I was yabbering to a friend the other day about nothing (as one does) and she mentioned that she had a courtesy car whilst hers was being repaired. It happened to be a Camry. 'Courtesy Camry', I said, 'sounds like a beauty pageant contestant'.
'Representing Kentucky... Courtesy Camry. She likes guns, long walks on the beach, and er, guns.'
We sniggered and moved on. But then, me being me, I started thinking about this more. Imagine car brands as Miss World, or Miss Universe, or Miss Giant Tomato entrants. Who would take out the grand praaaaaaaize? Which bumper bar would be willing to shave off a few centimetres to look best in the automobile equivalent of the bathing suit round? Would Detroit play dirty to beat out the international interlopers? And could Down Under have any hope of winning when we showed up with a ute dressed up in a bizarre combination of ugg boots, eucalyptus leaves and a Sydney Harbour Bridge-shaped scratch and sniff hanging from the rear-view mirror?
Let's see, shall we?
THE IMBECILIC AUTOMOBILIC MISS WORLD PAGEANT. Brought to you by a sense of mounting hysteria, and the remnants of migraine painkillers.
Representing South Korea: Kia Cadenza.
Kia is a lovely girl, shy, self-effacing and well aware that some of the more - shall we say, elitist contestants see her as a waste of space. She's used to this; after all, she lives next door to a lunatic. Unlike her older cousins from the Hyundai dynasty, at least the US contingency are capable of pronouncing her first name. Don't underestimate this contestant. She may not have the label status of the bourgeoisie, but Kia is headed for the top. May be a Final 5 contender, unless said lunatic decides to hack her emails so that the other contestants know what she's been saying behind their backs.
Representing Italy: Maserati Ghibli
Firstly, if you try to say her name as 'jibbly', she may run you over, and quite rightly. Secondly - well, who are we kidding. She's a Maserati, and she's named after a desert wind. Vrrrrooom. Final 5. (NB: Judges may have received a car in the decision making process).
Representing the USA - I mean Italy - I mean - oh who knows, it's Chrysler/FIAT/something: Jeep Cherokee
Using a Native American name doesn't make you Pocahontas. It makes you a really annoying SUV with bad, bad TV ads. She's a Jeep. WELL, OBVIOUSLY. No painting the colours of the wind, Ms Cherokee. I'm afraid there will be tears, and not of the pin the tiara on the bouffant kind.
Representing Germany: Porsche 918 Spyder
She's a hybrid, she is worth more than my house, and she's wunderschön. $900,000 of runway worthy wunderschön-ness. If only Germany hadn't produced Sebastian Vettel, (let alone allowed the unspeakable Austrian in), they might be considered to be a model for the world. (Again, judges may have been influenced slightly by the offer of Porsche shaped packages. Just saying).
Representing Japan: Honda Civic
She's reliable, efficient, and understated. She doesn't do anything wrong, and is nice to the other contestants.
She is also guilty of the most car park misdemeanours, mid-road illegal turns, tailgates and bad driving manoeuvres on the face of the planet.
Sums up a lot of things really.
Representing the UK: Aston Martin Vanquish
I have a funny feeling in my tummy and have to lie down for a while.
Representing Australia: uh...
We all know it.
And finally... representing humanity: Tesla Model S
She's beautiful. She's functional. She makes perfect sense. She speaks with clarity, and conviction, and for the future. She represents the unselfish spirit of a man who gave away his genius and his ideas for free, because he believed in humankind.
Last I saw, the other contestants were ramming her to bits out in the car park.
I think Maserati may have called in the lads from Ferrari.
She won't be winning Miss Congeniality any time soon.