TopGear, the outrageous UK racing program, tests the power of vehicles with bizarre stunts and offbeat humor.
Over the years, presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have raced across Vietnam during rainy season on vintage motorcycles... Skimmed America's Salt Flats in taped-together 70s muscle cars... Crossed dangerous terrain in Africa in 60s roadsters... And transformed trucks into sailing ships.
But they've never tested Heelys-- the athletic shoe/roller skate hybrid that's taken grade-schoolers by storm...
Until now. (Only not really, because if this were an actual show transcript, they'd spend most of it custom-making Heelys to fit Mr. Clarkson.)
Jeremy Clarkson: Welcome to TopGear. For this episode, our producers have offered the challenge to beat all challenges... We are to leave BBC Studios, go around the corner to the local pub, and pick up lunch... all while rolling in Heelys.
Richard Hammond: And what's more, we're up against some very tough competition.
Out steps three gritty-looking primary school children in uniforms, popping gum and giving steely stares.
James May: Whoever gets to the pub and back first, wins.
Jeremy Clarkson: With one catch. We're allowed to soup-up our Heelys in any way we like.
Cut to the trio of presenters outside at the TopGear racing track. They are all examining their shiny new Heelys.
Jeremy: You know what these need?... Rockets.
Richard: That'll never work.
Jeremy: Of course, it will. I saw it done once.
Richard: On a Warner Brothers cartoon? The coyote blew up, if you recall.
James: I hate to say this, Jeremy, but Hammond's right. The physics would be all wrong. See, the weight of the rocket, evenly-distributed to each leg, would hamper mobility but...
Forty minutes later...
James: ...And that's why we'll be pouring you into a sippy cup.
But soon, the Heelys have been transformed. We see the snarling school children have added sparkly shoe laces, stickers and wheel oil.
Jeremy, Richard and James, meanwhile, have added compressed air cans, spoilers, and remote control car motors, respectively.
Richard: (to Jeremy) Compressed air? Are you racing or cleaning your computer keyboard? What happened to your rockets?
Jeremy: I found it wouldn't work without setting my legs on fire. I am right now standing on my new prosthetic legs. What about James' remote control car motors?
James: (looking happy with himself) This is ideal because it doesn't rely on power from me.
Richard: So you don't, in fact, plan to skate at all.
James: No need to.
So the contestants step up to the race line, the signal is sounded and...
Our three presenters, tangled and tripped up, topple over in a pile of wheels and flying parts. James' one Heelys motor does roll off without him, earning fourth place.
Cut to the Test Track. Jeremy Clarkson has a sneaker tread-shaped bruise on his forehead:
Jeremy: And now, we'll test the speed of the Heelys against the other high-performance vehicles on our board. But for that, we'll need our Tame Racing Driver.
Some say, he raises antelopes for profit... And only eats tinned tuna for breakfast. All we know is he's called The Stig.
Out steps "The Stig," the impressive white-clad helmeted expert racing driver. On the Stig's feet, instead of his normal white driving wear, are a pair of cheerful Heelys with a pink Hello Kitty motif.
At the signal, the Stig takes off around the track.
Jeremy: (looking at a stopwatch) Well, it's slower than the Zonda.
(Skating, skating...The Stig is listening to prog rock music in a Ipod as he goes...)
James: (peers at Jeremy's watch) It's slower than the Honda Jazz.
(Around the tire obstacle...)
Richard: Okay, it's slower than the G-Wiz. (looking at watch) How long is this program?
James: (calling to the Stig) Put some effort into it, man!
Jeremy: And on that bombshell, that's all the time we have.
(I know, I know-- it was all just a totally gratuitous post--- and a bit early for my regular Friday schedule, but I'm off that day. Thanks for indulging me, folks!)