Friday, December 02, 2005

T#7: The true status of the auto industry...

All right, so this is a little bit of a crazy one for you.

Somebody asked me last week:

“If you were an animal, what would you be, and why?”

I had trouble thinking of an answer, so I polled a bunch of my friends by text message to see what they’d come up with…

…and the answers I got back were so funny that I thought it might be fun to make an article out of it – especially as I have deliberately avoided putting any proper images of myself up on here.

So, a quirky jigsaw puzzle of appearance for you, dear reader.

Then I thought, how can I make this relevant – coz animals are all very well, but you don’t put petrol in them. Well, hopefully. As a solution I sent another bunch of text messages asking the same thing only with “car” instead of the a-word.

The results are worth a read, but for a slightly different reason than I anticipated.


[All texts replicated as written – hence the dodgy spelling.]


Animals, in the order they arrived


Daisy [almost instantly]:

“A cat: intelligent, athletic, and nimble.”


Chris:

“One of the larger rodents? Or maybe some sort of hedgehog [obviously hasn’t seen my hair recently] crossed with a deer or something? [Chris does cartoons when he can be bothered. One he based on me was this character whose secret was that his hair stood on end all by itself without the aid of any product…!]


Pete [married to Daisy; the two being my housemates all through undergrad uni.
I was the bestman at their wedding]:

“Wut? Job application form, or auditory hallucination? I’ll have to think about it. Possibly quite a lot! My first thought is an ape, for purely genetic reasons…” [This made me laugh SO much. Pete’s studying for a PhD in physics if that makes more sense.]


Joel:

“Why! But I would say a pithon [sic – he is dyslexic, so I’ll let him off!], as they are stressy, thin and have trouble mating.” [Also made me laugh a lot. Joel being far too clever as usual. He used to work with me, and now has my old job, the poor bugger.]


Hayley [married to Joel]:

“Hedgehog.” [Again, hasn’t seen my hair recently…]


Arlene:

“A cat cuz ur very cuddley” [Er…I’m actually quite confused by that one!]


Kate:

“A zebra?” [No idea at all.]


Terri:

“Erm…a puppy?!” [Most interesting answer so far…I shall have to ask her about that!]

[After a bit of a struggle, she eventually got back to me with]:

“...sensitive, caring, cute! Erm. . Oh and loyal.


Claire:

“A monkey.” [?]


Lesley, who knows me very well, can’t think of an answer at all…


Tor [my sister]:

Ur having a giraffe!seriously thou i’d say cheetah cos they’re clever,quick thinking and moving and patient.plus they’re slim like u!”


Martyn:

"would say a warrior ant as you are protective of your friends always busy and a hard worker sorry not an exciting answer and looks wise would say a meer cat!"


Cars, ditto


Chris:

“Your one, of course. You dumb git!”

[I sent back: “That’s a bit predictable! But if that’s your answer…” Then got:]

“I just wanted to first on the list. Actually i suppose it would have to be an early 911, you know- the ones that go obsurdly fast but had a tendency to spin.”


Daisy:

[Initial response] “Thats difficult, especially 4 us girls. I don’t assign many characteristics 2 cars! I will have 2 ponder. I think this one might b more problematic as I dont know enough about the subtle differences between the cars, like which car would represent intelligent! It might b interesting 2 c if people suggest cars they have owned if they r like me and dont know much, or cars u have owned. Will let u know when i have pondered!”

[Later…]

“Cars r hard. Mum thinks an open top jeep. A black ford puma not convertible [?], sophisticated, intelligent and a bit shy and modest. I am not as happy with this as the animal one, although I chose an animal! There isn’t as much variety between cars as there r between animals!”


Terri:

“A white bmw and surely my reason is obvious!? Whenever I see on [sic] it reminds me of you. Plus im crap with cars!”

[Care to guess what I drive? And, as for her reason being obvious, well I would say: I don’t like to brag. But, her boyfriend is a jealous idiot so I’ll rest his mind at ease by saying that she’s been driven in it a couple of times, that’s all. Lol.]


KATE:

“Is this going to become a weekly thing? tee hee is quite fun! i think maybe a ford Capri or maybe a mark one escort. what am i?”

[I found this extremely confusing, so sent back asking why.]

[Much later]: “Something to do with seat of your pants driving… but am in a very important poker game so can’t go into much detail!”


Pete:

“A pointy streamlined one…”


Claire:

“Gonna b rubbish…n say I dnt really know.nt clued up on cars!You’ll b glad you asked me now!”


Joel:

“A pink caddy! I don’t know why it was the best I could come up with in a hurry!”


Martyn:

“a car hmmm tough one but i would say a ford mondaeo [sic] its safe reliable and is very popular!”

[I objected to this and got back:]

“i would say an Austin but hey everybody wants to be an austin!”

[What?]


Tor [via email]:

“I think that you are most like a Ferrari F430!!! Because its a super car- and you be super! No seriously because it is quick but able to hand all the bends, meaning its patient when it has to be, just like you are quick and able to handle all the difficult things, while keeping a cool head. Plus it looks good in a subtle way - not an obviuos show off - just like you!!! Will that do???” [I think she may have seen Top Gear last Sunday…]


You’ll notice I didn’t get as many replies to the car one – and that a lot of the answers are unsure of themselves, or the author simply feels like they don’t know enough about the subject.

This, I thought, is fascinating. In some ways it’s a bit of a reality check. You see, to me, and my compadres, cars are an integrity aspect of our essential being.

Yet to others they are less important, garner less attention, passing them by almost unnoticed. But an animal – despite their comparative lack of relevance to our everyday lives – is a much easier proposition.

Perhaps Daisy has it right (she is an educational psychologist, incidentally) and cars don’t have the same kind of emotional attributes – but I’m not sure that’s true. Maybe you just need to be an obsessive like me to create that kind of connection.

Any thoughts?


Picture from an AutoWeek forum thread. Couldn't resist a pink Ferrari - even if it is just a Photoshop job.

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