INTRODUCING: Acid-tongued columnist, scribe and analyst Elliot E.J. Rush joins the TMR team for an occasional look at the week's events and motoring lowlights.
"You can't afford me, but who can?" he said when we first floated the proposition.
"A slab of meat pushed across the cage with a knotty stick every other Thursday is stipend enough," he said.
Fair enough; his first column follows. It's satire, tread carefully.
The Rush Report: Buying A MINI, A Grange-free Zone
Elliot E.J. Rush
When it’s time to buy...
Small problem at home. She of the nocturnal sports, the ravishing Hermione, wants a new car.
Those small clues that arise in conversation – “Oh, did I tell you... Briony has a new car...? A MINI, it’s sooooo cute. They seem to be doing so well, her and Brad...” – can only be brushed aside so long.
“Corollas last forever darling. They’re awful, but they last. And Brad is a prat.”
I can see Brad in a MINI; works in advertising, been there slightly too long, man-boobs, a paunch and the slightly ratty manner that comes of too many long lunches, red wine and vastly too much MDMA.
Briony, naturally, the skin-and-bone look of the nouveau riche, has no boobs at all. They can afford nearly anything they want, but style is everything. A couple made for a MINI.
Now I know an ageing Corolla is only passably acceptable in polite society, and much less so in the fashionable circles haunted by the ravishing H.
It is nonetheless “a car”, and this one had endured a special kind of mechanical torture that only she could dish out.
But the shift in verbal clues was inevitable. It peaked with a flustered return by taxi from the Westfield carpark.
“I WILL NOT DRIVE THAT SHITBOX EVER AGAIN, YOU HEAR ME, NEVER!”
That would appear to signal the arrival of ‘the time to take action’.
It may have had something to do with a large yellow clamp affixed by a suicide squad from the Sheriff’s Office, which, having identified the car as owning several unpaid State-imposed extortions had thus rendered “THAT SHIT BOX” immobile.
They clearly had no idea of the danger that had narrowly passed them by – the ravishing H could harangue the nuts off a better man than me at thirty paces.
It was at the shopping centre; the clamping was possibly witnessed by a person or persons known to us, and the embarrassment factor sat squarely in the extreme.
I might have said, “Well it may have been better to have paid the fine, Sugar-plum.” But there is a risk of emasculation there that only the very brave or implacably foolish would tempt.
So I said instead, “They’re doing a lot of that these days darling; the turds are even breaching the hearthstone and clamping cars at home.”
I might also have mentioned that the fines – plural – were probably mine and that I may have supplied Sugar-plum’s licence number and signature when notice of ‘the offence’ arrived in the mail (a little skill I learned early in the relationship).
I say I MIGHT have mentioned that, but I didn’t. No Rush has ever been accused of unnecessary bravery, nor of such foolishness.
So, MINI it is.
H wants an orange one; it looks like orange but is apparently not. It’s ‘Sunset Buttocks’ or ‘Flaming Goitre’ or something equally ridiculous that some marketing toss has invented to describe plain orange.
But they go like stink.
A Grange-free zone
Was sipping a slick little Hermitage last night, Grange of course, 1959, a gift... no idea where it came from.
The ravishing H can’t remember either.
“A man in your position, respected motoring journalist, why, you’re entitled... all that tedious overseas travel, sleeping in ridiculously comfortable beds in 5-Star hotels, all those lunches... why should anyone care about a teensy-weensy gift?”
Yes, a teensy-weensy Grange. Why should anyone care?
Well, I’m pleased to report we now inhabit a Grange-free zone; seems I might have gargled the evidence sometime between the crème de champignons and the eye-fillet.
But no, let me be quite clear, this will not influence me in any way at all in anything I might report or say. Not even a ’62 Grange would do that.
One moment: incoming. “Hello, Rush here... yes, yes. Sebring, you say? Florida, then Laguna... two weeks...? Absolutely yes, great, should certainly be able to fit it in...”
From ‘the Rush files’: some shredded drive-time music
Lastly, apropos of nothing much, a little community service from the Rushster. Stumbled upon this shredded Beach Boys classic while poking around in the undergarments of You Tube. (Proof positive that bored idiots are dangerous to know... )
There is a car theme here, start and finish, a little flatulent but it does at least put things “on message” for a car review site.
And that’s the bum’s Rush for now.
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