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Mahout Commute

Howdah Motor Company
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I stared, in rapt fascination, at a pair of massive elephants made of wood, leather, steel, cables and hydraulics, while they ambled along in traffic; their "drivers" sitting 15 feet or so above the roadway, steering their majestic beasts nimbly through the rush hour jam of vehicles.

Attracted by their appealing appearance, reminiscent of the glory days of the British Raj, I discovered these huge luxury vehicles were essentially monstrous puppets, powered by a conventional internal combustion engine and a series of electromechanical servo-motors.

Each elephant was controlled by a skilled operator while their privileged passengers rode in utter luxury in the sumptuous howdahs on their backs.

I resolved, then and there, to drop my plans to own a chauffeured Bentley and get one of these, complete with mahout, instead.

UnaBubba, Apr 27 2012

British, of course http://video.google...4628921405455956969
[AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 27 2012]

Invente par les Francais http://en.wikipedia...Sultan%27s_Elephant
L'elephant n'exist plus [AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 27 2012]

[link]






       Hmm, I saw this a little less steampunk; a little more natural.
UnaBubba, Apr 27 2012
  

       I'd like to see a Top Gear episode lap. "Cornering ability seems a bit rough!"
RayfordSteele, Apr 27 2012
  

       Ideal for Trunk Roads, no doubt…
8th of 7, Apr 27 2012
  

       Elephants are mysteriously difficult to see on the highway. Strange but true. They definitely do not teleport...you just get a sort of sudden awareness that they were there all the time.
Ling, Apr 27 2012
  

       But on the plus side, you can ride your Kawi right underneath them.   

       [+] Good mechanical animal ideas almost always get my bun.
Alterother, Apr 27 2012
  

       "That still only counts as one!"   

       [+] hey, works for me: rickshaw alternative, courier "when it doesn't have to be there yesterday" cross-country service, a bit of slow but sturdy 4x4 on/off-road action during rush hour, etc., costs peanuts to run...
FlyingToaster, Apr 27 2012
  

       "When it doesn't have to be there yesterday" I so wish we could bun anno's.
UnaBubba, Apr 27 2012
  

       // costs peanuts to run.. //   

       Maybe, but a LOT of peanuts…
8th of 7, Apr 27 2012
  

       You pay peanuts, you get monkeys. You pay more peanuts, you get gorillas.
UnaBubba, Apr 27 2012
  

       Sometimes when you pay shiny gold coins and sparkly jewels you STILL get monkeys.
AusCan531, Apr 27 2012
  

       >Elephants are mysteriously difficult to see on the highway   

       saw them after dark with flashing red lights tied to their tails in Thailand...   

       And never ask me about the school commemoration service, the baby elephant, the Mission Impossible music over the tannoy and the smoke grenades. Wasn't even my deviltry...
not_morrison_rm, Apr 28 2012
  

       Someone told me, just yesterday, that there was an elephant in the room. Damned if I could see it.
UnaBubba, Apr 28 2012
  

       Obviously no flashing red lights..
not_morrison_rm, Apr 28 2012
  

       // flashing red lights tied to their tails //   

       Now there's a job description to give a recruitment agent nightmares…
8th of 7, Apr 28 2012
  

       "You were right honey, I find this very Carthartic."   

       "You should try it with Fava beans, and a nice Chianti!"
4whom, Apr 28 2012
  

       Nor 40kg piles of yellow, steaming tennis balls.   

       [4whom], I think you'd find an Amarone preferable to a Chianti, especially with liver.
UnaBubba, Apr 28 2012
  
      
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