Continued from Part One / Part Two / Part Three / Part Four / Part Five. It sounds like I made this up, but then I titled the strip It Is A Real Thing so maybe you don’t know what to think. These days, you can just type “accelerator pedal fetish” into Google and instantly find an article explaining the whole scene. (Maybe turn on incognito browsing and look around to make sure nobody’s watching first). But you have to remember that most of these comics were written a few years before they were drawn and published. And back in 2007 this journalistic ground was largely unbroken. I had to discover this stuff all by myself.

It’s been a decade now so I can’t remember how I stumbled upon this community (revvers, because of course they have their own name). I can’t remember what search terms I typed into Google and how many YouTube videos I clicked through until the outer crust of well-made mainstream content had been penetrated to reveal the dark demimonde beneath, that blank area of the map with sea monsters drawn in called The Weird Part of the Internet. What I found there was an ambiguously named playlist full of badly-filmed stagey videos of women in dresses and heels stuck in cars, cars trapped in mud or snow, hopelessly revving the engine in a bid to escape and saying things like “Darn, I am stuck.” When I saw the first video I wasn’t sure where they were going with this, like maybe this was an amateur comedy sketch or something. Then the camera zoomed in on the foot pumping the accelerator pedal and I realised “Oh, this is a fetish thing.”

The trouble with accidentally discovering a fetish community is that, no matter how funny you may find it, you can’t tell your friends about it without coming across as a closeted member of that community. “And they’re a small but misunderstood group and we–  I mean they…”

Of the people reading this right now, half of you are too scared to Google “accelerator pedal fetish” and find out if I’m making all this up.  You don’t want Google adding that piece of info to their Big Data consumer profile of you and serving up targeted ads while you’re on the train, no thank you sir. I salute those people’s level-headedness in the face of curiosity and maddening temptation to Google incriminating things. 49% think I’m secretly a revver myself because how else does one even find something so specific by accident without aggressively seeking out these kinds of materials. To those people I have to shrug and say “Such is the price for bringing interesting things to your attention”. And then 1% of you are secret revvers yourselves. To those people I say “Hi Pete. I’ll see you at next week’s meeting.”