Skip to content
September 13, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Soundings. Truth in zoom

Boy and bike. 1908-messenger-boy. Mackay Telegraph Co. /Waco TX /Lewis Hine. 1874-1940-Lib of Congress (USPD:date of pub, LoC/

Tough enough. It’s a wheel thing.(USPD/

Faced with a lame (not even 3 speed) bike, the clever kids figured a way out: clothes pins and playing cards.

Despite the yells from the kitchen window “Clip those on, and you’ll loosen the spokes. Then the wheel will break. And you’re not getting a new bike if you break this one…”

Smugly, they rolled out hoping the rattle would be enough for the Brando of their minds.

None of that immature belting out “zoom-zoom, varooom” like a little kid with a new Christmas truck.

Talk about lame-o.

Image sounds like the game.

Blue show car. SLAB with pokes: gladiator-style wheel accessory. (image: the truthaboutcars/ primer on Houston Slab culture)

Ben-Hur style: Teach those bike riders to whine about “share the road”. Watch out car chasing dogs and small kids on curbs. (the truthaboutcars/ “Primer on Houston Slab Culture”)

The ppopular trend not unnoticed by auto manufacturers.

Importance of style over actually functioning.

Fake it until you make it.

Many new engines, electric vehicles, and hybrid cars are wimpy silent runners.

No more roar of muscle cars boosting drivers’ self esteem and telling the world how powerful they are.

No loud exotic rumble announcing the arrival of an expensive, leased ’cause no way this guy could afford a chick magnet like this super car like the Ferrari V8.

Car companies have a fix for that sad all I can afford car feeling:

Fake “zoom” piped in by stereo for that “reel car” feel.

Milli Vanilli and Marcel Marceau would sign the praises of these wheel ideas.

. Mime in San Diego, 2013 Christopher Brown/flickr/

Don’t judge. (C. Brown/

Sound response starts early: big noise, big joy.

Then there’s the current social facade.

Not music to gearhead ears.

More bolting on of deception permeating today’s society.

Driving home the idea that everyone deserves to be the flashy model or super powered even if clueless or haven’t earned it?

Auto be fine to only pretend instead of hitting the road with simplicity and honest, reliable transportation?

Always a worry if the spokes get too loose and the wheels fall off.

Only swoon to true zoom.

Sound advice

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge





  1. Allie P. / Sep 13 2016 6:45 am

    I have an electric car so the fake noises it makes are to warn those with sight impairments that I am approaching. Actually, they should warn everyone as I am a pretty terrible driver. (Elon – once again, please send me a self-driving car. I ask, not for me, but for the community!)

    But to your earlier point, I totally was one of those kids that added a little pizzazz to my bike’s spokes.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 13 2016 9:19 am

      Our neighbor needed some sort of sound with her electric car. She kept leaving it on in the drive. If they are going to go artificial sounds, why not fully embrace it? How about a barking dog? Mad sqwalking bird? There could be apps for that! The roadways would be a lot more entertaining.
      Thanks for putting pedal to the metal and parking a comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • Allie P. / Sep 13 2016 9:46 am

        You may have just stumbled across one of those genius ideas like the pool noddle.

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 13 2016 12:24 pm

          Wouldn’t a King of the Jungle Lion roar do well? This could be fun – put the joy back in driving the friendly roads.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. shoreacres / Sep 13 2016 6:49 am

    I had no idea! But this may explain something I noticed only yesterday. I was on my way home from work, and at a stoplight I heard the deep rumble of one of those dual-muffler beauties. The only problem was, there was nothing around but a sleek black Infiniti. I looked and looked, and couldn’t find the lowrider that was making all the noise. Now, I wonder: could the Infiniti driver have been to Obnoxiousness-R-Us?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 13 2016 9:15 am

      What a marketing plan to appeal to modern minds! When reality isn’t enough or you just can’t be happy with what you are or can afford.
      Ford (who is rumored be trademarking the sound of their Mustang) has recently been granted a patent for their system of artificial system to generate engine sound that will adjust the noise level/frequency of sounds as the actual engine goes through combustion cycle (sound created by each cylinders firing and combustion). Their plan is to have their system (sound system) adjusted by the factory/dealers “to favor early shifting so that each user would choos a more econimical driving style”,( Great. The govenment /companies that want perks will insist we all drive exactly as they want (and monitor that, no doubt, by the in-car black boxes) or they will make sure the noise is so grating and annoying we actually do change driving habits to maintain sanity…or insanity. Gearhead videos on instructions to get back to basics bound to be in the works.
      Bike and horse revival? They’d be happy with that, too…well, not the car dealers and the union workers, maybe. So be like the coal miners and go get a new job.
      Thanks for driving home a comment


  3. sustainabilitea / Sep 13 2016 7:25 am

    I’d never heard of this, Phil. Artificial cool, eh? Who knew?



