Further Research by Mike Rooth
I believe that we as a group have recently established a lack of pattern in Land Rover owners. However, what we have *not* done is established what constitutes NON-Land Rover person. I'm sure you've all come up against the situation where you are leaning fondly against your heap, waiting for the wife to finish yet *more* shopping, when you are approached with "I'd like one of these, are they expensive to run?" So, like any enthusiast, trying to get as many other mug... like minded citizens into the same mess you've got yourself into, you give the guy chapter and verse, not lying, (you hope), *too* obviously. The next question is, "How much would I get one for". The answer to that usually causes a fade in facial colour from pink to dead white and a rapid exit. This is the bloke who thinks just because they *look* like run-down brick shit-houses he's going to get one for free. I mean, I know we aren.t in the Rolls-Royce situation here (If you have to ask the price, you can.t afford it) but there *are* limits.
Then, particularly if you happen to be involved with horses, you get what I call (Don.t ask me why, it seemed a good idea at the time) the "Father of the Bride" type. He has a teenage daughter, a largish Vauxhall, Ford, et al, and a horse trailer. Oh, and money. He's seen all us rough types belting all over the farm in large, square, smoking objects, obviously without a care in the world. Further, he's seen us backing down onto trailers accompanied by sound effects like, "Come *on* there's miles yet", Keerrrunch, "That's *too* far you pillock". "Ah, stop whinging, I missed you dint I?" It all looks good to this guy, because *he'd* like to be one of the lads as well. What he doesn.t realise is that the no-care-in-the-world-attitude, isn.t that at all. It.s the sheer euphoria induced by the fact that the bloody thing started *at all* that morning, combined with the mind numbing tension brought on by the ever mounting suspicion that it wont get you BACK...
So, at an opportune moment, you get cornered. "Are they reliable?" "Reliable? Oh ar. This ones about twenty five years old an' its still going. Reckon that's reliable don.t you?" "Yes, but I mean for daily use". "Well, I use this every day. And what's more, the spares are dead cheap". At which point you rattle off a list of spares and the approximate prices. A strange change comes over him. He is slowly realising that if you've got the prices of *that* range of spares at your fingertips, you must have more than a passing acquaintance with them. And *that* wasn.t what he meant by reliable. His idea of maintenance runs more to joining the Sunday morning wash and woofle brigade. What he *hasn.t* realised, is that you know his damned daughter is going to end up driving it, and showing off into the bargain. And that howevesr tasty her bum looks in johdpurs, she's a right spoiled, snotty little bitch, and you aren.t going to see a good old Land Rover subjected to *that*. What's more, you aren.t going to mend it for her when she breaks it. He buys a Frontera. And wonders why it isn.t the same at all. Of course there are the obvious ones. "Bloody Land Rovers" "Eh?" "Drove the effing things in the army. I 'ates 'em. Not a patch on the three ton Bedford". Then he swaggers off across the road, gets in his Japcrap, and takes off like a kangaroo on re-heat, having given you the benefit of his wisdom, totally unasked for.
Just when you think you've got it taped you get egg on your face. Mild mannered chap engages you in what you think is polite conversation. Asks you how long you've had the vehicle, whether you enjoy it, and generally cons you into truthful answers. Including drawbacks. He's such a decent sort you wouldn.t want to con him, and anyway, dressed like that, well, a Land Rover would look daft on his suburban drive. A month later, there he is again, heartily waving from the cab of a beautifully maintained 11A. Ent life a bitch?
Of course this is very much incomplete research. Further contributions are welcome. However I suspect it is also research doomed never to be completed, however long the labour lasts.