What's Wrong With This Picture: Dream Analysis Edition

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer

I know Ed isn’t a big fan of goofy pictures like this, but he’s up on Mt. Hood skiing in fresh powder and I’m here feeding the hungry monster. This photo just speaks to me very deeply; directly to my subconscious, actually. So I’ll try to do it justice with some profound analysis:

Having once been a city bus driver, this picture gives me a severe case of the willies. I have had a recurring nightmare for decades of driving a bus or other some other vehicle, and the steering wheel comes off in my hands at the hub. Paging Carl Jung! Am I the only one, or is it just the driver’s proto-fear? At least the driver in this picture still has the spokes, because in my dream I’m frantically grabbing the splined hub with my bare hands.And his modern bus undoubtedly has power steering. The big old GMCs I drove didn’t, if you can believe that. Maybe modern drivers don’t have the dream anymore for that reason alone.

If analyzing my deepest subconscious fears is not your thing, there’s also some historical context here. In the earliest days of the automobile, the steering wheel hadn’t been yet invented (or at least in common use). Various tillers, single and double handed were used, like on Henry Ford’s 999 racer.

Paul Niedermeyer
Paul Niedermeyer

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  • Jseis Jseis on Nov 29, 2009

    Well, that happened to my Case tractor as I was backing up with a loaded bucket. Jumped out, grabbed the Vicesrips from behind the seat, clamped them to the steering shaft and I sailed on with a tiller handle. Then I bought a second set of Vicegrips to even out the load..so to speal.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Nov 29, 2009

    I worried our neighbors one day. Had removed the steering wheel to replace the wiper stalk. To ensure that it went back on straight I drove the car down on the street and drove a few houses down to establish what "straight" was. As I was pulling the wheel off to adjust it's position the neighbor drove by. They thought my car was failling apart... Yeah - I should have marked the position with a chisel or paint mark.

  • HEATHROI HEATHROI on Nov 29, 2009

    Oh come on - give the guy a break. if you were used to riding a bike and it was the first time driving a Bus you would want to make it as familiar as possible wouldn't you?

  • Rpol35 Rpol35 on Nov 30, 2009

    When I was a college student, I sold my '65 Malibu to another student that I had known for years. Shortly after the sale, the new owner's brother was making a turn in the 'Bu on to a narrow Rodgers Forge Street (Paul will know what that means) when the steering wheel came off in his hands. I thought he was going to brain me with it the next time I saw him.