My new car is nothing special, just a Ford Focus – with an automatic gearbox for driving on that goddamn M25 each day – but, as it’s only a year old, it’s still in good nick and everything is nice and tight and it’s comfortable and nice to drive. I’m not really a car person. They don’t excite me. But I do like my own car to be of a reasonable spec and to be comfortable and safe.
The kids always prefer to go in Mrs Masher’s car though. Not just because she drive like a loon, but because she also has a new car and it has the internet in it. Well, not the actual Internet, of course – because that is in a small box that is kept under guard by the Elders of the Internet – but it does have a WiFi access point, and as such, the kids can sit on their tablets playing online games and Snapchatting and watching YouTube videos and other shit.
Now, back in my day (oh dear, here we go), we did other things to keep ourselves amused on a long car journey. Like looking out of the window and daydreaming. Or, we would play games involving having to hold your ears whenever you saw a red car and not being able let go of them until you saw a yellow car (a.k.a ‘cheese-on-wheels’). Dad used to do the driving, but he never played that particular game with us.
And I used to do a lot of reading in the car. I can remember reading my first Spike Milligan book – Rommel? Gunner who? – during a particularly long drive down to Devon (or Dorset – I can’t remember that bit). Squashed into the back, along with my two sisters and bags of clothes and toys and inflatable canoes and everything else that wouldn’t fit in the boot, I cried with laughter for pretty much the whole journey.
But now, the kids play computer games and talk to their friends and watch films as we drive, and they are just as happy as we were with our silly games, I suppose.
The technology may have improved, but the end result is much the same.