With Top Gear on hold, here is some motoring news.

We have just changed our car, and all the research involved in making the final decision has brought to my attention some very important issues.

Don’t worry, I won’t be launching an online petition, we see more than enough of those already. I would hate to distract anyone from the important issues faced by the BBC. With the general election debates, the eclipse and the Clarkson debacle, one misplaced email could mean we see the next series of Top Gear presented by Nigel Farage and the Clangers. (Who would notice?)

What gear.

The first issue I faced was the choice between auto or manual. I have owned a couple of automatic cars and thoroughly enjoyed driving them, but for some people this is a step too far. ‘It’s lazy driving’ they say. ‘Bollocks’ I reply. Admittedly, there is a bit less peddle pushing and not so much stick shifting, but in today’s lazy life does it really make that much difference? We live in a world where people drive to the gym. They opt to get their food from a drive-through ‘restaurant’ because it will be too much like hard work to park and go to the counter. We don’t even get up to answer the phone anymore, because it is permanently in our hand. Let’s face it, the act of driving itself is often the lazy part and if anyone is really keen on avoiding lazy travelling they should shift their sorry arses and make that two-minute trip on foot. Although, to be fair, some of those who claim that an automatic gearbox is lazy don’t use the car to pop to the shops. No, instead of using a lazy car they stay in front of the telly and use a smartphone app to order pizza, to be delivered. At present, there are no spoon feeding services available (as far as I am aware) but rest assured, as soon as the difficult and time-consuming business of chewing can be taken care of by some other means, our inherently lazy society will embrace it with both arms. Well, maybe not physically hug, that would mean getting up, but certainly give it a colon-right-bracket smiley face when Facebooking their friends to tell them.

What year.

Anyone who followed the 2015 Six Nations rugby would have been mesmerised by the last game of the tournament. The day began with so many mathematical possibilities that only Stephen Hawking could have grasped the concept. Not since the last time the Scotland football team got to the group stages of a world cup have mathematicians had so many permutations to consider. Add to this the rules of the game, which no one understands (see my rugby rules post here) and you have one confusing afternoon’s viewing. But, this pales into insignificance in comparison with the second of my motoring issues this week.

Rachel and I spend quite a bit of time on the A38 driving between Plymouth, Cornwall and Devon and it was during our latest jaunt that Rachel asked a question. If only she had asked about the offside rule, it would have been so much easier.

“What age is that car?” she said, pointing to the vehicle with an 04 plate in front.

“Two thousand and four,” I replied. She pointed to another one.

“What about that one? It’s a 54”

“That’s also two thousand and four.”

“Hm. So, is that one two thousand and four?”

“No, that’s two thousand and fourteen.”

“So, 54 is 04 and 64 is two thousand and fourteen?”

“Yes.”

For a while she went freestyle and pointed to a few more, getting most of them right, until…

“Is that one two thousand and one?”

“No, I think JAX 1 is a personal plate.”

“So, what is 54?” And we were back to square one.

For someone who is not a driver, grasping the number plate system is like when a kid is trying to learn how to tell the time. You tell them, ‘One is five, two is ten, three is fifteen but usually a quarter, six is a half, seven is thirty-five past or twenty-five to.’ But, it only adds to the confusion. (If you haven’t seen the Dave Allen routine about teaching a kid to read a watch, click here to see it). It will eventually and suddenly click into place, but until it does, it won’t make any sense at all.

Top Gear

Anyway, the good news is that the search for a middle aged man to talk crap is over. I am available to start filming the next series of Top Gear immediately.

Fracas!

And just in case you were wondering if I were up to the job…

…meddle with my food, and I will punch your lights out.

On that bombshell.

Who should be the next Top Gear presenter and what motoring stories would you like them to cover?

Photo by Ben Sutherland


Originally posted on Richard Heddington’s blog Hedsite

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