Friday, September 13, 2013

Suicide Knob

I sing in the choir at church. (Well - I emit noise, anyway. It's not a choir that requires an audition, and my daughter is the director, so I'm in!)

And last Sunday, our excellent accompanist commented on the long stretch between the bass note and the tenor note... it was well over an octave, and she told us, "You tenors, I might have to sacrifice your note if I can't play both." A notorious smart-alek, Mark, piped up, "Can't you play one of the notes with your nose??"

I've been thinking about that.

Some of you old-timers might remember "suicide knobs" from the good old days. Back before power steering and automatic transmissions were widespread, a popular after-market accessory was a small rotating knob, which you could bolt to your car's steering wheel. It allowed easier one-handed steering, leaving the other hand free for alternate duties. They were sometimes called a "necker knob," or a "Brodie knob" after an actor/daredevil from yesteryear.

According to the Wikipedia, they were particularly popular among hot rodders on the West Coast, because they facilitated doing stunts, spinouts, etc.

My dad had one on his car - I remember it well, because it was beautiful two-tone white and translucent emerald green. And back in those days, kids could sit in the front seat.

They're still available - just do a web search for "suicide knob."

And to my way of thinking, they'd be more useful now than ever!

In fact - thinking back on choir practice, I'd suggest a modified design, with a cup shape and a soft, padded surface - perhaps Naugahyde, or fine Corinthian leather. My design would be particularly handy for folks with a manual transmission, or with a bench seat and your honey sitting close.

You could mount it at the twelve-o'clock position on your steering wheel.

Then, when you have your cell phone in your left hand, your coffee cradled between your knees (thus making it hard to steer with your legs), and need to operate the gearshift with your right hand (or have it wrapped around your babe), or you need both hands for your texting responsibilities, you could lean forward, inserting your nose in the suicide knob, and engage in rhinosteerage.

Why hasn't somebody thought of this before?!! It should be standard equipment on any car with a manual transmission, in these attention-deficit times. Frequently I see people who just have to trust the direction of their vehicle to luck, because they are out of appendages.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

you are hilarious! and what a brilliant idea! :)