7 Feb 2008

I’m on the horns of a dilemma. I drive a 99 reg Saab 9-3 with 130,000 miles+ on the clock which is one day going to stop in the middle of Roscommon and then I’ll be screwed. I’ve been talking about changing it for three years now, but I have a problem – I don’t have the male car gene. Seriously. I once bought a Lada. 

I have all the other male genes I’m aware of – I avoid social events involving my wife’s friends (except for Margot and Martha! Ye little dotes), I fall asleep at the opera and I’ve a limited range of emotions. But I have no interest in cars.

So here’s the thing. In 2005, I decided I was going to buy a 2 seater Smart, so I ran it by Mike. ‘Interesting,’ he said, with his customary dismissiveness which, firmly but politely, somehow spelt the end of the Smart.

Months passed. One evening I saw this thing on the M7 called a ‘Freelander’ which I thought might be appropriate to own – 4x4-ish but understated. ‘Nice looking car,’ said Mike. ‘Drives like a tank.’ End of Freelander…

… and start of my realisation that Mike had, tragically, become the Car Boss of Me.

A whole nuther year later I was on holidays in France and I - for the first time ever – I saw this car that I just immediately knew, I just knew, I had to have. A small, simple, black convertible – the kind of sports car, which, if they were allowed to drive, the Amish themselves would love because, like me, they like things plain and simple (the Amish are cooler even than the Quakers: check out the awesome way they greet each other - ‘Hello, Garry, you are a plain man’, to which I’m supposed to reply ‘Keith, you, too, are plain (barring the purple Paul Smith jacket and silver TT, the wheel of which you happen to be behind of .’ But where was I… ) - called a VW Eos. I decided not to risk telling Mike, just in case, and called up VW in Ennis to arrange a deal.

Now, this is where things got weird. Mike suddenly announced that he, too, was changing his car. In my recollection of things, he said he’d already bought a BMW 5 (which I think looks like a man in drag).

Only blokes who dye their hair drive 5s.

But weeks later we’re driving along somewhere and, á propos nothing, Mike comes out with: ‘I’m thinking of looking at the A4 Estate.’

Cue odd silence. Something, I thought, smells fishy in the state of Denmark: ‘What, happened to the 5?’ 


‘Tadhg doesn’t like it.’

Tadhg!

Well, Holy God. If Tadhg isn’t the Car Boss Of Mike… (… and me, too, vicariously). 

‘What would Tadgh say about an Eos?’ I finally ventured.

‘Girlie.’

So now we’re both buying A4s to keep Tadhg happy.

Except, a few days later Mike called me up in a panic: ‘You didn’t put the deposit down on that A4, did you?’ What now? I wondered. ‘Tadgh thinks they’re a little bit surfer-dude.’ Jesus wept. ‘Fine,’ I snapped. ‘Why doesn’t Tadgh tell us what type of car he wants us to buy and we can just go out and get them?’ It turned out Tadgh wanted us to get Golfs the exact same as his.

Except, the other day Mike suddenly decided he was going to square off with Tadgh, ignore the whole Golf idea and buy… The. New. C.

And so now you see my dilemma. What on God’s EARTH am I supposed to do? Splash out on The New C (which, by they way, until I started writing this I had no idea what it was) so Mike can become the Car Boss of Tadgh? Or buy the Golf and hang Mike out to dry on his own?

(By the way, there’s a further thing I think I should point out before you get back to me with your advices. I’ve never actually, in fact, met Tadhg. Although I’m pretty sure that Mike may have mentioned my name to him on various occasions, it is technically possible that Tadgh doesn’t actually know I am or that he’s the Car Boss of Me.

Does that throw me a lifeline?)

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