This week, I present to you, fine reader, a deep, philosophical question, the answer to which I believe only a small minority of people – mainly from the back-arse of Tyrone – can ever know for certain…
Does a person’s car make a sound when there is nobody else around to hear it?
No. Hold on. Allow me to sharpen my line of inquiry and establish a clearer set of boundaries…
Right. Draft Two: Does Big Kevy’s lowered, heavily-modified 2006 Vauxhall Corsa make a universe-birthing bang every time he changes gear, when nobody else is around? There. That’s better.
If you live in Tyrone (as you almost certainly do), then it is a sad but inevitable misfortune of your circumstances that you are familiar with the noise I’m talking about. I am, of course, referring to the granny-ending, toddler-terminating, dog-deadening roar that seems to threaten the very fabric of space-time when the likes of Big Kev pulls off from a set of traffic lights.
This atomic-scream sounds more like something the Yanks would drop on Japan than the audible bi-product of powering a small hatchback.
So, returning to the question at hand, namely, whether a car goes bang when nobody but the driver’s eardrums are around to be bust by it, I can honestly say, from the bottom of my heart, I hope to Jesus that it does.
And for good reason…
You see, I am a man of a kind of secular karmic faith. I believe that – a good bit of the time, at least – what goes around comes around.
You reap what you sow, you get back what you put in, and just as the woman who helps others will not be alone in her hour of need, the dog that barks at every passing car will eventually get clipped, so to speak.
Not always, but a right bit of the time.
And, so, too, under this loose law of natural justice, the man – or woman, though they are certainly fewer – who pays money to make their car behave like a moronic, belligerent drunk, should deal with a fittingly unpleasant hangover.
In the case of the tube with the noisy car, the punitive hangover they incur takes the following form: No matter where they drive, no matter what time of day or who they have in the car, every journey is accompanied by the sounds of war.
Going to the airport at 4 o’clock in the morning – war.
Taking a new girlfriend for a Sunday drive – war.
Leaving work early because they have a busting headache – war.
And why do I derive so much contentment, satisfaction and, if I’m honest, just straight up pleasure, from imagining the misery of these drivers in such situations?
Because, while some of these drivers are undoubtedly just honest car enthusiasts, so many people who drive cars that go bang seem far too similar to the obnoxious drunk who throws himself about the pub – but maybe even worse.
Because, while both species seek to service their reputation through intimidation and a kind of masculine bravado, at least one does so at their own risk.
The notion of the noble hard-man is mostly a romantic myth, and, by and large, such people are usually thugs or bullies.
However, at least they are thugs and bullies who are available to be confronted on account of their thuggish, bullying ways.
In theory, some people’s champ could step up and dole out some civic justice.
But the boy within a car that goes bang denies his victims the chance of retaliation.
He destroys eardrums with impunity, sometimes remaining anonymous behind tinted glass, but, more often, hanging out the window screaming ‘yeoo’ as he revs into the night.
However, when all his cronies have been dropped off, and there is nobody left on the streets to scare, remember that the Big Kev’s of the world have to drive home alone, empty, with only their thoughts and the sounds of war to keep them company.
And I hope they don’t love it as much as they let on.
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