I go to view a massive old gas-guzzling 4×4 car, just to have a casual look.

“You said you were just going for a casual look?!?” says the LTLP, as I clamber unsteadily down, having parked up in the drive.

“It was excellent value, and the salesman seemed like an extremely trustworthy man,” I reassure, following her into the Cottage.

“I see.”

The LTLP is on her maternity leave, which means that she does not need a woman’s runaround car to get to work every day. This means that we are able to get something a bit more sensible and appropriate for local driving conditions, e.g. we have minor roads and no motorways, so it is practically essential to have a 4×4.

“It is blocking out all the light in my kitchen,” she complains.

“You will love it. I will take you for a drive.”

We go back outside to the car. I fetch a ladder from the shed to help the LTLP get into the passenger seat, and fire up the diesel engine. It rattles and bellows into operation, like actor Brian Blessed, nursing a bad throat infection whilst operating some quarrying machinery and singing along to the first album by Leonard Cohen.

“It will quieten down in a bit,” I promise.

She is looking round the interior, taking it all in. I know that she will be as enthusiastic about this as I am. Especially when I tell her about all the practical features.

“You can fold all the seats down flat, to make a bed!” I tell her.

“Right,” she replies.

“And if you notice, it has a tape player rather than a CD player,” I continue. “Which is useful, as a lot of modern cars do not have the facility to play tapes. So we can listen to all my old tapes whilst we drive around.”

I put on a Steeleye Span tape.

“Oh God,” she says.

“You like it?” I say.

“Fotheroididdleoiday,” say Steeleye Span.

We drive on in silence (apart from the Brian Blessed/quarrying engine and Steeleye Span.)

“What, then, are we going to do with my car?” she demands.

“Don’t worry,” I reply. “I have thought of a plan.”

17 Comments

  1. “massive old gas-guzzling 4×4” is such a mouthful, not to mention problematic from a marketing angle. That’s why we generally prefer the phrase “SUV”.

    My personal favourite is the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is built like a leather-lined pocket battleship and whose tag line appears to be along the lines of “Buy me, and punch Mother Nature in the face!”.

    You should’ve got one of those, Jonny. Not only do the seats fold down into a bed, but it comes with an orally-fixated cheerleader to warm it for you, as standard. The only way you’d ever get a cheerleader is if one was built in – and presumably, once they’d seen you, bolted down…

  2. Awesome news, Jonny! Just think – from now on you can go to sleep every night in the comfort of your new bed and watch your former wife and children eating dinner through the kitchen window while the gentle, diesel-powered strains of Mr. Cohen’s “So Long, Marianne” lulls you into a starved and lonely slumber….

  3. Dear LTLP: Should one JonnyB try the ‘oh, but our local roads require it’ line on you I suggest you let him know that for three years I drove around Alaska – back roads and all – in a Saturn sedan.

    Dear JonnyB: And, should this come up, you might riposte with the fact that I never once fit a moose inside it*

    *moose are irritable creatures and I felt trying to compress one into the boot of a Saturn could leave it a bit cross.

  4. This is very much like people here buying a microwave just to warm up food [in the tropics].

  5. The proper term is “Apocalypse Vehicle,” I believe. Or a “Zombie Evasion Conveyance.”

    Either way, you’re set. It’s best to be prepared. You may wish to watch Zombieland for pointers on how best to use the vehicle.

  6. Spazmo that made me laugh a lot. I think you are much funnier than JonnyB 🙂

  7. Is it a Range Rover?

    If it is, I shall be jealous.

  8. I just knew this was going to happen after you had to drive across America in a Kia Ninky-Nonk.

  9. I have done something similar, having just bought a Land Rover series III. Fortunately my LTLP is fond of 4x4s and I think she is looking forward to me spending time in the garage fixing it; rather then making the house untidy by being in it.

  10. It rattles and bellows into operation, like actor Brian Blessed, nursing a bad throat infection whilst operating some quarrying machinery and singing along to the first album by Leonard Cohen.
    Fuck me JB, that’s the funniest thing I’ve read all week. 🙂

  11. I have not yet forgiven my husband and Good Engineer Friend Mike. To the former I stipulated a cd player, to the latter air con. I have neither. Road fund licence is tooth-hurtingly high.

    Be warned, Jonny, Wives hold grudges. They don’t think they do, but sooner or later, the spleen will be vented. I mean, I’m over it of course, I just listen to music on my phone and I’m not married to Mike. But I still feel surprisingly resentful, considering I’m over it and everything.

  12. Why do you need a 4×4 in Norfolk, of all places? It’s almost the same as the need for one in Belgium.

  13. Zed
    Isn’t there lots of mud in Norfolk?
    Also, sitting up that high, he’ll be able to see eye to eye with Her Magesty the Queen next time he sees her on the road.

  14. To be fair, I’m with Zed. Sitting that high he can probably see Lincolnshire.

  15. Which begs the question, why would you want to see Lincolnshire? Flatter than Norfolk and smells of cabbage.

  16. Oh, if there’s no mud, you can spray-paint it to look muddy, as though you’ve been off on wild adventures in some far-off land.

    On the other hand, as Spazmo said….

  17. Look, you need a 4×4 just in case you have to drive up the verge to let another 4×4 past. Everybody knows that.

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