Flaw x flaw

by sticky


When my brother and I began potholing as late teenagers, 40-odd years ago, we were dependent on others for transport, as neither of us drove. That the club we joined was based in our small coal-mining town, about 12 miles east of Leeds, added to this logistical problem, being 60-70 miles from our focus of interest, the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.

Fortunately, the club had a large contingent of ramblers, which enabled them to hire a coach each Sunday, and a small band of spelunkers would fill up the vacant seats; our kit (‘electron’ ladders, ammo tins, kit bags full of wetsuits and wellies, etc.) taking up most of the hold space.

We soon learned that the ‘coach trip’ cavers were old-school, unadventurous types, including those who had founded the club only a few years previously in 1964 (yes, it’s their 50th anniversary next month).
Before long, we had made contact with other ‘young guns’, who spurned the coach in preference to their own transport, and scorned the continued use of old techniques, when ‘SRT’ (we used to argue whether this stood for ‘single’ or ‘static’ rope technique) was the latest thing.

So our trips were subsequently made in an overloaded banger, or sometimes – the ideal carriage for such expeditions – a Land Rover. These vehicles were highly-prized, usually short wheelbase, and with a pickup-type back, covered with a fitted galvanised iron frame and canvas awning. They had usually been previously owned by farmers, so had received a lot of punishment. One of our group, who was more well-heeled than the rest of us, was the beneficent owner of a ‘Safari’, a long-wheelbase, aluminium-clad version, with seating in the back.

Anybody who knows the Yorkshire Dales will recognise the advantages of such a rugged four-wheel-drive vehicle, especially when taking part in activities which take you off the beaten track, and involve transporting equipment.

So, you may understand my loathing of the modern ‘culture’ of ‘4×4’ vehicles, which has unleashed a plague of huge, ugly menacing brutes onto our roads; driving huge, ugly menacing vehicles.

The term ‘Chelsea Tractor’, coined some years ago, described the vehicle of choice for people with limited intellect – but seemingly limitless cash – taking their vile offspring to and from school within their urban environment. Now, I am not a chronicler of vehicle development, but I may be right in blaming Land Rover itself for starting the rot, with its introduction of ‘luxury’ versions of its old stalwart, such as the Range Rover and the Discovery. This also may have coincided with the ‘people carrier’, an estate car that was, well, bigger than an estate car, and may or may not have had 4-wheel drive (I have a niggling impression that the first of these was the Renault Espace).

My revulsion was further compounded several years ago, when a criminal (driving a Land Rover Discovery), who had previously escaped justice for killing a policeman investigating a huge gold robbery, knifed to death a young man in a ‘road rage’ incident. Although he was convicted, and received a lengthy prison sentence, the police were unable to recover the Discovery, as the murderer had driven it straight to his mate’s car breakers yard, to have it crushed into a 1-metre cube. Poetic justice.

So, at a time when we were becoming conscious of our endangered world, and environmental groups were urging us to buy smaller, more fuel-economical cars, manufacturers went on a roll, churning out gas-guzzling mega-trucks to bolster the purchaser’s lack of self-esteem and self-worth. Along with this came ‘off-roading’, where intellectually-challenged, smug, selfish bastards tear up our fragile places of natural beauty in their abominable machines, just for the ‘fun’ of it. A far cry from our respectful behaviour in one of the most beautiful places in England.

The pick-up version of these vehicles, though, is the one that really starts me off. Most of them look like massive, articulated insects: a hornet with bull bars. WARRIOR, BARBARIAN – aggressive, threatening names for aggressive, threatening drivers (usually middle-aged men with shaved heads, and – I imagine – a penchant for injecting anabolic steroids). How about more realistic names – the Daihatsu Dickhead, for example, or the Wartburg Wanker?

And it seems that every car maker in the world has now jumped on the bandwagon – even Porsche! I’m looking out for the Maserati Mercenary, and the Ferrari Fuckyou….

So, as I drive around in my 1300 Corolla, the cross-hair sights of my fantasy wing-mounted rocket launcher and 30mm canon are calibrated, ready for Dean Hardcastle in his black Mitsubishi Muthafucka to come roaring past me, doing 45 mph in a 30 zone . . . .


Coming soon: Jerks on jetskis.


18 Comments to “Flaw x flaw”

  1. there was news about a woman who got a third boob and the first place I came to check is here LOL.. I knew with something like that in the news, you guys must be on a roll!

    cant wait to hear from the mad hatters about it!! 😀


  2. Go on lad – get it off yer chest.

    Lost out on a car parking space to somebody in a RAV4 , have we?


  3. best off-road, all terrain car I ever had was a Citroen 2cv6 – on rare occasions it got stuck, a couple of broad shoulders soon lifted it out of trouble


  4. Absolutely agree with all your above sentiments, Sticky. The ebullient 4×4 ‘culture’ matches their total lack of respect for the environment with their nearly total incompetence within that environment.
    One of my treasured memories is bumping across a boulder-strewn creek bed in my old rear-wheel-drive Peugeot 403 station wagon, reaching an exit point from the water where an exit track had been hacked into the river bank. My heart sank as I saw no fewer than three of the abovementioned shiny new 4×4 vehicles all hopelessly bogged, having slid off into the ditch at intervals along the 25 yards of steep muddy track rising from the water’s edge.
    However, there was no going back, so I accelerated while still in the water, praying that I would not swamp the engine, and attacked the slope with bravado, applying just sufficient throttle to avoid wheelspin. To my utter amazement, the Pug kept going past all three of the bogged “off road” vehicles, and all the way up to the top.


  5. Damn, it’s hard to keep everybody happy isn’t it ?

    A well written and interesting piece on 4 wheel drive vehicles and their owners, and the first response to the article completely ignores the subject and puts in a request to hear more about a woman with three tits !

    My immediate family are BIG three wheel Land Tit fans, they go knockers for them, right down to having cow bars on the front just to go for the weekly shop at the Supertit. On top of this their vehicles have all the extras, Huge fog tits on the front, sat-nav Tom Tit, spare tit on the back in case one of the other three tits goes flat, and air tits which inflate in your face when you make a boob and tit the car in front.

    Sorry, I’m . . . Yaaaaaaaargh !


  6. Managed (out of neccesity) to off-road perfectly fine in both a Peugoet 309 and a Citroen ZX. Managed only to sink a first-generation Mitsubishi Shoggoth (horrible rustic thing, ladder chassis and cart springs). Reckon a 1990s Jeep Cherokee is about as much of an off-roader as anyone not a farmer or a worker on some huge dam project in the wilds of Canada actually needs.

    The thing at the top of this page? Got ‘I’m a drug dealer / extortionist / local thug’ wrote all over it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: