The Long and Sordid History of the Splut by noted Military Historian Daniel Infintismo

This Issue, The National Scientific Stuff Society is pleased to introduce the eminent and well renowned Military Historian, Dr. Daniel Infintismo, who has graciously taken time from his lucrative North American lecture tour to pen this exhaustive history of the Famed Bulgarian Car Manufacturers Thrugg & Zorgraf and the Flagship vehicle, the Splut Mark IV.

Anyone who has followed any of the numerous expeditions  sponsored by the National Scientific Stuff Society will recognized this stout little sport utility vehicle. It’s adventures are well known to Staff and reader alike.

In this series of Articles , Dr. Infintismo will not only go into the history of the Vehicle itself, but will chronicle some of the famous expeditions of which it was a part…

The most famous example of this is the Bulgarian Car Manufacturer Thrugg and Zorgraff and their late model station wagon the Коляно Чудовище ( Pronounced

….Konro Yvon….. Kornhole Whyreno…….Look! Do I look Bulgarian to you???? You figure it out yourself, you’re so smart) A company Founded By Thrug Nickerson and

Zorgraff Manthorne who wanted a symbol for their Automobile that epitomized Speed and Beauty (A Kneemonster being the fastest and most beautiful animal indigenous to Bulgaria at the time)

From its flagship vehicle (The Splut Mark IV) The Thrug and Zorgraff Motor company hd similar emblems on all or their Vehicles from the company's inception to the present day.

The Now Infamous Thrug and Zorgraff "Racing Kneemonster

How it all came about

 The Коляно Чудовище had been a staple model for the company since the 20’s when the company’s lead designer, Addisoniev Atkinsonov first developed the “trackless train” or “iron goat” as a single person troop carrier forBulgaria’s involvement in Boer

War. Atkinsonov was later shocked to discover not only was he late in bringing the device into production for the Boer War but that there was no Bulgarian involvement in that war.

Undaunted by this obvious setback, Atkinsonov pressed on and developed a whole range of steam driven sport utility vehicles with little or no success. Atkinsonov’s last dalliance with steam came with the Коляно Чудовище Mark XXXVIII. A steam driven 8 wheeled luxury sports car which was not well sought after byBulgaria’s elite due to the fact that what few elite there were inBulgaria, were unwilling to shovel coal while driving.

The Second Great War.

 Atknisonov’s last project as Lead design came in the summer of 1941 with the five engine land bomber, Lovingly referred to by Atkinsonov as “The Pointed stick of Bulgarian Victory” This vehicle was cutting edge in that it took advantage of gasoline as opposed to steam but It was summarily scrapped after the first 16 prototypes became the collateral damage of their own bombing runs.

The Aftermath

Realizing several months later that their lead designer had left, both Thrug and Zorgraff  realized that immediate steps had to be taken to replace him so they hired a German chap named Vandoloo Wilhelm Atkinsonov who in an amazing coincidence happened to be a long lost son of Addisoniev Atkinsonov after taking far too long to pee on a road trip the Atkinsonov’s were taking through Germany in the spring of 1928, Young Vandoloo brought fresh and exciting new ideas to the company unfettered by any constraints brought on by having any sort of engineering degree.

This lead to the Plucky little Eastern European Marvel we now know as the Kneemonster Splut Mark IV. This all around vehicle has been rated Bulgaria’s top Sport Utility/Chicken Carrier for the last 5 consecutive years and has consistently been given 100% satisfaction ratings by Bulgarian Chickens everywhere for the decades since its inception.

The Splut Mark IV has seen service on all continents.

It was towed back to safety in the failed Artic exploratory mission sponsored by the National Scientific Stuff Magazine in 1966

4 Spluts were left behind when a team of Scientists had to abort a cross country trek throughSouth America in search of the Pygmy Antlered Hippopotamus of theYucatan in 1974. (There is some controversy over this expedition with some in the scientific community saying that it WOULD have been successful had they on started their search in theYucatan)

2 Spluts had to be airlifted from high in the Rockies when the second expedition to find the North American Mountain Ostrich herd failed spectacularly in 1976.

10 Spluts are half buried in the Sand of theSaharaafter the failed pursuit of the last remaining amphibious camels ofEgyptin 1977.

Pieces of 3 (Maybe 4) Spluts are scattered at the bottom of the deepest canyon inAustralia after the 17th unsuccessful attempt to trap an Australian Kneemonster in the Fall of 1981.

And 2 stalled Spluts were crushed in 1982 by the Aggressive and near sighted Wooly Armadelephant of Siberia

 The Expeditions in all of their Ugly detail (Part one)

The Thrug and Zorgraf Kneemonstger Splut Mark IV

Nickerson enroute to the North Pole in the Kneemonster Splut IV

The failed Artic exploratory mission sponsored by the

National Scientific Stuff Magazine in 1966

The Spluts were acquired by the Intrepid explorer SJ Nickerson who, because of his fear of large steel things was unwilling to sail to the artic and decided to drive overland from his home in Southern California. Leaving on a fine day in August, SJ ventured with little or no provision, gambling that he could acquire the necessary food and water for the journey by hunting and fishing. Trouble was not long in following on the first day of the expedition when the authorities at Seaworld took a remarkably dim view of this strategy.

The Splut was chosen for a variety of reasons. It being a four wheel drive vehicle was, on it’s face, an obvious advantage.. The Splut’s reputation of being a four wheel drive that rarely worked right was a definite disadvantage.

Leaving that aside, SJ settled on the Splut in general and this particular Splut for economic reasons. The cardboard sign that said “Take me please!” was more than enough to overcome any misgivings that he may have had.

