Tuesday, April 06, 2004
Drive My Car
While waiting for Godot this morning, or rather the 390, which is more or less the same thing, as neither of them turn up when they're meant to, I decided it was about time I got myself a car.
It made good sense. I'd no longer be dependent on public transport, or forced to play sardines with the tube's huddled masses of terminally unwashed. And it would give me the opportunity to star in my own latter-day production of Grease, burning up the quarter mile in my open-top pink Cadillac, wind in my slicked-back hair, Californian totty at my side, and Chuck Berry on the radio. What’s more, there'd be weekend excursions to olde-worlde country pubs, booze-cruises over to France, and my number of friends would increase dramatically as word got round you could always rely on the kindness of Stranger for a lift home in a flash new motor.
Of course, there remains the slight problem that I can't drive. I took a course of lessons back as a student, but after pranging into the back of a stationary Volvo on my first day out, I came to the conclusion it wasn't such a great idea, and I'd much prefer to be chauffeured everywhere from now on, if that's all the same to you. People express surprise that someone my age can't legally be put behind the wheel, but they're not Londoners, and are mostly from wide-open spaces like South Africa, where you need a four-wheeler just to drive twenty kilometres across the veldt to the nearest Nando's.
Anyway, I wouldn't be safe put in charge of who knows how many tons of metal and rubber. As someone who turns into the Witch of the West whenever anyone cuts across him on the pavement, the thought of rush hour at Hyde Park Corner is too horrible to contemplate. And what's the point of olde-worlde country pubs when you can't knock back so much real ale that you fall over? And any parked pink Cadillac round these parts gets keyed faster than you can say "London North Seven".
What's more as an elegant, sophisticated and decidedly choosy homo about town, there's only one car in which I'd ever like to be seen. Unfortunately I don't think it’s for sale. And if I did learn to drive, it would have to be a bike. Motorcycles and the men who ride them are far sexier, you know. When was the last time you ever fantasised over a man behind the wheel of a white Vauxhall Estate?