The Daily Grind
Jonathan Sanderson’s weblog, since 2001.
Told you they were quick.
Reminds me of a (possibly apocryphal) story I read about a modified Reliant Robin. For those of you not familiar with the Reliant Robin, it is considered by most to be the slowest and ugliest model of car in the UK. The fact that it’s a rather unbalanced three-wheeler doesn’t help it’s case. Nor does 10 years of mockery by Jasper Carrott (‘Reliant Robin owners are desperate to get a speeding ticket to prove they can go that fast!’) Losing in battles with Mr Bean isn’t a great seller either.
Picture two British coppers in their souped-up, police issue Ford Sierra at the side of a major British motorway:
PC Mike: ..and then the missus said “Don’t put it there for heaven’s sake!”
PC Bob: She didn’t.
PC Mike: Too right she di…
A streak of cyan passes in front of them, the radar goes off:
PC Bob: What was that then?
PC Mike: That there was a Reliant Robin doing 80 mph.
There is a brief silence. Two police officers stare at each other as their concept of the world takes a swift kick in the gonads.
PC Bob: No, really, what was that?
The two turn and look down the road only to see the same cyan Reliant Robin weaving in and out of traffic, leaving in its wake various confused and thoroughly irate BMW owners who are now seriously considering asking for their money back. One of our intrepid heroes trains the speed gun on the anomaly in question.
PC Bob: See, had to be a mistake. It’s a Reliant Robin doing 95 mph…
Hot pursuit ensues.
PC Mike: For god’s sake Bob, will you STOP singing the Benny Hill theme!
Eventually they pull over the Reliant Robin. The police issue Sierra is knackered. The Reliant Robin is demanding a rematch. The vehicle is impounded, rabid and foaming at the exhaust pipe. After some careful surgery, involving the removal of the exterior, they discover that the owner has ripped out the original engine and crammed in the engine of an Escort XR3i (or something similar).
For fun, the local police force set up a road test between the Reliant Rabid, a Jaguar and an XR3i. The engine on wheels won. Easily.
PC Mike and PC Bob were promoted to a new division dedicated to the pursuit of runaway Reliant Robins. To date, however, none have proved quite as worth an adversary. In most cases, their highly modified Ford Sierra has remained at the station while they make more extensive use of bicycles. Or skateboards. Or just a nice pair of running shoes. PC Bob claims to have taken one out with his father-in-law’s zimmer, but there were no witnesses.
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