I've really gone and done it now. I knew that mid-life was drawing in inexorably, like the gentle approach of the moment when you have to start shopping at High and Mighty (which should realistically be called "Fat and Lardy" but it might not do such good trade).
Anyway, I've hastened the moment by going and buying a sports car. I'm not really a car nut but I do a lot of driving up and down from London so I feel justified in having a decent car.
One of the first things I bought with my ill-gotten gains from Trigger Happy TV was a discreetly fast BMW. I know that Clarkson thinks that BMW owners are prats and he's probably right but mine was at least slightly subtle. It was very fast but didn't have any badges on it - you'd only know that it was a good one if you knew about these sort of things, which I don't. I was very happy in it for three years and never thought about changing it as I loved it. Then came the car crash when two students hammered a red Polo into the back of me on the eve of my fifth wedding anniversary and my car was history.
I thought about getting exactly the same type of car again and, in hindsight, I probably should have. The problem was that I got excited about car shopping and started going round trying different ones out, eliciting much suspicion from dealers who were always loathe to let me test drive in case they were going to be the subjects of some TV prank.
And then it happened. I was in Swindon of all places. I came round the 50th roundabout and saw the Porsche dealership. I genuinely hate Porsches and the sort of people who drive them. I remember back in the late 1980s it was the real City tossers that I knew who got one as a status symbol. In my twisted logic, I'd hated them so much that maybe they were now sort of ironically cool in a weird retro sort of way? I walked in and there it was: a lovely seal-grey sleek machine that was just screaming for me to get in and drive like an idiot. So I did.
I am now the classic Cotswold Porsche tosser screaming around country lanes getting the sort of looks that are normally reserved for the likes of Anne Robinson's Mercedes. I have to admit that it's an absolute joy to drive and every day is go-kart day, but there are problems, some completely unanticipated. I was prepared for the general hatred extended towards a Porsche driver as I'd doled it out myself enough times. Even when driving at 20mph down a little lane I am subjected to furious glares and disapproving shakes of the head from anyone over 40 in tweeds, as I am the clear symbol of everything that is wrong with the Noughties countryside.
The bit I hadn't considered was exactly the same problem that I already suffer as a Vespa driver. When you come to a stop at traffic lights in London on a Vespa, you invariably get some guy on another Vespa stop next to you and give you a little thumbs up like we've both joined some secret club without being asked and we're somehow now eternal blood brothers. The problem is that, while I actually tend to quite like most Vespa drivers, the person you find behind the wheel of a Porsche is invariably a slightly balding man wearing driving mittens and sporting a pneumatic blonde in the passenger seat.
On the way into London yesterday this happened to me not just once but four times. The man would raise a cocky, fingerless leather hand to his receding forelock and wink in a hideously smug manner and I'd be forced to look away and accept the raised digit proffered to me by the two young men in a recently repaired red Polo on my other side. I've even started to think that a trip to Germany to roar unhindered around the autobahns might be quite fun. This has got to stop. I'll be doing the Gumball rally next.
I'm going to trade the thing in for an old red Polo so that I can insult everyone I pass and, when I get really annoyed, smash it into the nearest smug, balding bastard in a Porsche who looks at me in a funny way at the traffic lights. I can't wait.Reuse content