The Deeper Meaning of Liff : A Dictionary of Things There Aren't Any Words for Yet--But There Ought to Be
Does the sensation of Tingrith(1) make you yelp Do you bend sympathetically when you see someone Ahenny(2) Can you deal with a Naugatuck(3) without causing a Toronto(4) Will you suffer from Kettering(5) this summer
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
April 19, 2005
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Deeper Meaning of Liff by Douglas Adams
"I'm the man."
The huge blue car moved slowly through the crooked streets of the old city, its owner sitting on the wide rear seat, his bottom comforted by deep, horsehair-filled cushions that absorbed the bumps from the uneven cobblestones. Heat and sunlight bounced off the brick and granite buildings, baking the Locomobile limousine and broiling its passengers. The morning air bristled with the hint of a developing thunderstorm. When the skies broke loose it would be a welcome relief from the weeks of summer heat that had made downtown Boston ripe with the smells of horses, fish, fruit, fresh-cut leather, and tight-wound rope, all seasoned by salt from the nearby harbor.
At the wheel of the hand-polished Locomobile was a young Irish immigrant named John Collins, wearing the hat and brass-buttoned uniform of a newly created job: motorcar chauffeur. His boss, an Italian immigrant, had taken delivery of the dazzling vehicle only three weeks earlier, paying a thousand dollars in cash above the $12,600 list price to spirit it away from the New York financier for whom it had been custom-built. For the same price a man could own twenty Model T's, with enough change to buy a modest house. But what was the point of that In 1920, the Locomobile was the most expensive car in America, dripping with luxury, from its sterling-silver trim to its crystal bud vases. Purring, glistening Locomobiles filled the garages of Carnegies and Vanderbilts, and General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, commander of American forces in the Great War, had shipped his to France for use as a staff car. The executives at the Locomobile Company of America understood that exclusivity appealed to the elites. They had positioned their automobile in direct opposition to Henry Ford's backfiring rattletrap of the masses. The company's ads, with the look of engraved invitations, stated that Locomobiles were built by hand "in strictly limited quantities because the making of any pre-eminently fine article is impossible on a large scale."
In the short time he had been driving the car, Collins had learned well the daily twelve-mile route that began at his boss's gracious home in the historic suburb of Lexington, less than a mile from the site of the first skirmish of the Revolutionary War. From there, they rolled east through working-class Arlington and Somerville, into tony Cambridge, across the Charles River, then down Tremont Street to a nondescript building on School Street, less than a block from Boston City Hall. Occasionally there would be detours, most often to a bank, and the boss would use the one-way intercom from the back seat to relay the new directions to Collins. But on this day-July 24, 1920-it was straight from home to office.