Last week the world was gripped by the story of Balloon Boy, a small child trapped in a balloon as it sailed over the landscape below. To make a stupid story short, it turns out the kid wasnât in the balloon, was instead hiding in the attic the whole time and has a father who is now at risk of being pelted with fruit every time he steps outdoors. However the parts of that story concerning idiots were uninteresting to me, given my heavy exposure to idiots on the Internet already. What sparked my imagination was the idea of a madman working on antiquated methods of transportation in his backyard and getting his children to test them, like they were monkeys or something. Truthfully, I was amazed I hadn't thought of it myself. Children share many of the same characteristics of monkeys, in that theyâre trainable, lightweight and love bananas. However, unlike monkeys, few people actually care about the welfare of children, making them ideally suited for such dangerous work. I have to applaud the boy's father's genius. Sending children into the sky in wacky Victorian modes of transport would make for incredible TV. Hell, we just watched it make for incredible TV. Someone get on this. Because no one ever "gets on something" when I ask them to, I decided to do a bit of research on this myself. Below are 18 of the most preposterous methods of transport I could find. It turns out that many of these are hilarious even independent of their ability to endanger children. _______
The downside with conventional hot air balloons is that youâre basically at the mercy of the winds when it comes to where youâre going to go. Here that problem has been solved by harnessing the predictable forces of an angry elephant. _____
A Tricycle built for nine. Perfect for taking your entire family on a trip to the park or down to the Thunderdrome to fight for your meal. I seriously hope they have a parking brake on this thing, because a lot of people are going to lose a lot of hit points if it starts rolling. _____
âEnglish women are frigid ice queens. I bet American women will put out for my genius. Here I come, America.â _____
Wow. This businessman looks determined. âThere is no way some GODDAMNED OCEAN is going to keep me from winning that Jenkins account.â _____
Propeller powered monorail. I donât know enough about aerodynamics or mechanical engineering to know whether this is a good idea or not, but I do know that these would make those railroad-crossing safety videos 10 times funnier. _____
Itâs hard to tell when itâs not in motion, but those three wings coming out each side of this lunatic device are actually meant to rotate in the manner of an egg beater. If built, this would have been the only known aircraft powered by the embarrassment of its occupants. _____
âWith my new Enveloping Unicycle, I can travel twice as fast and in three times the style. If only I had some place to go.â _____
Most of us will be familiar with autogyro contraptions from that wild-eyed, snake throwing motherfucker from The Road Warrior. But few know that these were actual things that were actually built by real grown up people who wore ties and hats and everything. This one is called the Fairey Rotodyne, and isnât technically an autogyro. Itâs actually a gyroplane â the difference being that the top rotors are themselves propelled. In this case, by fucking jet motors mounted in the rotor tips. There's a video of it flying here. The project was eventually canceled, and the Rotodyne destroyed, doomed for being too beautiful to exist in a world such as ours. _____
This is a three man, four-wheeled, pedal-powered cycle. It was featured heavily in a series of novellas from around the turn of the century about a group of teenagers and their dog who went around solving mysteries. _____
âHey! Jebeidiah!â âYes, Samuel?â âFuck you!â âzooms off- _____
âI was wrong. American women are frigid, too. Well letâs see if Canadian women like the cut of my jib.â _____
âGracious. I can see why ladyfolk like riding these so much.â _____
An illustration of Roburâs airship from Jules Verneâs famous series of novels about the air pirate. Robur used it to conduct raids on the industrial nations of the world, but after analyzing its design, modern engineers agree it could also be used to save your game or reform your party. _____
Similar to the Mystery Machine above, this was a tricycle designed for police officers to be able to transport an Irishman to jail in great haste. For balance issues, it was recommended the rearmost passenger have an enormous mustache. _____
I honestly have no idea. Someone hereâs clearly misinterpreted a textbook figure on the density of hay. _____
Wow. Lots going on here. One, it turns out sulky isnât a made up a word, and is simply a name for a two wheel carriage that my city-boy ears never learned. Two, itâs made by an Italian, so you know itâs reliable. Three, 116 miles per hour. Fuck you common sense, I want one of these, and I want it yesterday. _____
âGentle sirs, with this device, I guarantee that you shall not find a more civilized way to convey your lady at high speeds into a marsh and Expire.â _____
âCan you believe these Canadian women, Reginald? I canât believe I came all the way here for these bitches.â âThat is too bad, Victor.â âI suppose something good has come of it though.â âYou mean how youâve perfected your Two Person Crotchpiston Drive?â âNo, Reginald. I mean how Iâve made a friend.â _____
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