The Logic Behind 13 Of History's Craziest Vehicles
It is difficult to make a vehicle. The engineering, logistical, and social challenges necessary to make a successful new car, boat, or airplane are immense, and it's no surprise that humanity has occasionally stumbled when presented with them. Indeed, our history books are littered with drawings and prototypes for methods of transport which are completely bananas. But because these failures show us what not to do, and thus help guide the way to better, more successful vehicles, they should be applauded, not mocked.
So with that in mind, let's mock them and the people who made them.
The Horse Killer
"So I've done a drawing."
"Good, good. That is our business, after all -- drawing vehicles and then making them."
"Yes. And here it is. What do you think?"
"Is that us?"
"I like it! One thing."
"Is it possible you might startle the horse when you shoot it in the back of the head?"
"Alas, Gregor, my drawing skills have failed me. Those are two horses, and the bolt would fly between them."
"I see. And what were you anticipating it shooting?"
"The bullies who mock us for our poorly-designed vehicles."
The Wings Beneath My Wings
"Raoul? Wings generate lift. We know that, right?"
"What if we took a plane and added more wings, then?"
"That seems like it might be hard to build."
"I've already built it."
"That seems like it might be hard to build well."
"You hurt me there, Raoul."
The Likely Event Of A Water Landing
"Raoul, I've had a notion. We use the basic premise of our multi-wing plane, of which we are both equally fond."
"But this time, we use fewer wings."
"I like it. I LOVE IT."
"Good. I'm glad you're with me. And then let's replace those missing wings with a boat."
"Hector, remind me of one thing."
"If something can be done, does that mean it should be done?"
"Did you get a new haircut?"
"What was that screaming I heard earlier?"
"It occurs to me, hanging here in the air underneath a motherfucking kite, that this is not the best idea we've ever had."
"But Raoul, that sounds like an insult. Because we are full of exceedingly bad ideas, even our best might not be very good at all."
"I hate you, Hector."
"The vehicles we design, they're hazards to man and beast, yes?"
"But are they hazardous enough?"
"This isn't a hypothetical question, is it?"
"No. I have designed something which I suspect could maim many, many people."
"OF COURSE BEASTS. Anyway, I've attached the most dangerous part of an aeroplane to a bicycle and have been riding it at people while screaming."
"How do the people feel about this?"
The Sea Train
"Well, Hector, while you've been doing that, I've built a new type of railway."
"Raoul, you sphincter. You have built a pier, not a railway."
"Not so! This is a railway on stilts! Which passes through the water!"
"To travel across the sea."
"But wouldn't a boat do that better?"
"How did I forget about boats?"
"Don't beat yourself up. It's easy to forget about boats."
"We used boats to build this."
"We are bad at our jobs, aren't we?"
The Death Hoop
"The authorities were displeased with our last vehicle."
"Yes, Raoul. Many people drowned. And worse."
"We should make it up to them. We should build the authorities something sensible."
"It's funny you mention that. I've just invented this thing and also, incidentally, suffered a catastrophic head injury."
"Although I worry for your health, chum, this is actually pretty rad."
"Blurg wurgle ferp."
The Flying Keg
"Hector, what do we know about making planes?"
"Ferp? Ferp ..."
"Forget it all. We're going to make this fucking keg fly."
The Duck Slayer
"Raoul, I've been reading about this 'ground effect.'"
"The effect which causes our planes to disintegrate when they hit the ground?"
"No, that is another effect. The ground effect provides lift to low-flying objects."
"What an astounding piece of apparently useful knowledge. You surprise me, Hector. But could we still use this to crash into things at punishing speeds?"
The Ship Of Too Many Cylinders
"Hector, this ship of yours feels like it's missing something."
"Two massive rotating cylinders?"
"No, it has those. It has two more of those than it should, I think."
"But that's the thing! By spinning 'round and 'round, they generate lift when air blows over them. They act as sails or wings!"
"This is a remarkably creative and well-conceived design. You have been a changed man since suffering that head injury."
"Thank you, Raoul!"
The Swole Plane
"Raoul, the new cargo plane we have been commissioned to design."
"What of it?"
"Where is it?"
"I put it inside this other, larger plane."
"Can we get it out?"
"Raoul, the authorities are going to be very upset."
"Good news, Hector."
"You've found your denim."
"Yes. Also, I have improved upon the bicycle."
"You feel that flying ear-first into the pavement makes this an improvement?"
"I do. And here's why. You have been different since your catastrophic head injury. You have been almost ... competent."
"I ... wasn't before?"
"No. And neither was I. But now you have changed. There is a bridge between us."
"You mean there's a gap between us."
"YOU'RE DOING IT AGAIN."
"Raoul, what are you doing?"
"I too will suffer a catastrophic head injury and become just like you."
*Raoul suffers a catastrophic head injury and also messes up his ear pretty bad.*
"Raoul! Are you OK?"
"You are OK! Everything's going to be OK!"
Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and wishes he had a friend as good as Raoul. The author of the science fiction novel Severance, his next novel, Freeze/Thaw, is available right now! Holy shit! Join him on Facebook or Twitter.
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