Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The case of the missing smarts

Smart cars by Pants

Here in Larrikin's End and greater environs, vehicles are expected to be able to read. This is because many of the humans can't. But when it comes to getting a fine, the humans who own the cars have to pay it. Many try to avoid speeding fines by telling the judge their car is a Toyota.

The Pantybago supposedly has a speed limiter called 'cruise control' but it resists all efforts to impose it. This has resulted in 'us' receiving a fine for travelling 6kms an hour over the speed limit. I shouldn't complain because I used to zoom along the M1 motorway in Britain at 125mph (200kms) on a regular basis in my BMW and never once got a fine. I sold that car the year speed cameras started to appear. I was definitely due a fine for something.

If the behaviour of cars is hard to fathom, the conduct of boats is even stranger. Last weekend, the town was gripped by the saga of a boat called Grecian Lady, supposedly missing with three adults and two children on board. This was cause for great excitement as men love to get out in boats and fly around in helicopters looking for missing people, especially children. But, instead of ending in tears of joy or sorrow, it turned out to be a mystery.

"We have established that it's a hoax because we've failed to locate any debris in the water and any overdue people," Sergeant Adrian Sinclair told ABC News.

Overdue people? Is there a fine for them as there is for library books? Will something be cut off? (Sorry, I saw Alice in Wonderland yesterday).

"There's been no unattended people and there's been no unattended vehicles or trailers left anywhere," he added, perhaps to clarify. Or perhaps to stess the sheer incredulity of the situation. Or indeed to pre-empt any future disciplinary action. Maybe sergeants can get into a lot of trouble for 'failing to locate any overdue or unattended people.' Sergeant Sinclair is unlikely to progress in the police force with that attitude. I can confirm that both the Pantybago and I were left unattended during the period of time in question and the Larrikin's End Police failed to locate either of us. Furthermore, the Panytbago is overdue for a service. I'm post-men so overdue isn't really a factor for me anymore. Those poor people!

The police are no better than the rest of us at reading it seems. Otherwise they might have recognised the clue in the name of the 'missing' boat, Grecian Girl. If they had been aware of Thomas Moore's poem The Grecian Girl's Dream of the Blessed Islands, they might have deduced that the whole thing was just a wet dream taking place in 'the waters above the firmament.' The ancients believed that there was an ocean in the heavens, where the billionnaire gods sailed their luxury motor yachts and sank their offshore oil rigs. If ever there was a need for some genuine sleuthing talent, it's in this age of the search engine.

Perhaps we need car detectives like Kit in Knight Rider. He was much smarter than David Hasselhof but I guess even a roller skate is smarter than The Hoff.