In among the known knowns, the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns, try get your head round the idea that our columnist is into Formula One…
Mate. Hey, mate. Wanna buy this used car? Note the stylish bird poop sheen and unique Frisbee steering wheel. Yep, I drew those go-faster stripes myself. I see you’ve noticed the dead deer wedged into the smashed radiator. Perfectly matches the polyester interior, don’t you think?
Would you like to pay for an extended warranty? Heaven forbid the wheels suddenly fall off because the Sellotape gives way, or the growling engine turns out to be a bonnet full of indignant guinea pigs. Just sign here, and sign here, and here too, and stick your finger in here. Deal! Cheers, mate!
I’ve never understood cars. Kraftwerk tootled along their ‘Autobahn’ for a bit, bless them, but generally cars are a bad fit for electronic music. Petrol heads prefer guitars because, um, the strings remind them of fan belts or something. Brilliant bleepy techno about future robots having alien sex with a laser-controlled spaceship isn’t suddenly going to drop a breakbeat about Ford Fiestas.
And who would you rather spend your weekends with? Middle-aged blokes guzzling warm lager while mansplaining about miles per horsepower torque shaft blah nonsense? Or happy house clubbers pilled to the rafters blithering about oscillating knob-twiddle patchbays and how our bodies are full of 5G? Oh wait. Bad example.
Cars are complicated. Just like knee surgery or shampoo adverts. There are too many dials, and manual gear sticks are fiddly, like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube down your trousers. I’m wary of anything too technological, to be honest. I watched a documentary the other day which showed a horrific science experiment. Readers of a delicate disposition may wish to skip this paragraph or stare blankly at the opposite page for a bit.
There was a nine-year-old boy, an American lad, filmed sometime in the 1970s. They miniaturised him using advanced matter transfer usually deployed by the confectionary industry. This wasn’t so bad, but then they tried to reverse the process. It went horribly wrong and Oompa-Loompas had to come to the rescue. I’m against censorship, but I really don’t think they should be showing this kind of thing.
There was one good car innovation, now obsolete. The cigarette lighter. This was a burning dashboard disc that set fire to anything you shoved into it: Marlboro Lights, cheeky spliffs, unwanted body parts… the electronic music version of this would be a Minimoog with, just next to the pink noise button, a portal to the earth’s core that constantly spits lava in your face. That would make Rick Wakeman concerts way more interesting. “This next song… aaargh… is called… aaaaargh…”
I do have one car obsession. I run an upside-down fantasy game called the F1 Losers League. Teams run the worst possible virtual Formula One outfit, and get rewarded for retirements, red flags and rubbish behaviour. Honestly, it’s real: google it. Friends act surprised when they discover I like F1, as if I’d just told them about my third leg, third nipple or my three Play-Doh statues of Earth, Wind and Fire out of Earth, Wind & Fire. It’s not really about the cars. I love league tables and statistics. My music blog is full of lists. I’d have ‘The Guinness Book Of British Hit Singles’ tattooed on my whole body if it didn’t carry the risk of having Jive Bunny on my genitals.
Why have a car when you can have a lovely Jaffa Cake? Much nicer. Gary Numan once said “nothing seems right in cars”, and he’s spot on. Just don’t get into his Ford Fiesta because those guinea pigs are getting very bitey.