It’s the festive season (as if you hadn’t noticed), which means that chances are you’ve probably been forced to spend some ‘quality time’ with distant relatives you wouldn’t usually nod to on the street.
This leads to some rather uncomfortable situations – and I’m not talking about the itching from Aunt Mable’s jumper (why you’re wearing her jumper is another story entirely).
Anyway, the situations I’m talking about are the Car Situations.
They all start harmlessly enough, but so easily take a warped and dark turn that all of a sudden the whole room’s gone silent and you’ve been escorted from the premises by Great Uncle Nick (GUN).
They normally start a little something like this…
‘So, your mum’s been telling me you’re been writing about/selling/fixing/instructing others to sell cars (delete where applicable),’ slurs drunk distant relative X.
‘Yep,’ you reply.
‘So…. (add nasal ‘s-ooooah’ where appropriate)… what do you think of my new Skoda Roomster.’
Now, this conversation has two very distinct paths. The first is going to involve a bout of MP-in-the-Commons-style head nodding that Churchill the dog would be proud of as you’re forced to concede that the styling is very ‘unique’ (aka cack) and that he made a wise (ridiculous) and sound (mad) decision to buy the Skoda.
The second – more commonly chosen by the car lover – is to spray a mouth full of eggnog across the room, stagger in disbelief that a member of your family however far removed, could bring themselves to buy such an automotive abomination, and scream at the madman who’s just admitted the most ludicrous of car-buying decisions.
Obviously, the second is the one that involves aforementioned GUN and your forehead greeting the gravel path – but it’s so much more satisfying than the first.
And that’s just one of the very many pitfalls of admitting you are a fully paid up member of Car Club.
Others involve discussing the merits of a limited slip differential, the Macpherson strut and/or the ‘fantastically interesting’ Porsche Doppelkupplung (yawn) new semi-automatic gearbox with the Car Bore of the Year.
He is easily spotted (and thus easily avoided) by his penchant for WRC apparel and ‘King’-Lewis-championship-winning-celebration-bald-spot-covering baseball cap.
Occasionally, just occasionally, you’ll get to partake in the kind of conversation that all Car Club members have spent hours rehearsing – the What Would You Buy for… (insert £X,000s here).
The lower the figure the harder it gets, but rank of Car Cub member is determined by how cool the automobile is picked and why…
However, for every minute spent recounting Auto Trader listings you’ll have to endure hours spent locked in ‘conversation’ with a Bore of Yaw Control or that family member with the Skoda Roomst-duh.
Which is why, like I said at the start, you need to remember the first rule of Car Club – YOU DON’T SPEAK ABOUT CAR CLUB!