Balls Out

A one minute google exercise didn’t turn up the origin of the phrase ‘balls out’. But we all know what it means; full bore, full throttle, maximum speed, turned to 11..

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A one minute google exercise didn’t turn up a definitive origin of the phrase ‘balls out’. But we all know what it means; full bore, full throttle, maximum speed, turned to 11.

So the origin isn’t particularly important.

What is important is that it’s how I generally do things. The usual quote goes “I have two speeds, all the way on, and all the way off.” I see speed limits as optional, and fundamentally think they’re a bad idea. I don’t like limits. I don’t like rules. I don’t do things a little bit.

I dive deep. I drink hard. I like to push it ’til it breaks, I like to go ’til it hurts.

Again though, that’s not the point. That’s background data. I don’t drive slow. Ever. Today though, I did something I’ve never done before.

I was late for work. We had the big WWDC announcement, and my project was on deck. I wanted to be in the room at work when the announcement played, wanted to hear the reaction of people around me. So even more than usual, I was in a rush to get out.

I took the doors off my jeep this weekend. The top came off a couple weeks back. I like it best with the doors off; I like the hairy-edge, imminent danger feeling. The road rushing by. Air swirling around me.

I’m wearing a kilt today. Camo UK. It’s pretty windy here today in northern california.

Until now, I’ve never done these two things together. Doors off, kilt on.

So I came roaring out of my driveway and blasted up my street to the main road, and I did it my usual way, balls out, knobby tires humming and screeching. Full blast up the street, with a wicked cross-wind.

And the phrase balls out became quite literally true. The kilt blow all the way up, all the way open.

It took a lot of careful tucking to get the kilt under control since of course, I didn’t slow down. Alas, no schoolgirls were flashed, I don’t pass a school on the way to work. But I tell you, it may be a sunny day, but christ on a crutch, my balls were cold when I got to work.

I’ll have to think about an alternate closure system. I don’t mind flashing, but indeed, I prefer to control it.

9 thoughts on “Balls Out”

  1. I’ve been sort of wondering about (1) getting a kilt before ACL and how that would play into (2) riding the motorcycle to ACL.

    Are there fasteners of some kind?

  2. Fasteners:

    (Look at the ‘modesty snaps’)

    (look at ‘modesty system)

    But what I do is to put on shorts and chaps, ride, then when I get there, chaps off, then kilt on, then drop shorts under it. The kilt works like a dressing room. That’s what most kilt-wearing bikers I know do.

    But I have saddle bags I can lock the leathers in. If you don’t have a way to stash your leathers, it’s tricker.

  3. I think the term “balls out” comes from the two or three ball governor used on steam engines. When the engine was running at full speed the balls were expended out. Hence the term “balls out” meaning at full speed.

  4. The origin of “Balls Out” actually is important for two reasons:
    1) It has nothing to do with male anatomy.
    2) It’s meaning is literal, non-analogous.
    The governor on a steam engine uses two metal balls as counterweights, if a steam engine is run at maximum governed pressure, the rotating governor’s counterweighted balls swing all the way out thus relieving excess pressure in the boiler.
    Everybody has actually seen a balls out steam governor at one time or another, in silent movies a shot of the governor in this state told the audience that a steam locomotive was being run as fast as it would go. I think that the average person used to know what this meant.

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