28 Feb 2008

I really do own this car. It's the only possession I'm proud of.
 
Oh, for the love of God, this whole Car Boss situation is getting out of hand. I mentioned it in the last Dispatch because I thought talking about it would get it out of my system. But it’s only made things worse. Now I have two Car Bosses. Mike…

 … and Ciaran Cuffe, TD, Green Party Spokesman on Justice, Equality, Law Reform, Foreign Affairs and Transport.

This is what happened:

‘Forget those two petrol heads, Mike and Tadhg,’ emailed the Teachta Dála, ‘they’re tossers. Real men wouldn’t be seen in anything less than an A rated car. I sense from the general tenor of your blog that you’re a person struggling with intense image insecurity issues. If this is the case, you might want to check out the Audi A3 1.9 e TDi – understated and non gender specific [Garry interjecting – don’t know why he said that. Back to Ciaran…]. If you’re comfortable with the idea of experimenting with your car image, I’d suggest the BMW 118 d. Best of luck’ he signed off before crucially adding. ‘I myself have just booked a new Fiat 500.’

Now this last comment struck a hugely profound chord. As it happens, I am the owner a vintage 1969 500 which I drive around for fun and, and since I heard about the new one coming on the market I’ve had a nagging thought that, perhaps, I might eventually go in that direction. I’m man enough to say the idea made me a little nervous, but what I like about Cuffe’s approach was that – if the 500 turned out to be the car I was destined to buy - he was giving me a sense of  validation.

Now Mike, on the other hand, makes me feel about as validated as a planning application for a one off house in County Clare. For example, he’s supposed to be studying to take his architecture exams in Oxford, right? And I’m supposed to be his tutor. But what I sort of in a way resent is how he makes me give him the mark for his essays that he wants and never the ones I think he deserves. Take the one he had to do last September ‘Post Peak Oil: Preparing For A Car Free World.’ After I managed to get him to drop the sentence ‘… The point of the essay is of no consequence to me because a world without a 220 C Class CDI is a world I don’t want to be in …’ I gave him what I thought was a very generous 50%. He wanted 70+. We agreed to disagree. But then a few days later at the All Ireland Final, after all the tickets had been divied out I, for some mysterious reason, found myself standing all on my own on Hill 16 while everyone else was sitting in the Hogan. (On the other hand, Limerick lost. I’m from Clare.)

Anyway. I forwarded Ciaran’s email to Mike which generated a swift reply. 

‘Look. Are you going to let your head be turned by the first TD who sends you an email [Garry interjecting: I’ve actually received loads of emails from TDs. Back to Mike…] or are you going to listen to me. What a bleeping blouse! Remember ‘Karl Spain Wants A Woman’? Well why don’t you get your fancy friends in RTE to do ‘Garry Miley Wants A Car’. And I’ll tell you one thing: if you do go for the 118 d, you’ll be going to inter-county hurling matches on your own in future because, in fairness, the 118 d is A STEP TOO FAR. 
Mike
PS And another thing. I don’t appreciate your view that only blokes who dye their hair drive 5s when you know perfectly well I’ll soon have nothing left to dye. That hurt.’

Finally, Keith decides to put himself into the equation. All last week, whinge, whinge, whinge… Keith, you’ll remember, is the driver of a Silver Audi TT which he admits to buying only because he likes those two circular pieces of plastic on the dashboard (the two least credible pieces of plastic in the motoring world). He’s annoyed because page one of the Dispatch used to be exclusively his. Now he’s shamelessly trying to crash in on the Car Boss scenario. Well, I’m sorry, Keith, but if you really want to be part of this scene, get me another TV gig. (And before you put the thirty five takes it took me the other day to say ‘Hello and welcome back to Building The Ultimate House’ up on YouTube (which, I understand, you’re seriously planning to do) as you know perfectly well, I was hungry.)

On the last Dispatch I gave the wrong link to the show. You’ll get it at
www.ultimatehouse.tv
 
And here's Ciaran doing a piece to camera at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piX-oYrKqBw
 
Ciaran you and I are going to have to meet over coffee and develop some TV ideas...

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