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So, on one of my excursions around the great island of Malta I found a hapless guy. This guy here is standing on the side of the road with an empty battery. As always I am happy to assist my fellow homo erectus, with great advice from my considerable brain, I am noble like that. Apparently his name was "Tjabko", which seems to be a stupid name. I did not want to offend the guy so I did not tell him his name was stupid — in stead I told him that his name is silly, and he was likely an ugly baby to receive such a name.

So as per usual, I explained to him, after giving him a tummy bump (an informal greeting which includes bumping your tummy into the tummy of another friendly individual), that you can suck-start a car. This is done by sucking as hard as you can on the exhaust pipe, so as to create enough suction for the engine of the car to start.

So the poor guy, after my advice, started sucking on the exhaust as hard as he was able to do. But alas, to no avail.

Then, in my overpowered brain, there came of fruition a new thought. This one was even more grandiose as the usual potential Nobel Prize winning ideas, those which drip from my ears into existence and the ether:

I noticed the poor guy was doing it wrong. In fact, he still had the car in first gear, the handbrake on, and no key in the ignition. Of course my lips started mimicking in accordance with the ingenuity of the grand thought that was produced: I told him to put the gear in reverse, take off the handbrake and put the key into the ignition. Off he went, just as he was again placing his lips around his car's exhaust pipe, something extraordinary and unexpected happened..

The car did in fact start, to no surprise for me and the great intellect that I possess. The car started to drive backwards. The guy broke out in great panick and started to shout incomprehensible words into the exhaust pipe. My soothing voice commanded the guy to a more calm state, saying: "listen dude, if you do not quickly and with great haste take your lips off the exhaust pipe, nobody is going to understand what you're trying to say!"

The car started to gain some speed, rolling backwards, down the slope it was on, actually and quite literally pushing the guy to the ground. For some reason, a reason that escapes me (even though not many things escape my astonishing genius), the guy started to shout out loud, still having his lips firmly around the exhaust pipe. The actual words made no sense at all, it was gibberish. Who would know what the guy was trying to say?

The car, a 2006 Ford Escort, gaining traction kept rolling backwards. For some puzzling reason his legs got caught in the wheel house of the right hind wheel. His legs were twisted as if they were the legs of a doll. It looked quite uncomfortable and perhaps, dare I say, a bit unnatural as well.

When there is an action there often is a reaction. Cause & effect. With great computing power & analytical experience, my brain came up with the grandiose invention that if a cause has an effect, the opposite cause should have the opposite effect. So if you premoisturise an exhaust pipe by licking it, then placing your lips firmly on it, and commense sucking it (as if it were a superdelicious lollipop), so hard it would seem your life depended on it — if that is able to start the car, the reverse should turn the engine off, shouldn't it? If the aforementioned procedure starts a car, then blowing into the exhaust pipe, taking your lips off the pipe, and then wiping off the saliva, should stop the car, right?

So calmly, firmly and directly I took it upon myself to instruct this man, as he was dragged backwards across the concrete, grinding his buttocks against the rough pavement leaving his khaki pants all red and wrinkled (which was a damned shame). I told him: "listen, if you have a moment, and if you could please stop shouting into the exhaust pipe, try blowing the exhaust pipe as hard as you can, this should shut off the engine". Of course the man was too busy shouting and ignoring the hell out of me, which came across as a bit rude, to tell you the truth.

As I finished my meatball sandwich and wine cooler, I looked and beheld how this man was dragged across the concrete for at least 200 meters, leaving a red trail of smeared rags and pieces of his legs. Just when I washed away my last bite of the delicious meatball sandwich (with marinara sauce of course, which was also somewhat reminiscent of the red pulp the guy left all over the road) with the last sip of my delicious refreshing wine cooler, the guy together with his car drove over the cliff, tumbling down roughly 15 meters to the bottom of this small ravine.

Apparently, blowing into an exhaust pipe as hard as you can, perhaps does not stop a car. At least I reason the guy at least tried following my advice. The guy was no longer shouting, which was a relief. So I called out to him down the ravine, asking if he would need any assistance getting his car back on the road.

Rudely, the guy ignored me once again. There was no response from the bottom of the ravine. I could still see the guy. He still had the exhaust pipe firmly clenched between his lips. His legs were nowhere to be seen. Anyway, the guy did no longer need me, so much was clear. Therefore it was time to go on my way into town.

Of course I had learned a great deal from my encounter with this rude guy. Firstly, suck-starting a car does work. Secondly, blow-stopping a car seems to not work at all. Thirdly, grinding legs in khaki pants across concrete leaves a trail of marinara sauce. And fourthly, never expect a thank you from a stranger.


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