I put the hammer down on the C10 and reveled in the sensation of raw acceleration as the bored and stroked once-454 beneath the carbon fiber hood screamed to a China Syndrome redline. My vision dimmed at the corners from the pure G-forces, whiting out when it came time to slam the dogbox into the next gear, the snarl and snap of the compressed air shifter reminding me of nothing less than a junkyard Doberman.

It’s not important exactly where we were, but believe me when I tell you that the horizon was razor flat. A huge blue sky opened up above us, continually terrifying me at the infinite potential contained within the cosmos. The sheer expanse of all creation failed to impress my travelling companion. I would find out throughout our many road trips that philosophy in general was lost on him and we were better off discussing the practical realities of modern-day life, with only a slight glaze of politics tinged with petty regionalism on top. On this day, though, it still felt right to ask him.

“Great thinkers throughout history have asked - what is the meaning of life?” I turned to him now for dramatic emphasis, even though taking your eyes off the road at the Saturn V speeds we were currently travelling at seemed like suicide.

My companion didn’t respond. He barked out something between a burp and a brusque dismissal of my invitation to talk. We were quiet for a long time. Finally, he spoke, and if I wasn’t focusing on it with all my will, I would have missed it.

“Burnouts,” he grumbled.

I had to agree.