Who are you guys?
Volkswagen golf cirencester
two things everyone seems to have overlooked as the dust finally begins to
settle in America. First of all, what was Bill Clinton doing with a
tobacco product in a Federal building? Second, after the Monica episode, how
did he light it?
Then there’s Viagra. We know it
rejuvenates your old chap and that it’ll be made available to homosexuals on
the NHS. But what about women? I’m told, unofficially, the results are
startling and that even Ann Widdecombe would become a wild nymphomaniac, but
there is no bona fide information on this.
I’m interested, too, in Hurricane
Georges. It rattled through Antigua, Puerto Rico and Cuba, killing everyone and
everything in its path, but not until Florida was threatened did we see any
pictures on the news.
I really didn’t get this. Helmut
Kohl was about to be ejected from office, and with him would go the single
European currency. Another plane had crashed in Africa, killing everyone on
board and dogs were to be equipped with electronic microchip passports. And the
lead item on the news was telling me that it was raining in Florida.
I tell you all this to make a
point. I’m back in business. After three years in the countryside, I’ve spent
the last few weeks with my finger on the world’s pulse - in London. I’ve read
newspapers, talked with people whose eyes
are alive and eaten arugala.
And yet I’m confused. When I left
London, there were four restaurants and everyone drove Golf GTis. Today, there
are 14,000 restaurants and you can’t get to any of them for all the
In the beginning, London’s young
people drove Alfasuds. Throughout the late ’70s and early ’80s it was the car
of choice for anyone who had been to Sandhurst or Cirencester. It was as much a
part of the estate agent’s dress code as a pair of braces.
“In the last two weeks, I’ve not seen one.
It’s gone. It’s grown up, got fat – like me – and moved out of town”
And then came the City
pinstripes’ Golf GTi, which was finished in Lhasa green and had mud up the
side, thanks to a rabbit shooting excursion with Bunty at the weekend.
All the time
I’ve been out in
the country-side, I just
sort of assumed that the Golf had weathered Hurricane Tony and was still the de
rigeur mode of transport for the opinion-formers of SW10 and down.
But no. In
the last two weeks, I’ve not seen one. It’s gone. It’s grown up, got fat - like
me - and moved out of town.
And in its stead stands the huge
four-wheel-drive off-roader. My flat overlooks the Harbour Club car park - well
known to Di watchers - and every morning when I peel back the curtains, I can’t
believe my eyes. Every single car in there is hundreds of yards long and 50
And then I get in the car and go
to work. Or try to, anyway. Every time I dive down a rabbit-run side road, my
route is blocked by someone coming the other way in a Toyota Land Cruiser.
Now look, people; I know the
idiotic council has festooned the roads with speed bumps which are
uncomfortable and stupid, but you can get over them in a normal car, I promise.
You don’t need four-wheel drive. And I know an off-roader looks tough, but it’s
just as vulnerable to parking accidents and nocturnal thievery as a BMW
I’ve been trying hard to
understand why these bright young things have fallen for the charms of a car
which is so desperately unsuited to their inner city environment. I mean, these
people are not stupid, so why are they choosing to buy a bloody great truck
when they know they’ll never be able to park, or go anywhere?
And I think I have an answer.
They won’t buy hot hatches because of that lingering yobbo connotation and they
won’t buy ordinary cars because they don’t sell fertiliser.
The obvious solution would be a
so-called sports car but they know, because we keep telling them, that these cars don’t cut it. They look great but
they need some substance to go with the Ozwald Boeteng styling.
No-one is going
to run around in a BMW Z3 because they know that if I’m coming the other way,
I’ll laugh at them. So, they buy off-roaders, even though if they meet me
coming the other way, I’ll get out of my car, lock it and force the bastards to
back up for once in their lives. London. Does wonders for your temper.
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