Wednesday, December 04, 2002

“Four Wheel Drives” are exhibit number one in the Great Australian Naming Malaise. If one actually drives or owns such a vehicle – although aspiring to do so is much the same thing, so I’m told – then there is no problem with ambiguity in what constitutes a “Four Wheel Drive”.

On the other hand, if one wishes to rant against Four Wheel Drives, it is compulsory to first master the taxonomy of passenger vehicles in its entirety – not all cars having four wheel drive are Four Wheel Drives, and it is even possible, I suspect, for a cars without four wheel drive to nonetheless be a Four Wheel Drive.

Because, as you may guess, I am not interested, nor probably able, to master the taxonomy of passenger vehicles, I will be taking a taxonometric shortcut from now on ('til I switch back at the end) – goodbye ambiguous Australian term, and hello the American “Sports Utility Vehicle”, aka the “SUV”.

The term “SUV” has the advantage of meaning exactly what it says. “Sports” and “Utility” are generally considered oxymorons – like “Nikes” and “work boots” – but that is precisely the point. SUV’s are definitely sporting, but not so sporting as to be without a faux-proletarian patina. Conversely, they are “work vehicles” for tax purposes (in Australia at least) – ha, ha, ha.

Drivers of SUV’s are often termed “wankers” – a description to which I emphatically concur. In fact, the terms “Sport” and “Utility” handily sum up the essence of collective masturbation, at least when practised by straight guys. Sometimes known as the “circle jerk” (a term that I dislike because of its geometric prescriptiveness), two or more straight guys wanking off together involves a neat combination of a showy competition element (tick “Sport”) with exactly the same release that comes from your common, workaday wank (tick “Utility”).

Which is precisely my issue with SUV’s – they take an activity that has traditionally been practised only or mainly in private – dumbass, reckless hooning – and then purport to make it socially acceptable by Sport-ifying it. I am quite happy for SUV’s to do whatever they do, then, singly or together, but no, no, NOT on public roads!

If you think that I am overly demonising Sport-ification, think again. What is the key difference between a group of two or more straight guys wanking off together, and the same gathering being termed an orgy? (Apart from the latter being “gay”, in an undefined way.) The difference, of course, is sport – an orgy has no competition element, and so is unquestionably a private affair. In short, an orgy is multiple masturbation – but without sport (or the pretext of it).

Which means that, short of banning SUV’s on public roads (the utopian solution), the next best thing is to take the “Sport” out of it. Take note, SUV drivers and owners – the game is up! You are wankers – individual wankers – doing it out in public. When there are two or more of you, you need to stop pretending that we can’t see your soggy, lame orgy – or worse, for you to assume that we are jealous, because we can’t join in. Ugggh! Vote "Yes" to making wanking a pure Utility - and let sportscars be sportscars.

Now endeth the rant; so let the merry songs begin. Hate those catchy song lyrics that you can’t get out of your head? If so, stop reading NOW!

“Fuckwit in a Four Wheel Drive” is a great song for singing while driving. Its libretto is, conveniently enough, basically its title, and for its score, you have the choice of “Camptown Races” or “Angel in a Centrefold”. Try it! Whether with the “doo dah” of “Camptown Races” or the bagpipes-in-your-head sound of “Angel in a Centrefold”, “Fuckwit in a Four Wheel Drive” is a memorable ditty indeed, and suitable for singing both in public and private.

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