So with NSS Sponsorship money in hand, A passion for exploration, an overwhelming desire to see for himself whether Santa Claus lived there or not, and 6 California state troopers chasing him after he gunned down three Zebra’s and an unfortunate Koala bear at Busch Gardens one hungry afternoon. SJ set out on his Artic Journey in earnest.

Crossing the Border.

SJ arrived in Canada to little or no fanfare for a variety of reasons (Most notably, he crossed the border in a remote area, because the authorities in California had asked the Mounties to look for him) and things got only rockier from there.

The Rockies

During his time in Canada, SJ was a stickler for taking the most direct route possible, and soon abandoned the much easier and more sensible highway route after crossing the border (and in fact, right after realizing that Canadians, although still loyal to the monarchy, had switched to driving on the right side of the road a long time ago, contrary to his belief otherwise.) It was this decision that took SJ and his Splut through numerous, treacherous mountain passes, and at one point would most certainly have perished en route has it not been for the guidance of the famed mountain man Jeremaiah  LeOuaouaron, a hermit and notorious hunter/trapper of the BC interior.

LeOuaouaron and Nickerson found each other quite by accident when during the course of checking his trap line (this would be a pic of SJ and his truck hanging upside down from a rope) After denying vehemently that he was not a large hairless polar bear who went astray, Nickerson was able to enlist LeOuaouaron‘s help in continuing his expedition.

It was later on this expedition that SJ Nickerson discovered the most complete skeleton ever found of the ancient Kneefish. This discovery was curious to SJ because it was on a mountain top in the Rockies and SJ was puzzled by the location and its lack of water. Unable to “get his head around” subsequent explanations from the scientific community about the landscape being different 100 skillion years ago, SJ surmised that the Kneefish must have been killed somewhere else by what SJ referred to as “Mob Fish” and the body was buried in the mountains so the fish authorities wouldn’t find it.

After an anonymous tip to very confused Canadian authorities entitled “the coldest case ever, eh!” (Translated in to Canadian for Nickerson by LeOuaouaron) The pair left the British Columbian interior and crossed into the Yukon Territories.

The Yukon

As the Journey pressed on and the days grew shorter, the shortcomings of the Splut became painfully apparent. This little eastern European all terrain vehicle was holding up surprisingly well given it’s track record but the sturdy Bulgarians who built her were never terribly concerned about creature comforts.

On the first frosty morning, SJ was appalled to find out that the stock heater in the Splut was unable to melt the snow of the top….of the heater. SJ solved the problem in typical SJ fashion but what he had in enthusiasm and out of the box thinking was sadly outweighed by his lack of common sense when he attempted to build a campfire in the back seat. A slightly(Slightly) less dangerous solution was obtained from a gold mining camp under cover of darkness when SJ “liberated”(as he put it) a potbellied stove and the adventure continued.

The Golden Prize

Against all reasonable odds, SJ made it to the Arctic circle and stood triumphantly in front of what he believed to be the North Pole as evidenced by this photo taken by LeOuaouaron ( here we would have a photo with LeOuaouaron’s thumb over SJ’s head)

Whole heartedly but mistakenly believing himself to be standing in Santa’s’ front yard, SJ Placed his tongue on what he declared to be the world’s largest aluminum coloured candy cane where it immediately stuck fast. In reality, it was the flagpole of Canadian forces base Alert, Nunavut and the surly but helpful “elves” Were actually Canadian soldiers. A fact they, on several occasions, tried to convey to SJ as they freed him with a heat gun but he would only wink and say “ Your secret is safe with me !” Since the incident, there has been much made by “small c” conservatives everywhere that the idea of a Canadian army is a less believable concept than that of A colony of toy making elves lead by a fat man in a red suit.

In conclusion

SJ , LeOuaouaron and a harp seal, wishing to obtain political asylum in florida were airlifted with the Splut and taken back to the united States as hastily as the conditions allow. LeOuaouaron was forced to Hitchhike back to BC due to budgetary concerns and SJ was honored with a parade befitting his status as a famed National Scientific Stuff explorer. However, befitting his status as a wanted fugitive, the parade ended at the California state penitentiary where, SJ is a resident to this day. The Spluts were thawed out and are on display at NSS headquarters as we speak, emblazoned with a plaque reading “no reasonable offers refused.”

The New Breed of Splut

Today’s Thrug and Zorgraff looks far different than the Thrug and Zorgraff’s of old. In fact, today’s T&Z Kneemonster has transformed into a state of the art Electric Wind hybrid to satisfy the insatiable need for a green alternative. With Vindaloo at the helm the plans are to bring out a whole line of environmentally friendly vehicles under the Kneemonster flag such as….

The Kneemonster Fgiffit

This Marvel of modern technology is a hybrid of human power and electricity . The user merely runs on a treadmill for a sufficient time to charge the batteries and then is free to drive off for an estimated 15minutes of travel time with a charge time of as little 3 hours of running

The Kneemonster Wabbbwabbaspflurt

Giving a nod to the old school designers of mechanical toys, the Wabbbwabbaspflurt is actually clock works powered and comes with a Steam powered winder in homage to the companies founding designer Addisoniev Atkinsonov.

And finally the Sexiest of the Newest line of Kneemonsters

The Kneemonster E

E being the Bulgarian word for Transcendental Auditory signal of singularly intricate, prehensile, multi- fingered body parts applauding. This car is powered to record speeds by the burning of methane and is augmented by the accessory of a roof mounted aerosol can. This particular car has won the award as most attractive Bulgarian Sports for this year.

From T&Z’s latest Press release:

“The Management at T&Z have made a commitment to put our finest minds toward finding the finest solutions to upholding the finest ideals of …environmental stuff. We feel confident that you’ll all agree that this is the dawning of a new age of Recreational vehicle/livesstock transportation and are very much looking forward to the globe joining us in that pursuit of which we chose to …pursue.”

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