Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Now I know what it’s like to drive a big f*koff German luxury car

Following my idiotic accident, when I reversed into my friend’s 4X4 and did fairly substantial damage to both cars, I have now finally sorted out the insurance and my standard Japanese-issue family sedan is in the shop for a week, getting its panels beaten.

In the interim my friend Johann, showing really rather astonishing trust in my ability to pilot a motor vehicle, has lent me his vintage Mercedes to drive. And he didn’t even say things like, ‘Now, be careful,’ when he gave me the keys. In fact, he said, ‘I’m sorry it’s so dirty’ (like I would notice: I drive a dog-and-junkfoodmobile), which just shows what quality of a man he is.

What I know about cars is dangerous (obviously), but I can tell you that the Merc is a special, limited-edition import (because Johann told me this) and has leather seats and is very very large, a bit like a tank, and has doors that close with a satisfying thunk (rather than the apologetic tik my own car manages), and can go at 140kph when you think you’re only doing about 80 (and I hope Johann isn’t reading this). It is also amazingly easy to drive (oh, power steering, how did we manage without you for all those years?).

But that’s all to be expected from a German car, apparently. The truly astounding thing is what happens to me when I get behind its wheel.

For years I have railed helplessly as drivers of big f*koff German luxury vehicles sideswiped me on the highway, overtook me with withering disdain and at hair-whipping speed, parked wherever the hell they wanted to and who cared who was inconvenienced, pushed ahead of me into traffic queues, chatted on their cellphones at stopstreets while I hooted, unheeded, behind them, etc.

Now I understand: it’s not their fault. As soon as I slide behind the wheel of Johann’s vintage Merc, a profound change comes over me. Not only do I feel cocooned in a virtually indestructible shell of eye-poppingly expensive metal, I myself feel indestructible – a bit like god, really. I instantly forget every road manner I ever learnt. Effectively, I own the road. I drive too fast. I park nonchalantly, anywhere I feel like it. I wear my R120 thrift-store sunglasses as if they were Ray-Bans. I easily imagine myself at St Tropez, hanging out with Johnny Depp and his pals. I swear, even my boobs seem bigger.

This alarms my wobbly dog, who has stopped hanging her head out the window and allowing her tongue to flap wildly all over the back exterior of the car – she’s savvy enough to know that having your tongue ripped off in a 140kph wind isn’t an experience you’d want to record in your Me Book. Rather, she lies down on the back seat and morosely licks the leather.

My kids, too, are embarrassed. ‘Mom, you aren’t a rock star or something, okay?’ my daughter said, when I hopped out at the filling station, tossed the petrol jockey the keys and said, ‘Do your thing, my good man. But don’t scratch the paintwork.’ Then stood around admiring my new cleavage.

My son takes refuge behind a book, scrunching down in the seat until he’s all but invisible. When we get home and I switch off the motor, he stares at me and mutters, ‘Jesus,’ then hoofs it inside and doesn’t talk to me for the rest of the day.

Fortunately for me, my loved ones and the driving public at large, my stint behind the wheel of a big f*koff German luxury car will end on Thursday. Between now and then, I’m going to have to get my mind around returning to being the driver of a lightweight family sedan. And having normal-sized breasts.

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1 comment:

tonypark said...

For God's sake write (another) book Fraulein Braun.