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The Red MG Diaries - Part 2

2006-06-28 08:49

Chris Emmanuel

Cathecting, I am told, is the process in which an inanimate or animate object becomes important to us to the point where we start saying things like, "I love gardening" or "I love my dog" or more to the point "I love my car".

Last month I asked if red was the colour of love and it seems that the further I venture forth encased in my red chariot the more I am starting to become convinced that it truly is, and even though I am told I am 'cathecting', not loving, I beg to differ.

This month has not been all smooth sailing with my beautiful car. I have learnt that British cars do in fact spring leaks every now and then and it is advisable that whatever liquid your car consumes, you have a back-up supply stashed in the boot somewhere.

A handy hint would be to make sure before hand that you know which one goes in where due to the fact that either 37 years of wear and tear or just total lack of reason seems to have left all liquid containers under the bonnet sans labels.

It's not all bad though. Nothing bolsters your feeling of raw masculinity more, I have discovered, as saying "Don't worry, I'll just pop the hood and see what's going on" and not five minutes later speeding away having mended the problem yourself.

It is sad though that only once you get millimetres from the actual road surface, as you are sitting in an MG, that you realise the sorry state of our roads.

Funny enough, at speed the bumps are no problem at all, it's when you hit a deep pot hole going slowly that things really hurt.

I feel like I am in training-wheels for a low slung super car really, creeping over speed bumps, waiting for that heart stopping sound of mettle hitting tar.

With pain in my heart I recall a dark stormy night, pulling into a parking bay when the front wheels, in unison just disappeared into a un-covered gulley in the tar.

The accompanied noise was nothing less that earth shattering.

So Sadie, as I have affectionately named her, has been at the doctor now for a week.

Words like 'flange' and 'exhaust manifold' have been flung down the phone line like sausages down a corridor totally missing my cognitive processes and hitting me squarely in the heart.

I can't blame the visit to the doctor on anything but my inability to predict the future combined with council negligence, weighing heavily on the side of council negligence of course.

Could someone sue the council for damages due to their bad roads, hmmm, I wonder! But there is a silver lining to this cloud.

Today is our reunion. Sadie is coming home. Do you recall when you were young that feeling of pure anticipation and excitement when something special was about to happen.

Well that's how I feel right now writing this, knowing that I get to drive off in a newly mended MG not hours from now.

It seems my last column was generally well accepted. A friend in London however sent me an email after reading it and said, I quote, "Not sure how my dad would feel about being described as an enthusiast talking about the cars in smoky gentlemen's clubs though..." so I apologise, straight up, for attaching a stereotype. But why bring this up now.

Well I have discovered that writing a column is dynamic, as it causes people to think, prodded on by some personal opinion on my part and yes, maybe pushing a stereotype to get a response.

I certainly do not fit that stereotype described in my last column.

Not because I am younger and not because I am more progressive that the stereotype suggests but because I am trying to do something fundamentally different than that mould suggests.

I want to use this opportunity to bring old and new together, sit them side by side and compare and really and truly ask the question, purely in the context of my car, were they truly 'the good old days' or are today's wares better.

So far I have to admit the quality of the past when it comes to durability wins hands down.

Styling, the past wins again. Road noise, OK, today's cars win without question.

On the whole though I am still on the side of what those dedicated craftsman down at the MG factory made for me in 1969 and just took ages to deliver.

So back to the questions, am I 'cathecting' my car or loving my car? Where genuine love defined as not just a feeling but implies commitment and the exercise of wisdom* I think it's love. But hey, you decide!

*Definitions of cathexis and Love taken from The Road Less Travelled by M Scott Peck, Arrow books. Well worth a read!


Bullet: Name, set and match!

2012-04-16 16:47

Inside Wheels24

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