People who know me, know I am not really interested in cars. They also know that I don’t really take notice of cars. Well I do in terms of driving, but not in terms of make, model, colour. People do get upset when they wave at me as I drive past but don’t acknowledge them. I notice there is another car on the road, but who is driving I don’t notice. Often there is a last minute panic from me when I spot and recognise the other driver waving. People who know me, also know that I have NO INTENTION OF PURCHASING A NEW CAR. I purchased a new car just 24 years ago. It’s still going strong. I love Larry Landrover. I’m very happy with Larry Landrover. I can afford a new car, I just chose not to buy one.
So not having purchased a car for 24 years means I am not that up to date with new technology. This came to a head the other month when I hired a car for the first time in many years. I was on a jolly to Scotland, to see an old school chum I haven’t seen for 30 years. She offered to collect me from Edinburgh airport, but I decided that it might be best if I hired a car. Reason, just in case we had changed so much we didn’t get on. I could be stuck in her house in the middle of Scotland for days on end. So car hired. Its was a false economy as our friendship bounced right back to where we were 30 years ago.
The flight was very pleasant. The chap at the car rental was very pleasant. During the conversation he asked for my email address. My email has the word farm in it, so he asked if I was visiting a farm while in Scotland. Yes was the answer. Upon which he very kindly offered to upgrade my car to something more suitable. Lovely I thought. Then he said he was upgrading me to a SUV. Lovely I thought, what the ****** is an SUV? So I made a joke about hoping it was a nice colour to cover up my vehicle ignorance.
So off I went to collection bay 9 with key and contract in hand. Well, I thought it was a key, but there was no key stick thingy, just a black and silver lump of metal and plastic. I managed to unlock the car, the padlock image on black and silver lump was a giveaway. But there I sat in a flash-looking car with no key. I then spotted the on/off button, which I pushed and nothing happened. Then I spotted a message flashing up on the dashboard about depressing the clutch. That I did and low and behold the car started. Then there was another black silver lump which I worked out was the handbrake. But before I released that I had to work out the radio. Some bastard had left it on radio ONE! It was easier to programme the Satnav than retune the radio, but finally I found my beloved radio three.
Address programmed into the Satnav, handbreak mastered, I ventured forth. At the first junction there was more trouble – the car, it just died. Well it seemed to die. There was a slight panic, then I realised it was one of those green less-car-emissions-type vehicles which likes to save petrol. I just found it extremely annoying.
Having worked out how to open doors, start it, re-set radio, programme Satnav, release handbrake, cope with its dying at every junction, it then starts to bleep all the time. Why the hell do new cars have to bleep? It bleeped cos I overtook, cos I got a smidgen too close to a parked car; it bleeped cos of this and that and I couldn’t turn the ******** bleeping off.
Still, I had a lovely week in Bonny Scotland. It was wonderful to see Vanessa after all these years. Lovely to catch up, lovely trips here and there. And finally I arrived safe and sound back at Edinburgh airport and handed the car back.
Once home and a trip debrief to Best Mate she asked a very very stupid question. ”So what was the make of car you have driven for a week?”
“Haven’t a clue” I replied.