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Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Old before my time

So that's it then. I am officially old. No denying it any longer.

Of course the symptoms have been there for a while. Hair growing from strange places on my ears; people looking at me as I reminsice about how great Live Aid was with the same blank expression I used to look at my father with when he spoke about the excitement of watching the moon landings; complaining at my local corner shop about how expensive everything is and reminding the hapless shopkeeper that when I was at school a packet of Polo's used to cost 10p...

But the final nail in the coffin of my youth came last week. I bought a Volvo.

Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "Don't worry James. R-Patz drives one in the Twilight films. That's vampire chic. You're hip. You're cool. They're the thinking man's Maserati. The 2010 answer to the Audi Quattro"

But all I can remember is that scene from Crazy People (We miss you Dudley) when Volvos are described as being "Boxy but Good". I don't want a boxy car. In fact that's exactly two letters short of what I want in a car.

What's more, and I think this is the killer for me, my dad used to have one. Now that's nothing against my father - if I end up being half the person he is I will have achieved more than most - but I never liked that car. It was so bloody safe and practical. It had all these compartments for putting things in and roll-bars and automatic fuel shut-offs and lights that beeped if you didn't put your seat-belt on. Worst of all - and this is still true today - were the running lights which led to people flashing you all the time because they thought you were driving around all day with your headlights on. (Note to Volvo: this may be useful in a country where you have 2 hours daylight but in the real world, it's just a pain)

Where's the danger? Where's the romance of never quite knowing if you were going to make it home in one piece every time you switched on the engine? Where's the lost art of balancing a coffee between your knees as you drive because there was no cup-holder?

And the worst thing? I like my new Volvo. I like it's sleek looks, its brushed chrome interior, its soft leather seats, its pimped-out darkened rear windows, its folding tailgate and the headrest TVs. Damn you Volvo. Damn you to hell.

My misery was then compounded was I was informed by a friend a few days ago today (or rather the day he sent me the mail) was the day that Marty McFly had arrived in the future after hitting 88mph in his DeLorean in 1985. Talk about kicking a man when he is down. I remember watching that film when it came out. It was called Back the the Future for a reason, I railed. Otherwise they would have called it Back to the Present. And to add insult to injury, no sign of a hoverboard anywhere!

Luckily, and I believe for the first time in my life, The Daily Telegraph came to my rescue. I had been the victim, it seemed of an elaborate hoax. The actual date that Marty and Dr Brown travelled to is October 21st 2015. That means I won't be old for at least another five years.

By the way, did I mention that R-Patz also drives a Volvo...
P.S. I meant to focus this post on my forthcoming appearance at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival but lost my way somewhere along the line. In case you wish to see me get insulted by former colonials and convicts, I'm on stage at 5pm this Saturday 24th to argue that "Britannia Rules the Page". Still looking for material...


Blogger Daryl said...

I think this date is more painful to comprehend - July 3, 2010 - Back To The Future's 25th anniversary! Great Scott!

July 20, 2010  

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