Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wild Rover

After reading some of the comments on the boy Scary's window into his peculiarly deranged world the other day I became somewhat irked. Some people clearly have it in for Rover drivers. I find this a trifle unfair as I number myself amongst this dying breed and have been since the heady days of the millenium. I feel we are being unfairly maligned. I haven't smoked a pipe since 1982 and my slippers are decidedly unconventional, after I paid way over the odds for them in Marrakech's medina before I got the hang of bartering. I do have a blanket but, on checking, it isn't tartan and it isn't on the back ledge. I live in the north, I'm just sensible. However, I once drove round for a month with a lump of monkey shit on the back window after we'd been to Knowsley Safari Park, thereby hopefully displaying that we don't all waste our Sunday mornings wringing out a chammy. What most other drivers don't realise is that Rover drivers are saviours of the world. We have no concept of hurrying anywhere as we always "leave in good time" and are the perpetual tortoises, forever pulling up at the lights behind the same fwit driven BMW 3 series that left the previous set as if being propelled by the large hadron collider thingy. We have our own version of the LHC in Cheshire, it's called the A534 and objects driven by minute particles often collide head-on along it. We are saving our fuel so the rest of you can be profligate, so be thankful.

For 6 years in a previous life I worked at the world's premier tolled river crossing in Dartford. During that time I was anal enough to maintain a record of my takings. I was a very quick operator. In fact, at one time I was the quickest there, the Albert Pierrepoint of toll collectors, in and out in under 7 seconds. One Monday morning in lane 21 I took £3127.60 in 6 hours. That's a lot of cars. In all, I estimated I took money off 3 million drivers in those 6 years and that gave me a wonderful insight into the characteristics of the average British driver and how their personalities are reflected in their choice car. I'm pretty certain that my dear friend Andy, an occasional visitor to these pathetic meanderings, will wholeheartedly agree with these summaries. Andy was at the crossing when I joined and is still chained to it now fully six years since I escaped. Sucker.

Volvo drivers.
You really have little idea of roadcraft. You fell for the publicity and believe you are invincible. Moreover, you have little idea what that curious circular thing in front of you is. If you turn it, your tank will go round corners. By moving it very slightly to the right it will even save you from the withering glare of a pissed-off toll collector once more forced to contravene health and safety and lean out of the window. Sorry doesn't cut it. There are lots of Volvos, you are all the same.

Saab drivers
As Volvo drivers but sadly under the impression they've bought a sports car.

Citroen Drivers
These fall into two camps: Traditional large and Saxo. Traditional large - the meaty beaty big and bouncy ones. Proper Citroens, full of brass piping and green fluid. You are slightly strange. You will keep your car on the road until it explodes. I know, I was one of your kind. Twice. Otherwise you are eminently sensible and love to talk, especially when you meet another Citroen driver. You don't aspire to a new car, you want a 1959 DS. On the other hand, Saxo drivers (and by implication, any small Citroen that doesn't hiss at the lights) have the mental aptitude of a battery chicken. Your car is a device to get you from A to B relatively safely, it is not a speaker on wheels and those lime green spoilers look faintly ridiculous. You have terrible acne for a 23 year old and your clothes are far too clean for a man.

Peugot Drivers
You just didn't have the guts to buy a Citroen.

Renault Drivers
You are being experimented on. By the French. Don't touch that button. Your car will suffer various unexplained mechanical failures yet you will press on under the impression that you own the pinnacle of Gallic engineering excellence. You will apologise profusely to the AA man for anything.

You don't know how it works. You don't need to. You've bought a means of getting from A to B and that's it. There are buttons on the dash you're scared to touch. You drive far too close to the toll booth window and need to contort yourself to open the window.

The natural choice for ex-Rover drivers. They were the same cars for years and old habits die hard. Unless you've bought a Jazz, in which case you probably ought to be looking at care home options.

I must admit I'm upset with you, espicially the saloon drivers. You should have far better manners but you lost it sometime around the time Blair came to power. Coupé drivers are far nicer. You've worked hard for it but are slightly embarrassed because you know that it won't be too long before it breaks down on the hard shoulder near Toddington services. You have a number plate something like B16 CAT that you paid more than my salary for.

TVR and Super 7s
Out of all the sports car drivers these were probably the most polite. They knew they could floor it and be out of sight in a millisecond but didn't bother. Everyone else knew they could, that was enough.

