Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

Car heckling marital discord

My son and I have been appreciating the humour that is to be found in car forums. Yesterday we were reading reviews on a particular car and were both in stitches at some of the entries. Car reviews may host some of the finest comedy talent out there. The sheer exasperation, the voice, the descriptions. Not every car review is a storming Norma though. Naturally it depends on the car, how the car has behaved and what it provokes in the driver/writer/reviewer. But it does confirm our emotional relationships with machines thrive! I wonder if you compared entries, in say, a marital discord forum whether they would match up with particular tones in car reviews.

I just performed a quick google — this instant — on the sister topic of marital discord and surprisingly only found a rather Christian cloaked technical type article until I discovered this woman in Florida complaining about her husband’s reluctance to embrace life insurance:

“I swear to GOD, the only reason I wake up and do ANYTHING in my life is because of the responsibility I feel to my family… Otherwise, I’m too f***ing TIRED! If I could lay in bed all day and watch TV, I would. If I died, I would consider it a BREAK!!!! So, if I do die, I don’t want, on my deathbed to think , “What the hell are they going to do without me?”

Compare this voice to our absolute favourite review voice (bar one which I’ll share manana) in the 1995 Ford Contour reviews on Carsurvey.org:

“Summary:

GOD has turned his back on this poor car

Faults:

Check Engine Light is possessed. Intermittently shuts off and on. The car knows when its gonna get hooked up to diagnostics, so when the mechanic goes to plug in the computer, the check engine light shuts off just before he plugs in. I still have no diagnosis, and I’m embarrassed that this has happened 6 times!

I can’t use the cup holders cause they split, and even if I could use them, I can’t get them out of the center console cause they are jammed.

The timing belt cover design is flawed. I park far away to save myself the embarrassment of first turning on the car. The first 5 minutes of warmup it sounds like I’m popping a 55 gallon drum of popcorn. (the belt hitting the inside of cover)

The airbag light keeps blinking the code (passenger relay malfunction) can’t be reset. This is OK I guess knowing my passenger one day will get rocked in the face by a random airbag deployment.”

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