Two makes of cars seem to stand out in terms of the vehicle that might suit we three when our ageing magna dies and our bank account grows - the Nissan Dualis (larger and cheaper) and the VW Golf.
I have no idea what happens under the bonnet but do pay attention to cars. Makes, models and styles are unconsciously noted and the 'Drive' section is avidly read with the ratings out of five automatically filed away in the part of my mind where stuff like answers to Spicks and Specks questions, Hollywood gossip circa 2004 and those destined-to-be-useful third year Roman Art and Archaeology essays are stored.
Despite being half the size of the Dualis and requiring Milly to sit in a passenger seat, the VW is around $45,000 retail. Sheesh! And yet it's clearly the 'must have' car for my fellow Flemington residents with one in every three cars parked out the front of single-fronted, fully renovated Victorian cottages with original wood-burning fireplaces, polished floor boards, potential OSP via the ROW from the historic cobbled alleyways; hosting a Golf rarely older than a 2005 model. So the likelihood is that most owners paid full price or very close to full price for their teeny German cars.
And yes, I'm more than a bit jealous, considering we have this:
And yet, overshadowing us all, are four huge housing commission blocks that are twenty floors high and house thousands of people who for various reasons are unable to afford private housing or rentals and are grateful for the two train lines and two tram routes that border our compact suburb.
It particularly spins my kidneys to discover that there are two Porsche Cayennes within a block of my house; so close that, on a good day, I could boot a footy to either of them.
(This aint one of 'em, but I hate the idea of a psychologist thinking that a Porsche Cayenne in their staff car park is a good idea when pursuing a career helping people with their problems)
One belongs to one of the most beautiful houses in Wellington Street, 'the' top spot in Flemington. They have an automatic double garage that backs out into Church Street. Daddy drives the brand new Mercedes Kompressor to whatever Master of the Universe/Old School Tie job he's got in the city and Mummy pops the kiddies into the Cayenne to pootle them far out of Flemington to a private school that requires the pampered little mites to don hats and blazers and never look out of their tinted windows at the poor pillocks walking to the local educational facility.
I tend to fly into a rage any time I see a Mum and kids doing a school run in a Toorak tractor and both Love Chunks and Sapphire know well enough to leave the room when that insultingly stupid advertisement for the Mazda 9 comes on, featuring a vapid mother lolling back in her padded seat listening to 'Heaven' by the Eurogliders (crap in the eighties, even worse now) as she proudly inhales the farts of her own smug self satisfaction and ponders briefly whether she'll bother to unlock the doors and let her kids in....Aarrrrrgh! Even the advertisers know that virtually nobody is buying these petrol guzzling ugly beasts to take anywhere off road....!
Why do they choose to live here? I've rather pointedly left a few 'Join the Flemington Litter Ninjas' flyers in their letter box (situated next to their electronic intercom, heat sensor and surveilance camera) but have had no response. Perhaps they just don't notice the litter at the back of their garages in their haste to whisk themselves out of the area every day?
And then, if the standard model Toyota or Mazda or Nissan 4WD Nit-Wit isn't good enough, you can buy a Porsche Cayenne just to rub it in to everyone else that you have so much money you actually don't know what to do with it.
I swear I'm getting thisclose to buying a bow and arrow that, when, let go, shoots out a sticker missile that unfurls in mid flight, only to accurately splat itself to the back window of the offending vehicle and thus display this message:
I am a selfish and ugly person who has too much money and should have bought a much cheaper car and donated the rest to charity.