Clearing A Nasty Blockage

December 4th, 2011 by Tim Grimley

The computer clock is showing 22:32; an hour and twenty-eight minutes remain before my – admittedly largely self imposed – deadline of midnight ticks around to complete my weekly insight into the motoring world and I am suffering from the worst case of writer’s block known to man.

For the uninitiated, writer’s block is a terrible and debilitating condition where an otherwise immensely talented wordsmith is deprived of sufficient inspiration to produce a work worthy of their genius. This is a huge perk of being a writer, as someone suffering from a similar lack of impetus in any other career is simply having an off day or is just not very good at their job.

It's not life and death......

The other thing is, as a writer it really doesn’t matter very much either. Of course my ego loves to think that if I provide a particularly pleasing literary perambulation through the automotive world that it will bring joy to the days of all who read it; but should I fail to meet a certain level of expectation then the consequences are not likely to be ones of life and death. While it is now 22:50 and I’m seriously beginning to wonder how this will ever turn into an amusing motoring anecdote, I understand that my situation is a trivial one compared to that of a cardiac surgeon who has suddenly had a mental block as to exactly which tube is the aorta.

But even this only has the scope for limited damage; albeit significant to those directly involved. There are jobs out there that have the potential to leave a scar on the whole of society should someone find themselves a little bereft of spark.

Unfortunately my daily commute now involves the Victoria Park Tunnel and its queue of every idiot in Auckland who cannot grasp that driving at above 30kph in a subterranean environment will not invoke the wrath of God. This meant that in three solid lanes of traffic today I was completely unable to escape the Ssangyong Stavic that some rotten soul was having the effrontery to drive in my vicinity.

There are many deeply, offensively ugly cars in this world – the WiLL Vi springs instantly to mind – but not many of them are as large as the Stavic. And when the designer appears to have been lacking in enough motivation to bother finding out if final brief was to produce a car, fridge or bus shelter, being conspicuous by your enormity is not a good thing.'s far more important than that.

As people we place a lot of value on cars. Yes, they are only a mechanical entity, but they have the power to inspire, motivate and elate; they provide us with personal freedom and a way of expressing ourselves. And while this manifests itself in varying degrees of enthusiasm, it takes a special breed of person not to crack a smile and sneak a cheeky sideways look as a Ferrari barrels by.

Yet with what could easily be called ‘designer’s block’, a car can be produced that turns your stomach rather than your head. And thanks to the irritating advances made in corrosion resistance, one mans bad day could be a lingering blight on the aesthetics of the world for decades to come.

Although on the plus side, it does make you angry enough for a really good rant, meaning that at 23:57 – unlike the Victoria Park Tunnel – my blockage seems to have cleared.

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