“Some say that he only knows two facts about ducks, and that both of them are wrong.” -Jeremy Clarkson
We all love the Stig for his enigmatic silence, his sublime racing skill, and Jeremy Clarkson’s intros of him/it/whatever, but there is also the element that he is not quite human, but somehow more than human, giving him an aura of inexplicable je ne sais quois. This is what is so fascinating, so intriguing, and so attractive about the persona that is the white-helmeted driver we call the Stig. Where did the Stig come from? Finland? Mars? I suppose that’s what began to eat people up inside – who was this tame racing driver?
I for one, was happier never knowing if he really is confused by stairs or if his sweat really can be used to clean precious metals or if he really is allergic to the Dutch. In my mind, he was all of these and more.
Sadly, on Monday, the blogosphere was awash with his blood. His identity has been revealed, his mystery, his lifeblood, rendered obsolete.
White Stig wasn’t always the big man on campus though. His predecessor was Black Stig who was by all accounts a rubbish driver who routinely spun off the Top Gear Test Track. White Stig made the TG Power Board what it was. He drove the piss out of the world’s fastest cars and never spun off, except for once in the lairy Koenigsegg CCX, but that just stands as a testament to the mental instability of the Swedes who made the CCX without fitting a spoiler. I’m getting sidetracked though. The point was that the Black Stig was killed off at the start of the third season when he drove a car off the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible. My fear now is that our current Stiggy will meet a similar fate because we know who he is. Our never-ending thirst for knowledge and distaste for comedic secrecy may very well kill him/it/whatever.
Before Top Gear became the international phenomenon it is today, with something like a billion viewers worldwide, no one much cared who the Stig was. Everyone, including myself, was just happy to marvel in all his/its/whatevers glory. More recently though, countless YouTube videos and blogs articles and actual newspaper reporters began nibbling away at his secret – his identity. You could hear his voice hear, see a picture of his face through his helmet lens there and pretty soon, Monday’s events became an inevitability.
I for one, prefer to ignore these falsified reports, and will continue to attend the Church of Stig, Sundays on BBC.