Keep Your Walk On The Mild Side

Keep Your Walk On The Mild Side

There is a school of thought that says if you aren’t living life on the edge then you may be taking up a little too much room. Life is not a rehearsal after all and failure to wring every last bit of adrenalin from your days may somehow be abusing the gift of existence that a random coming together of sperm and egg happened to bestow upon you.

This could end badly Dude

And people who live to this philosophy do seem to have an awfully good time. They spend their days pumped up on the natural high that can be obtained by leaping, climbing and generally thrusting yourself in the line of danger whilst in the company of like minded folk who insist on growing their hair too long and calling you “Dude”.

They are, of course, completely wrong. Firstly, these are people who place the Volkswagen Beetle on a pedestal and are therefore more than likely using the vacant space between their ears for storing cotton wool. Secondly, and even more importantly, the pursuit of the bland, drab and generally mediocre has proven to be a thoroughly excellent method of propagating the human species to date.

Whilst taking up a career in Chartered Accountancy ranks somewhere around eating live tarantulas on my personal “to-do” list, I’ll freely admit that you don’t see many grey-suited bean counters killed in tombstoning accidents. And I would rather spend my days looking at other peoples’ tax returns than coming to a rapid and briefly painful end at the bottom of a damp cliff. Just.

This important life lesson extends very much into the realm of the automobile too. If you take a look at the history of the World Car of The Year winners, you will note that the combined lunacy of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Bugatti, Pagani, Aston Martin, Porsche and Bentley have summoned up exactly no winners between them. Not one. In fact for as long as the competition has been going these bastions of alleged automotive excellence have managed more bankruptcies than they have nominations. Although this isn’t hard, seeing as they’ve not actually had any of these either.

In the mean time, the retailers of bland mediocrity merrily go on raking in the awards, topping sales charts and – despite the best efforts of world financial crises – continuing to live, thrive and survive. And that is something which sadly cannot be said for that most eccentric purveyor of motoring extremism, Bristol, who this week became the latest victim of receivership.

Gone - but not forgotten

This is the company responsible for wheeled adrenalin shots like the Blenheim and the utterly insane Fighter T, which can stir your soul take you on a thrill ride like no other. It’s just a shame that while the cars could rock your world, the finances were built on shaky ground too. Sure, at 66 years of age the company could hardly be accused of living fast and dying young, but like so many aging daredevils, no-one was too shocked when the reaper called.

Life on the edge is all well and good, but as is the way with so many things, it seems that the safest route is the middle of the road.

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