Every time I open a newspaper these days, there are a thousand stories about a Toyota that’s developed some kind of glitch whereby the ABS brakes aren’t bluetoothed to the CPU and therefore the cruise control onboard computer isn’t responding to the manual override commands. Invariably, this means that the car is sent into hyperdrive down a freeway and crashes into a large metal pole. If that was your car, I’d say that such an event would pretty much ruin your day and possibly your pants.
This would never have happened in my day. With my first car, if something in it broke down, it didn’t move. It didn’t grow artificial intelligence and attempt to kill me, it didn’t lock into a GPS signal to try and destroy a government facility, and it didn’t develop self-awareness and a sense of loathing and drive itself off a cliff to end the pain and torture of its own existence. It just didn’t move. The last time I drove it, the radiator blew up and the it shuddered to a steaming halt of not-moving-car-ness. The brakes still worked but the accelerator didn’t; kind of the way God intended it to be.
When you get your licence, you should also get a 1986 Ford Laser. A hatchback with a faded paint job, key marks down the sides, a de-mister that doesn’t work, a tape-deck and a fucked-up driver’s side door lock that requires you to get in through the passenger side. It has a top speed of around 130kph, but anything over 110 makes a horrible noise in the engine and the car begins to shake violently. There are no voice-activated CD changers, no moisture-sensitive windscreen-wipers to clear the rain, no space-aware braking mechanisms, no automatic height-adjusting mirrors, no computer-memorised seat positions, no auto-correct steering and no collision-detecting sensors – this is a car that you have to fucking learn how to drive before you hit the road. God forbid your tilt-sensitive coffee holder misfires and spills your soy mocha latte.