15 November 2005

The Blog(u) 9: The Third Gear.

The Third Man winced as his sleek, silver car lurched around the corner. He turned to look behind. Behind where he sat was the engine, a masterpiece of technology and artistry. It was a living thing that breathed through twelve silver trumpets, making a swirling mist of petrol fumes in that inch above them. Through the sunlit, rainbow-coloured haze, he saw the corner they had just passed. Although the bend was gentle, black tyre-marks carving through it were not.
The car lurched again. From behind, the engine protested shrilly, in much the same tone as the tyres on the road.
‘Let’s try that again,’ he said as impassively as he could manage.
plink frowned under the brim of her crash helmet. The dark arts of double-clutch heel’n’toe were difficult to master, but she was determined to get the hang of it.
And then they were off again.
‘Right,’ plink muttered under her breath. ‘Fourth gear, brake into the corner. Clutch in, swing out the right heel and blip the throttle….’ And the car heeled over spitefully once more, tearing stubbornly at the tarmac.

Much later, with the Third Man driving, plink saw how it was really done.
‘Practice,’ he said. ‘Practice is all it really is.’
‘But I know how it’s done!’ plink protested.
‘And the difference between you, me and the Ghost Hunter is….’
‘Exactly!’ he said, throwing the car emphatically into a corner and plink felt the laws of physics draw her firmly towards the window.

‘Fourth gear, here comes the corner!’ The Third Man was grinning broadly in the passenger seat.
‘Brake hard, clutch in. Heel swing and blip throttle.’ The grumpy mass of metal behind started to sing angelically in time to plink’s little feet.
‘Third gear, clutch out,’ and there was no lurch.
‘Ease off brake and turn in.’ The tyres started to sing too, the deep basso rumble contrasting sharply with soprano notes of loosening grip.
‘Add throttle to the mix….’
‘Apex and exit!’

Sunset over the Third Man’s blogfield was breathtaking. As the stars came out over the eastern sky, the light in the west faded. Gentle reds gave way to purples and blues higher in the sky, the colours broken by a thin line of cloud.
‘You have learned much today.’
‘Or perhaps not. Technical mastery is not knowledge alone, but comes from practice also.’
The Third Man patted the little one’s shoulder, then he pointed to the fading light of the mountains. ‘There in the mountains lives a king who is very wise. There is much yet you could learn from him.’
‘I will go,’ said plink. ‘I must go.’
And the light of ideas swirled joyously overhead as plink continued her journey.