2064
by Dave Margison IV

"Wake up"! Wake up!"
"Okay I'm awake".
"It's International Moke Day 2064! It's International Moke Day 2064!"
"Okay, I heard you the first time!"
"Yes, I know it's breakfast time," I said as I switched off my bedroom wall. I also knew
it was about time I got the wall's attitude adjusted - it was way too aggressive. Funny.
there was a time not long ago when walls could be adjusted by their owners, but this
had led to several becoming, unsurprisingly, insane. Both wall and owner!

Well at least my shower wall was less obstreperous, and in fine fettle as our duet this
morning reached professional proportions - almost!

The kitchen wall remained quite quiet until after I'd finished my printed wheeties and
milo and told it I was going out.
"Where to, where to Henry?" said the wall. My name's Dave but the wall thinks Henry
is nicer - what can I do?
I said, "Its 100 years since the very first Moke hit the streets" and it's also International
Moke Day today so I'm off to the Hanger for our Moke-owner Club celebrations.
"That's good news Henry - will it be by drone or the Moke? There will be an empty
drone passing by in 15 minutes."
"Please don't be silly, the Moke of course," I said with a sigh.

The door to the garage became transparent then disappeared as I walked through it. It
always reappeared afterwards but I always looked over my shoulder to make sure.
One could install talking doors but I have more than enough with what's talking
already!

"Good morning Dave, and what a wonderful morning it is," said my Moke. "I'm all
charged up and ready for the off, and the kitchen wall told me it was to the Hanger
today, Hooray!"
I had to smile - Mokes make you smile and especially my Moke with its new-found
personality.

I thought back to when I first got the Moke. The factory had insisted it was a female
Moke and it was given the name Gertrude. Well it wasn't long after my first two trips in
it that I realised all was not well - the Moke was a very unhappy soul indeed.
Fortunately, she threw caution to the wind and came right out with it when she said - "I
want a gender change!" Yes, just like that - Crikey!

The Service Centre wasn't happy but they did the deed and left the name to me. So I
left the name to my Moke and -
"Jeeves, Dave, I'd like to be called Jeeves."
Strange name - sounded like it was from an old-fashioned movie. Anyway, Jeeves it
was and he was one happy Moke at last.

jeeves

And we were off to the Hanger. There was a time when I was a great deal younger
and travelling by driverless car that I would be somewhat nervously looking at the road
ahead. But now of course everybody has accepted that cars know what they are doing
and with all those multitudes of terrible road signs completely eliminated, it would be
totally irresponsible to get behind the wheel even if there was one!

So I just faced the large screen at the back of the Moke to watch the news. But I soon
lost track of the programme when my mind wandered back in time, as it tends to do
now that I'm bobbin' on!

My oh my, had things changed on our roads since the introduction of driverless cars
and the abolition of the internal combustion engine? - They sure had! And the first to
go was the second-hand car market. Who on Earth would want to buy a petrol or
diesel car knowing they would be phased out? Or even buy a second-hand electric car
when a new one, out of Africa, was as cheap - and it came with a 15 year warranty on
parts and labour.

Funny how that would have been out of China until the Chinese priced themselves out
of the market some time ago. But the car manufacturing infrastructure and expertise in
Africa is still Chinese. Globalisation's only permanent favourite is cheap labour.

As electric vehicles started to dominate our roads there were valid concerns about an
adequate source of electrical energy, preferably renewable, to recharge all those
batteries. But we now have lots of solar thermal power stations located in deserts:
Sahara, Atacama, Chihuahua, Kalahari, Gobi, Mojave, Thar in India, Gibson in
Australia, and more, all contributing to most of the world's electricity. Over 150 square
miles (388.5 square kilometres) of Power Station at each location! Clever how I am
still able to remember all those names! To feed these Stations salty seawater is
pumped many a mile (kilometre) while being desalinated along the way.

