The Jurassic geological period spanned 56 million years from the end of the Triassic Period 201.3 million years ago to the beginning of the Cretaceous Period 145 million years ago. The Jurassic constitutes the middle period of the Mesozoic Era known as the Age of Reptiles. Pointedly the start of the period was maked by the major Triassic-Jurassic extinction event.
It would normally be hard to imagine Jurassic Park having any especial relevance today other than its intended feature as an entertaining motion picture diversion. This was before I set off this afternoon in my modern vehicular conveyance. Through the magic of Bluetooth on my iPhone I nurtured the euphoria of the drive with superlative music. I listened to Jurassic Park: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, the film score to the 1993 Steven Spielberg film of the same name composed and conducted by John Williams. There is a reason the score received critical acclaim and is often considered to be one of the most iconic and beloved scores of John Williams’ career. The music had me in a state of rhapsody.
While driving on the ribbon of highway from the country to the city I was suddenly aware of a gnarling mechanical sound from an accelerating vehicle or motorcycle rapidly approaching from the rear. In a flash I was passed on the right by an historic black sedan which I believe was one of the earlier models of the Ford Motor Company – perhaps a Monterey or Cougar Mercury (significantly now both long out of production).
There was no question the driver of the dinosaur was intent upon proving the worth of his machine. Though I stared with what some might imagine to have been a degree of awe – and I confess that invariably I am smitten by the vigour of the old 8-cylinder cars – I no more want to own one than I do a dinosaur. I was however captured by the metaphorical collision of the past and the present. This poetic lapse is strengthened by the unmistakable artistry of the original creation – even though it is so obviously dated and out-of-touch with modern alterations and engineering improvements too numerous to mention. Nonetheless the blunt truth is that I have never permitted the attraction of antique automobiles to insinuate my list of pleasures. The mere thought of having to check the oil or tyre pressure is enervating to an Olympic degree! Dinosaurs and used motor vehicles are obsolete to my thinking! Similarly I have no interest in reviving them. Invariably their exhaust smells. The black car even back-fired, never an improving animation.
By coincidence when I was afterwards gassing my car, a young black chap (a fellow who – judging by the equipment on his own vehicle – distinguished himself as a member of the trades) strolled by from the interior of the Petro-Canada outlet and shouted in my direction, “Nice truck!” At first I was uncertain to whom he was speaking. This particularly so because I seldom imagine myself to be driving a truck though it was only recently that I jokingly commented that the Lincoln Aviator is just a souped-up truck. When I did not respond to the gentleman I heard him repeat the comment, “Nice truck!” By this time he was out of sight and I wasn’t about to enquire after specifics. In retrospect I have no doubt he was addressing me. The inescapable reality is that the Aviator looks more like the dinosaurs than the modern subcompacts such Daimler’s Smart car for example.
At least I have the privilege of anticipating a new vehicle with regularity. The burgeoning models of passenger cars include some sizeable changes, among them electrically fuelled, autonomously driven and maybe even interchangeable the way bicycles already are in some countries. I persist to believe that it will be a long time before electrically fuelled vehicles will out-distance those on fossil fuels. A more proximate amendment is the dinosaur that is my bicycle. Here – as I have already intimated – the alterations echo those attaching to passenger vehicles. Electric bikes for example have become increasingly popular. For one such as I beyond the horizon of youth, the prospect of owning an electric bicycle is not remote. Though I can equally imagine the proximity of losing my entitlement to a driver’s licence, I likewise anticipate translating my Nomadic inclination from the motor vehicle to the electric bicycle. If there is one repetitive feature of which I am certain in either motor vehicles or bicycles it is that I expect to retain my wanderlust. Whether the distinction is a ramble about town on an electric bicycle or a jaunt to the car wash and back in a car (or a truck), the catharsis of mobility remains consistent.
The day may come – assuming I am lucky enough to get there – that I submit to a tricycle as the safest mode of transportation. I admit that it is with a degree of titillation that I anticipate this alteration! For one thing, it’s a shopping experience! Currently my merchant enterprise is limited to groceries and pharmaceuticals. A pair of socks is right out! By contrast knowing that a purchase is both necessary and healthful is an undeniable stimulation. What could be more appropriate or sustaining! For the moment it is an aspiration in the wings – but like my other material indulgences I sincerely hope this doesn’t end being saved for the funeral! I’d much prefer to squander the privilege while this side of life!