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I had a dream, a wondrous thing…

Last night a boy racer came roaring up our suburban street, realise it wasn’t where he had meant to go, did a screeching turn-round, and went roaring down again.

It reminded me how much I loath boy racing (whether it’s done by boys or girls, but let’s face it, it’s mostly done by boys). It’s an dreadful hobby which is at best an annoyance to everyone who isn’t participating in it, and at worst a danger to anyone in the vicinity, and an environmental nightmare.

We used to hear a lot of boy racers at night at our old place. The racing and roar of the engines. The screech and squeal of tires. Whenever they were out and about at night I would lie awake listening to the sounds, stressing.

So I developed a happy little fantasy about boy racing.

I would imagine the boy racers roaring down their favourite street. And then, one by one, the engines suddenly going quiet. Each car drifts to the side of the road, the confused drivers steering it to safety, putting on the breaks and pulling the hood-release catch.

The hood pops open.

The boy racer gets out of his car. Walks round to the front. Lifts the hood.

The contents explode out.

Stuffed toys.

It’s all stuffed toys.

The engine.

Every part is now a stuffed toy. Big ones for big parts, little ones for little parts. Teddy bears of all sizes. Stuffed tigers and foxes and bunnies and more. Cuddly little native animals like the zoo and museum gift shops sell. Hopefully even a Colossal Squid stuffed toy.

Nothing engine-shaped at all.

The boy racer picks up a stuffed toy. Looks at it in total confusion. Starts pulling out more stuffed toys, emptying the hood cavity, trying to find the engine.

But there is no engine.

Just stuffed toys.

And there was no more boy racing that night.

The boy racer could buy another engine. Fill that cavity with metal and grease and petrol and rubber.

But every time he broke the speed limit…

Every time he did a burnout…

Every time he had sustained loss of traction…

Stuffed toys.

Imagine how wonderfully quiet and peaceful it would be?

(and, since this is my fantasy, and you can have anything you want in a fantasy:

  1. no-one was ever injured when their engine turned into soft toys. They always just slowed nicely and gradually and drifted to a safe spot.
  2. all the stuff toys were made from totally organic, environmentally friendly materials.
  3. all the stuffed toys went to deserving children.
  4. if there was an excess of soft toys, they would turn out to be as easy to compost as one of the mushrooms that grows round the edge of my yard after a few days of good rain.

Since I have no images to illustrate this dream (but wouldn’t they be amazing? Just imagine them….) here are some gratuitously cute Felicity photos from the last few weeks:


  1. Tegan says

    I used to manage an ice cream store in a poorly designed shopping plaza parking lot. My fntasies were a lot meaner. Mostly involving if they used their horn, a tiny rock hits a window. Every ingle time from then on out.

    I like the stuffed animal idea. Stuffies pouring out of an engine block!

  2. Anna-Karin Wikström says

    I know how you feel. I live in Sweden, it’s winter and very, very icy and slippery on the roads. This gives the “racing boys” of our little community a perfect opportunity to practice the sport of Drifting! They are skidding all over the road, both sides, up on the pavement, down again, almost hitting the lampposts, scaring pedestrians and other drivers that meet them on the wrong side. The cars are not in the best of shape, and the noise is terrible. It can go on for hours, well over midnight. Not very funny for those of us that have to go to work really early. I must admit, your dream of turning their engines into stuffed toys has nothing to do with what I want to happen to them…

  3. Candy Soehren says

    I assume “boy racers” are what we in the States call “drag racers”?

    • Kind of but not quite I think? At least according to Wikipedia, drag racing is an actual race. So unless it is used as a general term for people who do that kind of racing illegally on the street, it’s not the same. Boy racers are young men (and, technically I guess, women) in cars (usually not super expensive ones) with lots of modifications, driving over the speed limit and revving their engines, and doing burnouts and other dangerous driving tricks in big parking lots. Not so formal as drag racing. We would also call them hoons.


  4. Elise says

    Everything about this is perfection–including the caveats and also the cat.

    Ok, ‘splain to this American: What is “boyracing”?

    • Elise says

      I forgot to say “please”. Trying again: Would you mind explaining what “boyracing” is, please?

    • Boyracing is young men (and, much less often, women) in not-super-expensive sports cars with lots of modifications driving way too fast in a competitive manner, generally being agressive on the road, revving their engines a lot, and getting together to race and do burnouts. I didn’t actually realise it wasn’t a US term, because the first time I saw a group go by on the motorway and someone said “Ugh, boyracers” I thought “yep, that’s what those are”.

      Wikipedia has a very comprehensive write up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_racer

      They are also called hoons, and someone driving very fast is hooning (you might even say this of yourself, if you, for example, forgot something very important somewhere and had to race back to get it, you’d say “I hooned back in to work, praying for green lights all the way” – even if you never actually broke the speed limit).

  5. I love this. Everything about your solution is wonderful. I so relate to your stress about the racing–for me street racing and also heavy machinery can create similar stress. I love such a poetic response to the problem! Thanks!

  6. I am going to borrow your fantasy whenever a hoon goes fanging it (there’s an Australian term for you, do you have that one in NZ?) up my street. As the house on the corner, whenever I hear the roar of someone hooning past I’m always half expecting them to come through my wall.

  7. natalie says

    A peaceful solution. My fantasy is peaceful too, but less poetic. It involves a remote control that I press when a book of of a car screeches past, which causes the electrical system of the car to simply turn off. No motor and no noise, except for the sounds of chains and a pulley as the car is winched onto a tow truck.

    Ever-sweet Felicity, it’s good to see her in contented form. A stroke behind the ears from me, please 🙂

    Very best,


  8. That’s a much nicer fantasy than mine! Mine involves caltrops. Maybe I’d get back to sleep sooner with a soft toy fantasy, though. I must try that next time.

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