My thoughts now turned to my Moke. It wasn't a real Moke of course but the front was
a reasonably Moke-ish shape and the best the factory could come up with. At least it
was not the usual.

Since the consumer rejection of mass-produced cars and the introduction of 'you can
have any shape car you want, it's amazing how in the main, buyers have gone for
old-car shapes. Almost everyone is keen to be seen in an old Rolls Royce. These
design-it-yourself cars are produced in three weeks but for speed of construction, and
battery economy they all have serious size limitations, and most of the car's parts and
bodywork are standardised.

"Hi Dave, we're here at the Hanger."
"Thanks, Jeeves!" I accidently shouted as I was startled out of my reminiscing
daydream. "Please go and talk to the other cars and I'll give you a buzz when the
meeting is over."

And there was the Hanger and next to it the airstrip which with much additional
earthworks had been made into a 71/2 mile (12km) track in the shape of a figure of
eight. It contained both level and hilly ground with a few straights and many curves -
ideal for cars with hands-on drivers.

A small group of Moke enthusiasts were shuffling around outside the Hanger's door.
Among them two unfamiliar faces, no doubt they had their Mokes in hangers further
afield. Everyone was carrying '100 Years of Moking' or 'International Moke Day'
regalia.

future_hanger

I said, "Hi all, great to see you again. Sorry I'm a bit late. I've been on the Moon
for three weeks and haven't quite found my Earthlegs yet." The 'all' amounted to 23
and the 'again' was after 6 months. I wondered, as we all did, was there any way we
could get more members to join our Club?

"How come you haven't all gone in?" i said a bit surprised, but then realising they
couldn't have gone in as I'd changed our 'combination lock' - silly me for not telling
them the new procedure.

"I tried the magic word," said Mark, "but no joy."
"Yes, okay many apologies, we've all got to say the magic word together - so on
the count of three ... Ready."
"One ... two ... Three."
"ABRACADABRA!" we shouted in unison.
And the hanger said, "thanks," as the huge door slowly slid open.

And there they were - a sight to behold - 11 original petrol-engine Mokes that could
be driven by drivers! For a moment we couldn't move as we took in the splendid
sight before us, our eyes completely oblivious to the many other vehicles inside.
Then we all ran to switch off our battery isolators, start up our Mokes, and without
delay they were all driven outside in next to no time. This haste being due to the fact
that the hanger did not like excessive carbon fumes, and would scream blue murder
if it thought there was even a trace above normal. Once outside we quickly attached
our regalia.

Paul was the leader today and we all followed him around the track as best we could.
He was the proud owner of an Aussie 1380 supercharged and with twin carbs - the
850s could never keep up! But we also had 9988, 10988 and 1275s which were keen
to try.

At the figure-of-eight's crossover there were traffic lights. Yes, traffic lights! - A real
relic of the past. How many decades ago were those damn things done away with?
Nowadays of course all cars know exactly what they have to do at intersections
because long before getting there they are automatically programmed by the Section
System. Paying an exorbitant fee got you intersection priority, and the more you paid
the quicker you got through, it was alleged. This to a degree defies logic - if everyone
paid the highest fee how could there be priority? So just another rip-off for us
Electromotorists?

Back to our lovely traffic lights - amazing, but also dead cunning. They temporarily
stopped the leaders but let the tail-enders scramble through. The lights shouted "HEY!
Got you!" as the Mokes were stopped. I had a feeling Nigel had something to do with
this - he always was a joker.

On our dash round only one of the hills was a big challenge. At irregular intervals its
incline would go from reasonable to steep then back to reasonable. And at its highest
a Moke could not climb it! The hill came out with a really loud scary laugh when
Richard, driving his 998 misjudged the timing, lost traction as the hill got bigger and
slid, unceremoniously backwards, down to the bottom! Poor Richard! Driving through
this section we had learned to keep well away from the Moke in front!