Rolls Royce.
You're a chauffeur, you don't count. You actually know what you're doing, unlike the twat in the back.

You'd never have a chauffeur. You're loaded but you're polite. You know your car is made by VW but at least it's made over here. It'll be the only time you ever go to Crewe.

Ford and Vauxhall.
Ho hum. 99% probability you're a professional driver. You do over 50,000 miles a year, so supposedly you know what you're doing. Guess who causes all the accidents at the crossing? Women drivers? Chavs? You guess wrong, my Mondectra steering robot friend fiddling with your laptop on the passenger seat and reading your latest pension prediction while talking to Nev through your wanky bluetooth headset. "Just a mo, mate" you used to say. "You take your time and finish your call, I've got all the time in the world" I'd reply. "I'm not sure the truck driver behind who's only got 46 minutes to get to the next services has though."

There's a special section for German cars. With the exception of VW, you have very serious personality disorders.

You really wanted to buy a British car but they don't make them any more. It would have been a tough thing anyway, you know VWs last for ever. You're almost apologetic for driving a car in this country that was conceived by Hitler. You didn't realise that the Passat was as big as that did you, madam.

Oh you sad delusional get. You spent all that money on a brand new car and now the window doesn't work. Lol lol lol lol! You have no personality. Colleague John once moaned at one for paying all in copper. "You lot always do this" he said. "That's why I'm driving one of these. I look after it". John, sadly, bought a second hand 180. I would have called the driver something more Anglo Saxon.

What BMW drivers want to be when they grow up. They don't mature, they just get older.

WHere to start? You should never have been born. Outside the confines of the car you can be level headed and sensible but as soon as you sit in your precious Beemer something happens. I have a friend who transforms behind the wheel of his 3 series. He needs to overtake everything in sight. Rules go out of the window yet he'll bay mercilessly at other minor transgressors. You don't own the road. Those blue headlamps are stupid and the ones with LEDs in leave you seeing stars every time you blink. The interiors of BMWs are soulless uninviting voids, which must be comforting for you. You also have little clue about how your car works. One night one of your number out wiv 'is bird came over the bridge from Essex into lane 15, where I was stationed. "I've got a problem, mate. Steering's gone a bit funny" He said to me. "I noticed, Sir" I replied. "Might it possibly be that it's because your offside front wheel overtook you as you approached and is now rolling down the escape lane into the sandpit?"

6 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Tennessee Jed said...

Richard, do you write for a living? If not, you should. This well thought out and presented observation is delightful and insightful as was the last comment you left over at my place.

I drive a Ford (American version) Bronco and I like to fancy myself driving a Rover as they have some similar off-road capabilities. Rovers on this side of the pond cost a great deal of money and their drivers are often pretentious rich folks who live off trust funds. Remember the old saying, America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without having culture.

12:31 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Jed, I have done and still try to.

Don't confuse Rover with Land Rover - two different companies. Rover went bust 3 - 4 years ago after a management buy-out from BMW. It's now a Chinese company and the cars are built in China. Land Rover (what you're talking about) were part of the nationalised motor industry then split and have recently been owned by BMW, sold to Ford who then sold it along with Jaguar to Tata, an Indian company. At least they're still made in Solihull.

8:31 pm  
Blogger Sharon J said...

Rover drivers are afraid to take risks. They'd rather drive an extra 2 miles to find a 'safe' place to turn than do a U-turn, even when there's no danger about.

Nissan drivers - or this one, at least - always stops too far from the booth and ends up having to get out.

I'd like an Audi TT. Do I need to get a BMW first?

As for the slippers, they may have cost over the odds but they're pretty damned funky :)

4:48 am  
Blogger Rol said...

I appreciate your ire for the Beemer crew, but for me it's Audi drivers all the way.

They're evil. They're satan's little helpers. Just the sight of those four blasted rings in my mirror makes my blood boil.

Deep breath.

2:29 pm  
Blogger tom909 said...

Pretty accurate observations there Richard. As a Rover driver yourself I appreciate your sensitivity, but sadly have to agree with pretty much all the sentiments about such beings.
As you have written such an excellent post I shall refrain from insulting you and making unpleasant gestures about your driving, just this once!

7:20 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Tom, why refrain, nobody else does.

3:16 pm  

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