How to get around London in Style and Speed

Depending on who you believe (see here, here, and here), the average driving speed in London is between 6 and 12 mph, using surface transportation, and about 20 mph below ground.  You might think that the best way to speed things up would be to take a helicopter, but one limousine company can offer you a way to get there fast.

That’s right.  A fire engine limosine, courtesy of  Here’s the real question.  Can you get them to use the sirens?  Yes, with a pang of guilt that you too could contribute to someone not believing that in fact that fire engine behind behind them is saving lives, speeding through the streets of london, in an imposing fraud, perhaps sirens a’blazen.  Or, perhaps you can roll up to The Old Lady’s house in search of some traces of smoke.  Who knows?  Maybe the Queen herself could find it faster to get around town than that old horse and carriage.

Conversation with a god


Of those who like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, only some can stomach The Silmarillion.  Tolkien was able to keep people rapt with attention in the former, but the latter is for die hards who wanted to understand how it all fit together.  I fall into the latter camp, but even so it took me several tries to get through.  Here now is an imaginary interview with the head honcho of that book, Eru Illuvatar, copied without permission from Gods Gossip, the god trade rag.

GG: So Eru, what makes you different from other gods?

E: Well, to start with, I give away the ending in the beginning.  Most gods try to keep all their cards to themselves, revealing only obliquely their designs.  Not me.  You get through the first chapter and you know where we end up.  I’m a little cagey about where things end up, of course.

GG: For example?

E: I all but told that schnook Melkor what’s going to happen.  He had a choice.  They all had choices. He could have not gone into the world.  Others didn’t.  He had the crap kicked out of him.  Twice!  I guess I gave him mush for brains.

GG: Your colleagues approach creation differently.  Are you a moral god?

E: I like to think so.  But I really don’t need to be in the bedroom of every elf, man, or (so help myself) dwarves.  And really to me it has never been about who kills who.  If it were, the theme would have been sedate, and I probably would have fallen asleep creating the world, and that wouldn’t have been good.  And all this praying.  I mean really.  Does anyone think I really am not paying attention?  No sycophants for me in my world.  Except for Manwë.

GG: You say you don’t care who kills who.  But then what was your goal?

E: I like balance.  Perhaps it’s not balance between good or evil as my unofficial biographer had put it, but just about power.  Melkor set himself up to topple everyone else, and then his successor tried the same thing.  In the end it was a close call in both cases.  I know it looks like I couldn’t

GG: How successful would you rate yourself on your ability to achieve balance?

E: Quite successful.  I mean it took two midgets and a lunatic to tip the scales.

GG: People always wonder about wizards.  Can you say a bit more about them?

E: Wizard this and that.  The biggest mistake a god can make is going the wizard route.  It’s really hard to achieve balance if you have a few people who have more weight than the others.  I mean, look at Harry Potter.  Why is he so great as opposed to others?  It really does gnaw at me.

GG: I’m sorry – I meant your wizards.

E: Emm.  Right.  Well, I really didn’t want them to play a big role in my world.  Really they were meant to be more of an information conduit, so that elves and men took the hint that there might yet be a problem.  I only gave them a little something extra to get peoples’ attention, but then my mind wandered in song.  As you’ve no doubt noticed, I gave free will to everyone, so far as they could tell.  Heh.

GG: Got a favorite god you look up to?

E: Me.  Who else?

GG: Right.  Just joking.  Thanks for taking the time with us today.

E: I take the time every day.