But the flat spot on top was big enough for three Mokes, so we could also take
Back to our lovely traffic lights - amazing, but also dead cunning. They temporarily
stopped the leaders but let the tail-enders scramble through. The lights shouted "HEY!
Got you!" as the Mokes were stopped. I had a feeling Nigel had something to do with
this - he always was a joker.

On our dash round only one of the hills was a big challenge. At irregular intervals its
incline would go from reasonable to steep then back to reasonable. And at its highest
a Moke could not climb it! The hill came out with a really loud scary laugh when
Richard, driving his 998 misjudged the timing, lost traction as the hill got bigger and
slid, unceremoniously backwards, down to the bottom! Poor Richard! Driving through
this section we had learned to keep well away from the Moke in front!

But the flat spot on top was big enough for three Mokes, so we could also take
advantage of the hill by stopping at the point that would be the highest and waiting
until it reached it. Then we'd skedaddle down, enjoying the descent at a rapid rate of
knots that could reach 90 miles an hour (145kph) with the accelerator pedal flat to the
floor - WHOOOOOPEE! Mark was keen to install another one of these hills but a
spare one had eluded him up to now.

After a stop for lunch we were soon off again but traveling in the other direction from
the morning session. Our airstrip' antics came to a halt at 5 o'clock. Petrol, which was
worth more than its weight in gold, dictated our meetings' frequency and the driving
time.

But before we dispersed, Karen had a real treat for us once again. With our Mokes all
back in line inside we sat down in the hanger's projection room to watch her latest
hologram show.

And I still shake my head in disbelief at what technology had accomplished so far.
Colour 3D holograms can be produced from movie footage and even photographs.
The missing bits were all computer generated but very convincing! And colour from
black and white wasn't a challenge!

The lights dimmed and appropriately we were first taken back 100 years to see the
assembly of the prototype Mokes, and in 3D - amazing stuff!
"Alec Issigonis," we all shouted as a smart gentleman in a grey suit entered the scene,
he showed us the prototype Moke and then explained his reasoning that led to Moke
production after much refinement.

Next was the historic 'guess where and who'. And a white English Moke appeared
looking very smart and travelling along a seafront road somewhere - where? I
wondered. But then - Blackpool Tower came into the hologram - so a dead giveaway!
"Roy Scott!" we all shouted.

Next up was a yellow Aussie Moke excellently restored with brilliant chrome bumpers
and we waited - and the Parsonage at Haworth appeared.
"Mark Peacock," was our cry.

Then a jet-black Aussie Moke appeared. Mmmm, this could be a hard one but it was
following a tram with a destination board that read 'MCG/Melbourne Park.- there was
a pause before we roared'
"Doug or Scott Williams and Black Douglas".

And this sequence was followed by a Moke trying to look like a Zebra and we all
yelled.
"Too easy - William in Singapore".

And so on for an hour. Our Moke history proving spot-on for every sequence!

We'd all had a great time but our meeting was coming to an end. We sang the 'Happy
Birthday' song for our Mokes at the top of our voices then gathered outside the hangar
for the 'abracadabra'.

jeeves

The door didn't move! - one or more of us was missing! We looked round and Mike
wasn't with us, so we went inside and called his name. A faint reply came from the
Moke area. Denise grabbed the defibrillator and we ran towards the voice fearing the
worst. Mike was lying on the floor on his back under the rear of his Moke!

"Mike what's happened." we exclaimed with great concern in our voices. But he was
okay thank goodness! The exhaust pipe of his Moke had come adrift and he was just
doing a temporary repair, by tying the pipe back up using his handkerchief.

"Hurry up Mike, you know this hanger is going to get awfully angry at our still being
in here soon"..

"All done, fixed for now." said Mike a bit breathless, and we all dashed outside and
shouted the magic word.

"About time too." bellowed the hanger as its huge door closed with a big bang!

And that was it. I buzzed Jeeves, feeling at first very sad about how much Moking had
changed from the old days, but then joyful at the thought of our next meeting and
maybe an additional haphazard hill!

BACK TO MAIN PAGE