Cooler Than The Juke Of Earl

Cooler Than The Juke Of Earl

‘Wow! That looked really cool!’

Through a haze of snow and blurred vision an eager young face beamed at me as my body tried to piece together the events of the previous few seconds. I was loosely aware of my current situation, gently sliding away from my newest fan with what felt like the onset of a coma and enough snow up my right nostril to make a scale model of the Fox Glacier and I could clearly recall starting off on my attempt to navigate the bottom half of the Snow Planet slope; but in between was hazy at best.

Despite the best efforts of Jen – the depressingly youthful, exasperatingly enthusiastic and irritatingly talented instructor – my first day on a snowboard had only succeeded in teaching me that I couldn’t turn left and the only stopping method that worked with any degree of consistency involved using my face as a brake.

You can look cool on the slopes....

Which, as the snow cleared from my facial cavities and my vision decided that one of everyone was quite enough, helped me to fill in the gaps. An Asian girl – who, incidentally, was the only person in Snow Planet on Saturday with less ability than me – decided to hop off the ski lift and fall over in such a way that necessitated me making a seriously evasive manoeuvre to stop my board and her teeth entering into a brief and terrible union. Given that turning to my favoured right side would have slammed me face-first into the next person being dragged up the hill by their testicles (seriously, who thought those lifts were a good idea?), I had no choice by to attempt an emergency left. Needless to say this came with predictable results and a split second later I was employing my favoured braking technique.

But instead of coming to a gradual halt with a sinus-load of snow, I was carrying enough momentum to perform a rather inartistic and completely unintentional barrel roll which resulted in me landing board-side down and continuing my tentative slide down the hill.

I was also suddenly cool.

There are some things in this world of ours that are born with cool bestowed upon them, I’m thinking of Samuel L Jackson in particular, others work hard and achieve coolness and then there is a third category – my category – of those who by complete accident manage to be in the right place at the right time and become cool using nothing more than dumb luck.

And this puts me in the esteemed company of the Nissan Juke.

The Juke – despite having a face that only a mother could love and even then only if she had particularly severe cataracts – is a fairly unremarkable little soft roader. Yes, it’s got some funky styling, but I can’t imagine the design is one that time will be particularly kind to and it doesn’t deliver the kind of performance either on or off the black stuff that would make for exciting reading any time after 1987.

....and on the drive home. At night.

But just as it took a fall to propel me into the heady realm of ‘cool’, so the Juke is likewise elevated. Although in its case, we’re talking about nightfall.

Despite the fact that the arrangement of headlights might lead a casual observer to think that the Nissan design team sought consultancy services from the ghost of Picasso, at night it brings the car into its own. With fog lights engaged, the three-tiered layout is like nothing else on the road and when one appeared in my rear view mirror on Saturday night I was utterly convinced that a late model Peugeot 207 was trying to mate with a MkII Golf GTi.

There is nothing that anyone at Nissan could ever say to convince me that this is anything other than a happy accident – no-one in their right mind would design a car so aesthetically challenging just so it would be interesting at night. However, accident or not it has to be acknowledged that the Juke’s lighting is utterly quirky, quite unlike anything else on the road and as a result, really rather cool. But just like my snow battered face, probably best avoided in the daylight.

‘Wow! That looked really cool!’

Through a haze of snow and blurred vision an eager young face beamed at me as my body tried to piece together the events of the previous few seconds. I was loosely aware of my current situation, gently sliding away from my newest fan with what felt like the onset of a coma and enough snow up my right nostril to make a scale model of the Fox Glacier and I could clearly recall starting off on my attempt to navigate the bottom half of the Snow Planet slope; but in between was hazy at best.

Despite the best efforts of Jen – the depressingly youthful, exasperatingly enthusiastic and irritatingly talented instructor – my first day on a snowboard had only succeeded in teaching me that I couldn’t turn left and the only stopping method that worked with any degree of consistency involved using my face as a brake.

You can look cool on the slopes....

Which, as the snow cleared from my facial cavities and my vision decided that one of everyone was quite enough, helped me to fill in the gaps. An Asian girl – who, incidentally, was the only person in Snow Planet on Saturday with less ability than me – decided to hop off the ski lift and fall over in such a way that necessitated me making a seriously evasive manoeuvre to stop my board and her teeth entering into a brief and terrible union. Given that turning to my favoured right side would have slammed me face-first into the next person being dragged up the hill by their testicles (seriously, who thought those lifts were a good idea?), I had no choice by to attempt an emergency left. Needless to say this came with predictable results and a split second later I was employing my favoured braking technique.

But instead of coming to a gradual halt with a sinus-load of snow, I was carrying enough momentum to perform a rather inartistic and completely unintentional barrel roll which resulted in me landing board-side down and continuing my tentative slide down the hill.

I was also suddenly cool.

There are some things in this world of ours that are born with cool bestowed upon them, I’m thinking of Samuel L Jackson in particular, others work hard and achieve coolness and then there is a third category – my category – of those who by complete accident manage to be in the right place at the right time and become cool using nothing more than dumb luck.

And this puts me in the esteemed company of the Nissan Juke.

The Juke – despite having a face that only a mother could love and even then only if she had particularly severe cataracts – is a fairly unremarkable little soft roader. Yes, it’s got some funky styling, but I can’t imagine the design is one that time will be particularly kind to and it doesn’t deliver the kind of performance either on or off the black stuff that would make for exciting reading any time after 1987.

....and on the drive home. At night.

But just as it took a fall to propel me into the heady realm of ‘cool’, so the Juke is likewise elevated. Although in its case, we’re talking about nightfall.

Despite the fact that the arrangement of headlights might lead a casual observer to think that the Nissan design team sought consultancy services from the ghost of Picasso, at night it brings the car into its own. With fog lights engaged, the three-tiered layout is like nothing else on the road and when one appeared in my rear view mirror on Saturday night I was utterly convinced that a late model Peugeot 207 was trying to mate with a MkII Golf GTi.

There is nothing that anyone at Nissan could ever say to convince me that this is anything other than a happy accident – no-one in their right mind would design a car so aesthetically challenging just so it would be interesting at night. However, accident or not it has to be acknowledged that the Juke’s lighting is utterly quirky, quite unlike anything else on the road and as a result, really rather cool. But just like my snow battered face, probably best avoided in the daylight.

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