May 2, 2015 by benmblackman
You know me, I’m a modern kinda guy. Whilst in the past I have argued against going topless as a moral and lifestyle choice, I suppose it was only a matter of time before I came around to ‘their’ way of thinking.
Yes, I admit it. My name is Ben and I have been driving around in a convertible car. Firstly, I should highlight the most important point of this subject which is that I haven’t got it any more. What I am saying is this – don’t come to my house and try to steal it. It’s gone.
I’m slowly coming to terms with this fact.
Long story short, I borrowed my mother-in-laws car. She’s got a 2 seater convertible. I know – get her! (She might read this though so, the main point we really need to note is how generous and helpful it was of her to lend me her car. For a month. Which actually turned out to be 6 months. Sure, she took it back again which has shattered the dreams of myself and one of her grandchildren but, better to have driven convertible and lost, than never to have driven convertible at all).
Luckily I watch a lot of America’s Next Top Model and The Real Housewives of Orange County so, I know how to get into a car like a lady. It was lucky because it was the only way I could fit my lanky legs into and then underneath the steering wheel.
I, probably like you, have never ‘got’ the convertible car thing until now. You’re in a car – what’s the point? “You want to be outside…well go outside.” I would say. How can breathing in petrol fumes be enjoyable?
How little I knew. How many years of my life I wasted driving in stupid cars with stupid roofs.
Having spent 3 days driving around self-consciously in the sporty little number day 4 was THE day. The sun was shining, birds were singing, I picked up The Calpol Kid from after school club when she asked, not unfairly, “Daddy, can we make the roof disappear?”
“You bet your ruddy life we can, honey.” I somehow managed not to say out loud Alan Partridge style. I was thinking it though as I unclipped this, waggled that, flipped the roof backwards (very carefully just like they showed me) and, hey presto, we were outside. But in a car. Inside. We both looked up at the blue sky in awe. An odd view point from a car when you’ve not seen it from such a place before.
I fired her up (the car, not my daughter), undertook the 9 point turn necessary to get out of the crowded school carpark and then there was nothing between us and the open road (aside from a cat that wouldn’t get out of the way and some roadworks).
Much as I hated myself, within minutes I would have been talking out loud to anyone who would listen about “how alive” it made you feel to drive this way. Obviously nobody could have heard me it was so loud, what with being in a car with no roof or windows and all, you see.
This was all fine though because I was only doing this top down thing for the benefit of The Calpol Kid. I wouldn’t actually drive on my own with the top down, would I?
By week 2 I had gone native. I was one of ‘those’ people who basically drives with the top down at every opportunity unless it’s raining (and by raining I do mean torrential rain. Anything else is classed as ‘passing’ and was worth driving through as far as I was concerned).
Sure, I might have had 4 layers of clothing on and the beginnings of tinnitus but, can you see my car roof? Can you though? No you can’t because I haven’t got one. Ergo – I win life.
Yeah I’m going to start saying ergo. I drive a convertible, why wouldn’t I?
It was only a matter of time before I would begin to wear driving gloves and go for a little spin at the weekend, for pleasure. I admit it – I broke one of my personal life rules with regards to the wearing of baseball caps whilst driving. You had to with my hair.
I’m pretty sure it is no coincidence that, in week 3 whilst I was on my way to a golf club (I’d changed) I began listening to Radio 1 for the first time in a decade. When the wind is in your hair, you know you have a full manufacturers service history and Platinum Green Flag membership in the glovebox – 90’s Club Classics have never sounded so good.
You want me to apologise? Never. Until you’ve experienced the thrill of driving topless, you can’t judge. But what I will do for you is give you my top 5 tips for how to enjoy this experience better if you are a beginner to it, like I was:
1. Easy on the powerballads. Yes you have the voice of an angel but, remember, with no roof – everyone can hear you sing. You already look way cooler than everyone else in your convertible. Don’t make them jealous of your singing voice too.
2. Try to avoid using your windscreen washer sprays whilst at traffic lights. The whole lack of roof thing does mean you tend to get wet.
3. Hope that the car in front of you doesn’t use theirs either!
4. Have better hair than me.
4a. Wear a baseball cap.
5. Never leave yourself liable to the ‘walk of shame’ – having to pull over and put your top back up. Don’t let the bastards have the benefit of seeing you do this. Even if you do have to drive through the rain.