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 13 2016 8:56 am

      Well, we all got lulled by air conditioning, will fake car noise become routine – and why? Cool temps are an actual benefit for some, but noise that serves no real purpose – except to annoy sleeping neighbors early in the morning on weekends. People get stranger and stranger..must be the effects of all the EMFs. Thanks for steering a comment this way


  4. easyweimaraner / Sep 13 2016 8:22 am

    I pondered about this topic today while riding in the elephant skate… it has the same sound like my sewing machine :o) maybe the real sound died with the chevy blazer…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 13 2016 8:47 am

      If they now race lawn mowers, maybe whirling sewing machines are not far behind? Molly says she’s eager for the return of sleds..and maybe a little snow…no roads needed for sleds and it’s easier to detour for squirrels. Thanks for zooming by with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kate Crimmins / Sep 13 2016 9:09 am

    I remember those cards on the spokes (not that I ever did it!). Needless noise! Oh boy. I have a neighbor who only uses his chain saw on Saturday/Sunday mornings at 7 a.m. That’s enough.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 13 2016 9:23 am

      Between the noise pollution and light pollution, double paned windows and room darkening window coverings are having a difficult time…oh, forgot, that’s the computer screen with videos making all that. HA HA
      I rarel tried the cards on spoke – my bikes were already hand-me-downs of questionable number of miles left…and there would be “no bike if you break that one.” Sigh. Would have been nice to one of those round bells on the handlebars that wasn’t mute due to rust or dents. Thanks for getting on this road and leaving a comment


  6. Littlesundog / Sep 13 2016 1:01 pm

    What memories this brought back… I remember my brother asking about putting playing cards on his bicycle spokes and Dad blurted several expletives about idiots and jackasses doing something like that. And then my sister wanted a bell on her bike and Dad said he’d “ring her bell alright” or something like that. Even when some of the young kids in town used to come to have Dad help them solve mechanical problems on their cars or motorcycles, Dad sure had something to say about those idiot kids putting stupid adornments on their vehicles. I guess I grew up too practical for such ridiculousness!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 13 2016 3:41 pm

      And many of us grew up to take care of what we had – ’cause there wasn’t going to be another especially if the item had been mistreated or neglected. Hard lessons, but valuable when learned early.
      Do you remember some kids had those horns with a squeezable rubber bulb that always cracked and split pretty fast? As it didn’t hold up, no way I would have gotten one of those either. (But some of us did try to imitate those lovely plastic streamers on handle bars, but quickly found crepe paper in a humid climate where your hand sweat isn’t such a great idea.
      Thanks for riding in with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  7. mittflorg / Sep 13 2016 2:18 pm

    I like your way with words.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 14 2016 2:52 pm

      Glad you got a giggle and found something that tickled your brain. Thanks for parking a comment


  8. Paul / Sep 13 2016 8:57 pm

    When I was trucking i had a “jake Brake”. that is $4,000 option on a truck engine that cuts off fuel and opens the exhaust valves/closes the intake during the firing cycle and closes the exhaust/opens intake on the exhaust cycle/. This has two effects , well really three: 1)it transfers the inherent friction in the engine to the wheels as braking (can be up to 300 or 400 HP in braking); 2) it uses the exhaust cycle as a sort of air brake when the wheels try to pull air through the engine with the valves closed . 3) It is so noisy it will rattle your teeth in the back of your mouth or wake a whole neighborhood at night with one snort. As I said it is used in addition to or in place of foot brakes when on a slope. Here’s a good example starting from about a mile away – you can hear the driver downshifting in between Jake applications. Imagine that echoing off houses in a residential neighborhood. Bwahaha!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 14 2016 3:00 pm

      Engines do make effective brakes…just ignore those community signs about Quiet Zones.
      Ford mustangs already had a primitive sound tube from engine to driver…which annoys many, sooo another how-to instructional offering: “Boomba Racing Sound Tube Delete Kit” Video and forum:
      Relying on a finely tuned ear is always good. Thanks zooming on in with a noisy comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Roxie / Sep 14 2016 5:56 am

    Make it to fake it, lol! I love the line, “Is it live or is it a recording?”
    Yep, don’t think they care as all reality is reserved for tv. Ooops, not there either, my bad!
    ‘Nother thought provoking life commentary, Phil 😉


  10. The Hook / Sep 15 2016 8:04 pm

    I’m still saving for a Batmobile…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 16 2016 7:24 am

      Does it come with that theme music pumped in? Hope so. I think I’ll reserve George Jetson’s flyer. Thanks for parking a comment here


      • The Hook / Sep 16 2016 10:33 am

        As always, it was my pleasure.


  11. PiedType / Sep 15 2016 10:11 pm

    I went through a lot of cards and clothespins when I was a kid.


  12. Margaret Lynette Sharp / Sep 17 2016 3:59 am

    Fascinating 🙂


  13. Beth / Sep 19 2016 9:08 am

    I’m always in shock when I ride in my friend’s Prius and it starts moving. I can’t get used to not having the noise of an engine turning over. On the other hand, I love hearing my brother-in-law’s car. I can hear him about a block away, and know I need to get up and answer the door. It really saves on the doorbell usage. 😉 I’m a regular conservationist. 😀


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 19 2016 2:30 pm

      My dog depends on car noises to know when to get off the bed and smooth the covers!
      Those quiet cars are rather unsettling. I can see why my neighbor left hers running in the garage a couple of times….maybe they need an app for that: a barking dog or chirping bird if there’s no weight in the driver’s seat?
      Thanks for riding along

      Liked by 1 person

  14. RKLikesReeses / Sep 20 2016 11:52 am

    Haaa! What next!!! Yes, the silent-runners are unnerving at first. I guess we’ll get used to them, esp if we’re not in our cars to begin with bec they don’t need drivers. 😉
    I own a 10 year old Charger (HEMI 5.7L with racing suspension, etc.) and I do enjoy its howl. Trying to imagine a fake version. Not the same without the visceral vibration. Nope. Another rip-roaring post!!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 21 2016 8:29 am

      Zoomers still exist. And a well cared-for older car is actually better for the environment. I was stunned that our old Mustang get better gas mileage than many of this year’s eco cars. All in the marketing – and so manyjust want new no matter how much damage is done building them). Nice when the air is crisp, no traffic, and you can drive with the windows down…or so Molly tells HRH as she rarely ventures out of the Realm. Thanks for zooming along!

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: