January 03, 2015

Horse 1814 - Snow White and The Seven SUV Dwarves

Wiseman's Ferry in Sydney's north, is named after Solomon Wiseman who was sentenced to death for stealing wood from a lighter barge but had that commuted to Transportation For Life to the penal colony of New South Wales. After being given a ticket of leave and eventually a pardon, he was granted a lease on 200 acres of land and convinced the governor to send a road through his estate. Wiseman's Ferry which dates from 1826 is the oldest ferry crossing in Australia and is the home of a small community built around the ferry crossing.
By small, we mean very small. Apart from a Post Office, a pub, a police station, a primary school, a golf course, a bowling club, a park and a few shops selling the mandatory tat that tourist traps do, there isn't terribly much else. Tourists travel to Wiseman's Ferry primarily for the entertainment of going on the ferry.
Earlier this week, Mrs Rollo and I braved temperatures in which if you stepped into open sunlight you'd spontaneously combust and had a picnic in the park at Wiseman's Ferry. But it was in the carpark of the park that I noticed something.

Apart from the utes towing boats and an abundance of Camrys, the rest of the car park was a sort of showroom for SUVs. Just like the Holy Roman Empire which was neither Holy, or Roman and not an Empire, the only Sport that the people in these vehicles did was flinging birds into towers constructed by pigs or matching three different kinds of lollies (I refuse to use the word candy unless it refers to electric goods¹) and the only Utility that the vehicles had was carrying bored children.

Some time in between bursting into flames from the heat of the sun and melting into the car park, I noticed that all the major luxury brands of SUV were represented but there was nothing from Ford or Holden. These people could have bought Australian made but chose not to. Instead, their BMWs were built in Russia. their Mercedes were built in Indonesia and their Audis were built in Slovakia. Still, I suppose that's what comes of wanting a car with a German badge on.
In an attempt to try to add some sort of personality to these luxo-barges, I thought about applying the labels of the seven deadly sins but all I could come up with was avarice. Then it hit me, maybe these aren't the seven deadly sins but the seven deadly dwarves:

Grumpy - Audi: Q3, Q5 and especially Q7
Audi drivers generally aren't cool enough to have bought something fun like a Jaguar or Ferrari and especially around Mosman, they like to drive at a distance of four inches behind you. Audi drivers are renown for their liberal use of the horn, which is sometimes accompanied by hand signals; without most fingers.

Sleepy - Mercedes-Benz ML-Class
Mercedes-Benz has for a very long time built tired cars for tired people. Mostly M-Bs are under-powered for their size and this means that if someone puts their foot down in one, the drive-by-wire systems on board will send that instruction to an electronic "traction control" which is a euphemism for a committee, which will then take five months to deliberate. This is helpful as little Tarquin and Jacinta who are strapped into toddler seats with more straps than a mountaineer, are fragile beings who don't like to be jerked about by wild movements.

Dopey - BMW X1, X3 and X5
BMW make excellent cars which are soured by the sorts of people who drive them. It is usually M3s and now M4s which cut in front of buses on the Warringah Freeway and BMWs which move between lanes into spaces no wider than a credit card without indicating.
Their X line up are for people who didn't realise that the Touring versions of the 3-er and the 5-er have more power than Lucas Heights Nuclear Reactor but still want a BMW badge on their car to tell the world what sort of people they are. At Wiseman's Ferry I saw an X5 parked on the diagonal across three spaces.

Doc - Porsche Cayenne
Porsches generally are bought by people who think that they run the world (when in actual fact, they drive M-Bs); as such, Porsches are driven in such a way as to suggest that they own the road.
"I'm the boss; I'm the king; I'm the one who knows everything"... except that a Porsche Cayenne is basically a reskinned VW Touareg and for the same price you could have had an 850Nm planet-shifting 5-Litre V10 under the bonnet. How sad.

Bashful - Infiniti QX
Do I deserve a luxury car? I want to be different but I hope no-one notices me. I've bought a car that no-one knows exactly what it is and when I said the name, they thought I'd bought a refridgerator.

Sneezy - Range Rover
Once upon a time, Range Rovers were the only SUV. Range Rover though, doesn't call them an SUV because it knows that they're bought by members of the horsey set. Range Rovers often drive across showgrounds and fields but because they're built in Solihull which may as well be Birmingham, then like all cars built in Britain, they come with random faults pre-built in.
Range Rover drivers are often sneezing because of dud air-conditioning or hayfever or horse smells.

Happy - Land Rover, Nissan Patrol, Mitsubishi Pajero, Toyota HiLux and Landcruiser 70
These are the sorts of people who bought something because they want to get them dirty. Land Rovers (even the Discos) are often seen wearing a coat of mud to the door sills. These are the vehicles which tow boats, which ford creeks and rivers and drive to places where the roads are a serving suggestion. I like these Four Wheel Drives. One does not simply walk into Mordor - that's stupid - you drive a Nissan Patrol there.

¹ http://www.candy-domestic.co.uk - Candy, former sponsors of Toleman F1 and Liverpool FC

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