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Goede reis!

The Saga of the Driving Dutchman is a legend of a cursed camper and his spooky mobile-home. A curse condemned him to aimlessly stray on all European highways with his rusty vehicle and never to arrive anywhere until Judgment Day.

The core of the legend[edit]

It was about the year 1962 when a driver of a Dutch mobile home who, even for a Dutchman, had a breakneck driving style and an exquisite vocabulary of swear words, tried to pass a scene of an accident on the German autobahn A2 near Rheda-Wiedenbrück, even though the road was completely closed. What happened next he narrated himself according to the following traditional record:

"I am not dead, nor yet am I alive. I hover between this world and the world of Spirits. Mark me.
For seven hours did I try to force my passage against this god-damned traffic jam, but without success; and I swore terribly. For seven more hours did I change lanes, sound my horn, flash my head lights, and shout the living soul out of my body, and yet could gain no ground; and then I blasphemed, - ay, terribly blasphemed. Yet still I persevered. The family, worn out with long fatigue, would have had me leave the highway at some service area or exit; but I refused; nay, more, I became a tyrant, - unintentionally, it is true, but still a tyrant. My wife opposed me, and persuaded the children to pee in the car if they absolutely had to. In the excess of my fury, I threw the doors open and kicked the children out onto the road. Even their wailing and crying did not restrain me; and I swore by the fragment of the Holy Cross, preserved in that relic now hanging round your neck, that I would gain my point in defiance of traffic jam and road closure, of fog and ice, of heaven and hell, even if I should beat about until the Day of Judgment. My oath was registered in thunder, and in streams of sulphurous fire. The car did a jump forward like chased by furies and slid through other cars like the unearthly shadow that it now was, and in the centre of a deep o'erhanging cloud, which shrouded all in utter darkness, were written in letters of livid flame, these words - UNTIL THE DAY OF JUDGMENT."

Legends and stories about the driving Dutchman[edit]

The vehicle[edit]

The legendary ghost car is said to have incredible abilities. In case of a traffic jam it is said to be able to run at 120 kph on the emergency lane. They also say that it can turn invisible whenever a radar control is near. Some narratives say that it also suddenly appears somewhere driving in the wrong direction.


When the driving Dutchman appears next to another vehicle this is a terribly ominous sign. It augurs an accident in the near future or at least a hefty fine for speeding.

Drivers who reported meeting the ghost car said that the camper was either empty or manned with dead people or ghosts. Some mentioned they heard desperate calls for lekker Boderbrodjes from the empty cabin.

Many stories also mention a ragged figure on a bicycle passing cars in service areas and trying to cell smuggled cigarettes and cannabis products. An unsuspecting buyer will inevitably fall victim to a customs inspection a short time later, unless he immediately nails the contraband to the glove compartment.

The vanished operator[edit]

Service area personnel tell stories of haggardly, trembling figures stumbling out of the camper in the middle of the night and using the toilets without charge. Afterwards, the sanitary equipment is in terrible shape. Toilet paper is missing, as well as saltshakers, glasses and newspapers. Then the vehicle disappears again into the foggy night.
One restaurant operator who stood up to the car and demanded payment was never heard of again.

The ensorcelled car[edit]

An unsuspecting traveller approached a rusty camping trailer on the Grebser Heide parking lot. He knocked and politely asked if this was the Temnitz exit. A scruffy man with a strong Dutch accent opened and invited him for a lekker Genever. When the tourist left the camper a short time later, he found himself on the Gütersloh service area some 350 km away. Distressed, he turned around, but the camper was nowhere to be seen.

In the traffic jam[edit]

During a traffic jam between the Kamener Kreuz and the Bohnen exit suddenly a decrepit mobile-home pushed through the column, sounding its horn. Through the open window someone shouted "Over board mit de Blagens!" and a whimpering sound of a female voice could be heard.

The sportive driver[edit]

The driver of a sports car tried to overtake a shabby car with a camping trailer. But regardless how much he accelerated, the vehicle stayed right at his side. A spiteful voice called through the window all the time: "Lame car, lame car!".
The end of the affair was a ticket for 200% speeding next to a construction site. No one else had seen the camper.

The cheap vegetables[edit]

A restaurant operator on a service area was offered incredibly cheap vegetables at two o'clock in the night in winter. After he agreed to buy some, the supplier dropped huge amounts of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers out of his camper.
When the cook wanted to take the vegetables out of the cold storage the next morning he only found piles of plastic packaging.

The soccer fans[edit]

German hooligans late at night sang a song about how they would go to the world cup without the Netherlands. Suddenly a damned skinny guy showed up and told them they were wrong, they would go WITH the Netherlands, but not to the world cup but directly to hell for their godless boozing.
Deeply moved by this incident, the men immediately renounced alcohol and joined the Catholic church.

The driving Dutchman in literature[edit]

Inspired by the legend, the poet Walter of the Hubcap composed the following lines:

One single hope shall remain with me,
it alone shall stand unshaken:
long though the car may follow the road,
it yet must rust and rot and perish.
Day of Judgment! Day of doom!
When will the axle give away?
When will the blow of annihilation resound
which shall crack the vehicle asunder?
When all the parts are worn out,
then shall I pass into the void.
You tires asunder, cease your course!
Eternal extinction fall on me!

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