Said friend had written a little thing talking about the car; the parties he used to go to in it and the good times, stuff we can all relate to. Then, he'd rounded off with the all important sentence, the one that made me think and made me write this post, not that I've written it yet. He said
"And it was surprisingly fast, it went like a bomb."
I did a double take at the photograph. In fact I did two double takes, then thought "hmmm". No way did this little Mini, with its engine that probably wouldn't be sufficient to power the fellow's hairdryer these days, go "like a bomb".
And said fellow is bald as a coot these days too.
But I chuckled, for this isn't a criticism of the particular fellow, it's more a prod at all men, for we all do this. When it comes to cars, driving and men there's some sort of link to our ego that doesn't apply to women.
You'll never catch a man (and I include myself in this) tell you how his first car was actually a heap of crap that would get overtaken by bullocks and milk floats. You'll never hear a man tell you how his first car was cheap, nasty and devoid of all character. You never hear a member of the male species tell you how his first
love car was old and unreliable.
Oh no. The correct way in man world to put across these points is to say that the car went like a bomb, that it was full of character, probably with a name, something only women continue to do with good cars. And old and unreliable becomes "I used to do all the work on it myself you know, in those days you could work on a car yourself".
Somewhere in the recesses of the automotive world, is a hidden fleet of crappy cars. Things like old Minis, Beetles, Ford Fiestas, Nissan Micras, in fact any old Jap cars, and they've all been secretly fitted with Ferrari engines. No one knows about them openly but, when a chap buys his first car, nature's car fairies covertly supply one. I'm not sure what the situation is with gay men though. I can see that somewhere within the framework of car fairies and gay men is a very funny joke, I just can't pinpoint it.
Women never get given one of these car, except Vicki Butler Henderson, the exception to every rule about men and cars.
As we men get older, usually increasing our wealth and buying cars that are better, faster and more damaging to the environment, our first car becomes more legendary, faster and more stylishly full of character.
Women use cars as a means of getting from A to B, always doing it more quickly than men because, mysteriously, they think it's perfectly acceptable to stop and ask for directions within a few minutes of getting lost. Yet every man without exception thinks he's the next Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber or Benjamin Button's brother just waiting to be discovered.
For the record my first car was an orange VW Beetle, registration HRY 113L. I never had to do any maintenance on it, I called it Henry and it was a beauty.
Oh, and it went like a bomb.