Monday, 26 June 2006

Oh, bother!

It wasn’t my fault, no-one was hurt, and absolutely everyone involved, especially me, acted with commendable calm and forbearance. Even the owner of the four-ton gatepost which had come off worse than my car shook me by the hand and expressed the desire to meet me again one day under happier circumstances. It was pleasant to find that civilised behaviour has not become quite as obsolete as one sometimes fears.

No great harm was done, but a brief holiday in Devon had to become even briefer and now I must buy another car. Coming closely after sport, fashion, antiques and the price of houses, motor cars—my own or anyone else’s—rank high among the subjects I never want to spend any time talking about, but for once here goes.

The car was an early model of a range which never captured the market it was aimed at: the sort of people who buy that sort of car saw that driving one of these would do irreparable harm to their image, suggesting that they were employed by a cheapskate company and lacked the clout to demand a Mercedes, Jaguar or BMW. So the value of the few that were sold dropped quickly and dramatically, and used ones are rare and very cheap.

This was one reason why I acquired this car seven years ago; the other reason was that it was clearly a perfect match for its driver, being large, solid, comfortable, unsporting, unfashionable, unprestigious, unexciting, giving little trouble and with enormous consumption. Anyway, I am looking for another one just the same.

God , wasn’t that post boring? I promise that Other Men's Flowers will never again feature this topic.


doris said...

The pity is that the insurance payout will likely not replace a similar car of a simialar standard. We too go for an adequate but low priced car, ours is a Daewoo, and when it was written off last year we were offered the market value which didn't quite cover the extras that came with our car.

At least everyone was civil following your little discussion with the gatepost. There is hope still in this world... even if some of the women talk football!

Tony said...

Yes, indeed, but we did get £3,000 which is not bad for an 11-year old car. We had to add quite a bit to get a replacement (same model but five years younger). It was time anyway: the old one was getting a bit scruffy and the ashtrays were full.