friends to drive as fast as they can down a quiet, moonlit road while you, standing atop the speeding vehicle, roar like Ahab against the wind. Quite exhilarating - if (looking back) largely mad.
||For extra japes, jump off before your friends stop the car, and giggle from the bushes like a teenager (for that, dear reader is what you must be) as you watch them coming to the realisation that you are no longer on the roof.
||Jeepers [Tom], were you on drugs or something?! Only the most hardened elite warriors would enlist in Formula Ben-Hur, and there's you emulating their heroism at a tender teen-age, happy to throw yourself to the shrubs and risk life and limb for a practical joke! You are a braver man than I.
||I don't quite get the Grease reference. There was some dancing on cars if I recall, but no actual excitement or fun involved. And the girl was better in Cheers.
||Perhaps if we get a whole bunch of Segways, short out the speed governor, and affix to their wheels colanders that have been butchered with a chainsaw...
||The winner has a fleeting moment drinking
water from a cup offered by a kind
stranger with no face. A man whom no
matter which angle you gaze upon Him, He
always has His back to you, with the sun
casting His body as a silhouette against
the dusty landscape. Not one member of
the Hippodrome's audience will see His
face, just a flowing curtain of thick brown
||Oh really? All I remember is the awful tight
leather trousered ending.
||I recall them stealing a scene right out of 'Ben Hur' where one custom car had spiked hubcaps and tore up the other car's door; but that must've been some other movie.
||Great work, but there must be gore, lots and lots of gore.
||Yes, I wanted gore too, but unfortunately it needs to fit in with today's society.
||Who knows, perhaps we can look forward to a nuclear holocaust in the near future, and the subsequent desolate wastelands of a post-apocalyptic archaic civilisation that has deserted all the (then) out-dated human concepts of morality and compassion, where machines are the relics of the past, and sport returns to its violent origins. Then, finally, this dream can be realised.