The still criminally under followed @FailCar has been busy again and I'm delighted to say he's written some more words for PetrolBlog. This time around he's asking a rather rhetorical question - just why are we obsessed with cars? Don't be expecting answers by the way, but enjoy the brilliant @FailCar in all his glory. Follow him on twitter for much more of the same.
On one of my many ramblings about cars someone stopped me mid-sentence and said to me, "Wait, how do you know so much, how do you know these things?" A colleague remarked, "It’s like a form of autism, he just has some sort of weird car obsession". That was the first time I realised I was not normal. I have a... problem.
Of course this may just sound like some sort of ego-boasting, "I know a lot about cars don’t you know", but unfortunately for me this is not the case. It was of course inevitable that I became a motoring journo, mainly because I probably couldn’t do anything else. I know cars, that’s it. "Oh hi there is that a conversation you are having? Not about cars, meh". It’s totally ridiculous, today I struggled to listen to a guy because he showed up in a Hyundai Getz.
I do have some friends that are petrolheads but in a different way. They could strip a Subaru and put it back together with a kitchen knife and some pliers. But they are not abnormal, there is a purpose and honourable reason for their knowledge. But what of the other so called ‘petrolheads’ out there? Well to be honest they can be pretty thin on the ground.
Yes I get told at parties that I get dragged to, (I could be at home drooling over classified ads), that "oh look there is Dave, he likes cars, you could talk to him". One thing is for sure ‘Dave’ will not really know about cars. "... Oh a Seat Leon TDi, AND it’s got leather/Bluetooth/shiny wheels". Part of my ‘illness’ means that one of the first things I ask a person is what they drive, and this can send a conversation either way. Unfortunately in Dave's case it meant that I just went into my ‘trance’ mode. If someone is not talking about cars or genuinely knows about cars I switch off. It’s not deliberate, I’m not an *arse it just happens that way. This is not good for relationships.
It’s the same story in the industry, there are some people that want to be here and why the heck shouldn’t they be? It’s a dandy place to be driving cars and stuff. Again though when engaging in conversation you can tell the difference between those that want to be here and the people that have to be here. We know cars. We know little else, and it’s on the brain almost 24/7.
While reading evo the other day I noted @sniffpetrol article on the dangers of driving in summer. In short it basically described the distractions of scantillty clad women on drivers however this problem does not affect petrolheads because we have super reflexes for identifying cars such as MG ZT V8s in opposing lanes at 90mph. As with many of his musings I could totally relate to it, however there is something else I note about this supernatural yet pointless ability that we have.
Frustration, pure frustration. There I am getting all excited, (usually about something crap like a Yugo), driving past in the opposing lane, "wow look at that a 406 SRi Turbo, don’t see many of them about", and what am I met with? My girlfriend's face blankly looking at me. She doesn’t care, why would she? She is not a head case like me and somehow she manages to put up with it.
It’s a strange sensation that you could be there getting all excited and yet the person sitting next to you could not give a toss. I also noted recently via YouTube that @Carpervert suffers from this problem when in the car with @tiff_tv.
But here is where the twits come in.
I only recently got into twitter on a personal level and there I have found an extraordinary thing. There are other mental people too, ones that I can engage in lengthy conversations who suffer from the same ridiculous condition. This is of great pleasure to me as it makes me realise that there are many others with the condition and it’s kinda therapeutic. I won’t name names you know who you are, and face it – you have some screws loose.
Question is though – why am I (we) obsessed with cars? In my case it’s not a parental thing as they could not give a monkeys. It can’t be a marketing thing otherwise I would be obsessed with Kia and 7 year warranties. So just what is it? Huh, oh... you were expecting an answer, how should I know why we are obsessed with cars – I’m bloody mental.
*I might just be an arse.
If anyone has the answer to the question, please list on them on the back of a postcard and send it to the usual address. Alternatively, you can use the comment section below. And if you're not too busy lusting after that white Yugo that's just driven past, you can follow @FailCar at http://twitter.com/failcar.