On this page, I will quickly explain what the Abgase website ("Abgase" is German for exhaust fumes) is all about. Within the year, the Abgase.org network will hopefully become a hub for everything related to the passion for senseless environmental pollution.
I'm a student in my mid-20s, and I was born and grew up in the heart of Switzerland. For the most part, I'm a pretty inconspicuous person. However, already as a very young kid I discovered a rather strange penchant: I like the exhaust fumes of gasoline engines. Particularly so if those engines were used for fun or sport, or if the exhaust fumes were otherwise emitted into nature for seemingly, in my view, no good reason.
The answer to how one would come up with such a thing is probably not immediately clear. Well, I've occupied myself with this question for as long as I can remember. The attempts at finding some kind of answer to it will make up a large portion of this site's content. The most interesting thing about it is that it seems to have emerged out of the exact opposite feeling, seeing as I was extremely green-minded as a little boy. Exhaust fumes already heavily occupied my mind at that point, but because I hated them so much. Somehow, this resentment turned first into curiosity, then fascination, and finally a passion.
Is it the thrill of "evil"? Because my original childlike, naive outrage over the pollution of the environment didn't disappear. In fact, this inner conflict seems to be essential for that extra thrill. For example, exhaust fumes only really excite me if they're produced for seemingly no good reason – such as in motorsports, for leisure, or just pure indifference (presuming, for the sake of argument, that having fun is not a good enough reason for the use of gas engines, which is of course preposterous). Further,, I'm also almost exclusively into the thick, blue, pungent (and particularly polluting) exhaust gas of two-stroke engines. Details like these might help in finding out more about the origins and backgrounds of such penchants.
As a young boy growing up, my irrational, if not absurd love for exhaust fumes naturally bothered and worried me a great deal. There was something "not normal" about me, and I was afraid that somebody might notice. I even tried suppressing my penchants. After all, how could I, the staunch tree hugger, admit to like these evil things? But it was no use, my fondness for exhaust gas was a part of me, if I wanted it or not, and the only thing I could do was accept it. Still, I was understandably convinced to be the only person in the world with this quirk. I decided to act it out in secret, while in everyday life I would stay far away from anything that had anything to do with motors or pollution, out of fear that somebody might guess that I actually enjoyed them.
Then I discovered the Internet, and one day found something completely surprising: a group of people sharing my fondness! People who, like me, had a thing for exhaust fumes from gas engines. It was comforting and quite liberating to know that I wasn't alone, even though it didn't really answer any of my big questions. But finally, there were people with whom I could talk about it openly. First there were a few dozen, then there were hundreds. Even today, I'm often surprised at how wide-spread some of these penchants really are, in varying degrees. Most people seem to like the smell of gasoline at fuel stations, and in professional motorsports, advertisement revels in the symbolism and eroticism of engines, racing gear and exhaust fumes. Directly confronted with the question, surprisingly many people admit to liking the noise of engines and the smell of exhaust, or finding the sight of an exhaust pipe emitting blue plumes of smoke into the air titillating and somewhat aesthetically pleasing, even beautiful.
I think that there's a simple reason why it's not more widely known and accepted that so many people share these penchants: those who discover them think they're abnormal, assume they're the only ones, and try to keep others from finding out in order to not expose themselves. Especially in the present day, where the public places such great value on politically correct environmental consciousness, it seems daring and risky to come out as liking exhaust fumes. For my part, I additionally have a thing for the felling of trees and deforestation (which interestingly developed the same way, out of initially being disgusted about it as a young boy.)
This is the most important reason why I want to discuss all of this on a public website. On one hand, I hope to reach people who share my predilections, maybe even still hide them, and to show them that they're not alone out there, nor do they need to feel ashamed. Of course I also love getting in contact with like-minded people. On the other hand, the site is of course also targetted at "outsiders". Whether they will find the subject fascinating, bewildering, or amusing, what I want is to simply write down the facts from my perspective, for the benefit of all who would care to read it. Maybe this will even lead some psychologists or sociologists this way, in case they're interested in examining the topic, and in turn could maybe help our own understanding of how these fondnesses could've emerged.
If you are, in fact, a fellow exhaust gas enthusiast (or you suspect you might be one), I have a few more words of advice for you, especially if you're still quite young and unsure what to think about it all:
I'd be happy to receive feedback even before the main site goes live. Of course I'm most keen on hearing from visitors who might have found this place because they share some of my penchants, and would like to share their story and experiences. But feel free to contact me with any other questions or comments as well. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org – or just use the contact form to the right.