Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hooning is a man's God-given RIGHT!

OK, I've got your attention, now let's look at it.

It seems I can't open a newspaper without seeing at least a short piece about someone found driving at 213km/h in a 60km/h zone, doing burnouts in a crowded carpark, or some other such evil deed. Soon it will be more criminal to hoon with a car than steal one. If I can steal a non-trademarked slogan from a bygone era, why is it so?

It's quite true that hooning in public is incredibly dangerous to life. But if that's the only problem, why can't we just remove it to some safe place? Because as I will now demonstrate, hooning has a lot of beneficial side-effects.

Subjecting the body to G-forces builds up muscle
Men don't bear children, so their bodies don't naturally build up all the muscle they're going to need through life during their adolescent years like women's bodies do. That's why teenage boys are full of testosterone, the idea is that they'll work it out through their arms and legs and build up muscle. Unfortunately in these days of video games that doesn't happen much. So it's good for boys to compensate in other ways.

It's amazing how many muscles are brought into play when a person in a seated position tries to brace themselves in place while the apparent G force is not vertical. Every handbrake turn, while taking 5000km worth of wear out of the tyres, builds up muscles that will be invaluable in later life.

So, hooning while young helps prevent muscular atrophy and arthritis in old age.

Men need to know how to deal with adrenaline in case of an emergency
Again, men's and women's bodies react differently to emergency situations. Women rarely break down under pressure - the crisis brings out the best in them and they have been known to work without sleeping for three days straight. Men react differently - when faced with the seemingly impossible their first reaction is to make a frontal attack on the most visible part of the problem. This usually has devastating results.

Recovering from an uncontrolled skid, where the first reaction is to wrench the steering wheel off its bearings in the opposite direction of the skid, is a good way to introduce the concept of finesse into the masculine brain. Steer gently in the same direction as the skid, recover control of the wheels, and the car will recover almost of its own accord.

So, hooning while young gives the ability to take control of complicated situations.

Secondary forces need to be understood and managed
The popular sport of drifting, where the wheels point one direction and the car moves in another, is another highly effective way to reduce the value of a new set of tyres - but it also teaches our young testosterone-fuelled boy about the concept of secondary forces. What is it that pushes the car in the direction it's going? How can you influence its magnitude and direction? And can you do that in a split second when you notice the drift?

This knowledge comes useful in any endeavour that involves physical exertion in a confined space. Moving house and trying to stack as much as possible into the van? Climbing up on the load to put something right at the front? If your foot slips, you won't regret a bit of drifting experience.

A sense of awesome
Besides the actual benefits of hooning, there's the sheer enjoyment of it. I mean, what's creepier than a man who has no interest in airshows or Grand Prixes, and doesn't watch Mythbusters or Top Gear? We condemn anyone who has no sense of humour as completely sub-human. We should do the same for anyone with no sense of awesome.

The people with a sense of awesome are our firefighters, courier drivers, defence front liners, beef farmers and mechanical engineers. The ones without are our politicians, lawyers, bank administration staff, art gallery tour guides and insurance telemarketers.

The downside to hooning
Yes, it can be dangerous. In fact, if it wasn't, there'd be no incentive to get better at it and thereby gain all the skills I've outlined above. I guess that's why it's illegal...

But there's an easy solution to that. A really easy one - in fact I'm surprised even the politicians can't think this one up. Training. TRAINING. Learn it before you go out and do it. Get a car with a roll cage, a good instructor and a wide open paddock. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to do a doughnut without knocking over this tuft of grass I've spray painted blue. Do that and you get to move on.

And then when they've passed their hooning exams (actually I guess we'd better call it "emergency driving" or something a little more politically palatable) they can get a job as a firey or ambo driver. Emergency vehicles have to accelerate faster than normal, mount the occasional traffic island, and at all times stay safe despite all the other traffic. Hooning for a living is the best way to get the dangerous stuff out of their system, and hey, it helps the whole of society!