This post by Alex Tabarrok reminded me, oddly enough, of a little prose poem I wrote as a teenager—just over a decade ago, if the date on it is to be trusted. So, against my better judgment, one from the vaults, just for the hell of it:
I drive a medium-sized black 1987 Audi 5000. It is totally illiterate, unable to make out the figures on speed limit signs. So I can lie, tell it we’re on the Autobahn. It’ll never know. On a straightaway, itll get up around 110 before it starts complaining, and at that speed it has lost all track of which side of the yellow lines it’s on, or which lane it’s in. (If the ravings of German patent clerks are to be believed, it’ll never outrun my flashlight, but I can live with that) It is insensible of sirens and does not, left to its own devices, stop for them. It could whirl around instead, tires screeching, collide in a horrible tangle of torn metal heated to slag by the force of impact. It could tear onto an eight lane freeway, swerving wildly lane to lane in a mad dash westward, cracking tollgates like toothpicks the whole way.
It does not, as a rule, do these things.
But it could.