Sunday, February 18, 2007
What's your Cylinder Index?
My ex-relative of mine (I'll call him "Joe") lives way, way out in the hinterlands on 80 acres of hilly woods and wooded hills. He lives in a trailer that has no electricity, no running water, no central heat. It's a lifestyle he's consciously chosen, for better or for worse.
He's an interesting guy, albeit strange . He reminds me of a grotesque, a Gothic protagonist from a Sherwin Anderson novel . Exceptionally talented in mechanical ways, intellectually present, yet sadly lacking in empathy and communication skills.
Now, the remarkable thing about Joe is that he has the highest CYLINDER INDEX of any man I've ever met, and I've met men with really high cylinder indexes, believe me. What is a cylinder index? It's a term invented by radio broadcaster Joe Soucheray. To figure it, simply count the total number of cylinders in all the internal comubustion engines you own.
For example, I've got a 8 cylinders in my Explorer, Karen has 4 in her Honda. My weed wacker has one, my snowblower has 2, my chain saw has one. There's two of us, so 8+4+1+2+ = 15 which is my Cylinder Index.
My brother, the dentist, has a fairly decent cylinder index. His pickup truck has 6, his SUV has 6, and his wife's sedan has, I think, 6. He's got a fishing boat with 4, a chain saw 1, a snowblower 2, a weed wacker 1, a lawn mower 1, a riding mower 2, a generator 1. What's that, about 30?
But Joe has (or at least used to have) a pick up truck with 6 cylinders, an old but working jeep with 4, a partially working Dodge for 4, five bulldozers (yes five, the guy loves pushing dirt) for about 25, about six old farm tractors (all working, but some just barely) for 25 more cylinders, several generators adding 6, four mowers for 4, and a bunch of miscellaneous things like piston driven welders (it generates its own electricity on the job site), a couple outboard motors that he owns for no particular reason, weedwhackers, snowblowers, and odd ball stuff like gas powered mixers, crushers, spreaders, and so on. All told, Joe's index easily tops 100.
What does a high cylinder index indicate? Virility? Nah. Obsessive/compulsive disorder? Maybe. A fascination with technology? Probably? An obsessive need to prove virility through technology? Hmmmm.
So, who's got the highest cylinder index you've come across?