The eighties bore a lot of fruit. There were raspberries, strawberries, guavas, tangerines and even bananas, which some people insist is a herb. There were also melons. Some melons were bitter, some were sweet. Some were even bittersweet, like Gary Numan.
Gary became famous for one song in particular, where he ruminated over the classic philosophical question ‘Are Friends Electric?’ followed by another hit song where, in classic minimalist style, he posed the vastly underrated question, “Cars?”.
Now what most people overlook is the new question that arises when both song titles are merged. Yes, you got it. ‘Are Friends cars?’ I would say most definitely not. Friends tend to be people, made up of organic matter. Cars on the other hand are machines created through a totalitarian state via marxist values.
Another interesting question arises through a further amalgamation of song titles. It goes like this ‘Are Cars Electric?’ Well, some are, but most aren’t. So when Martin Rowan commented to me that the new exhaust I had fitted to my Piaggio Liberty 125 would have no effect on fuel consumption because “it’s electric isn’t it?” I nearly died.
“It’s petrol,” I informed Martin, who was busy cleaning his teeth with a hamster. “It always has been and it always will be. I fill it with five litres of petrol every other day. What do you think happens to it if it isn’t used by the scooter?”
Martin stared at me. He had taken staring classes in Pontypool college in the early nineties and had won the World Staring Championship in 1996.
“I see,” said Martin. So it’s electric AND petrol then?”
It was at this point I rang John Craven and asked him for another round of news…