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A Terrible Love Story

My first car was dreadful. Truly. It was a Ford Orion 1.4L Four Speed. In what I could only describe as Urinal Cube Blue. It had a style, just not a style you ever wanted people to know about. It broke down. A lot. I used to keep a couple of good books in the glove compartment, in pre iPhone days a spy thriller was often the best way to pass the hours before the AA repair man would cast a familiar and weary glance over Brian. That’s right Brian, Brian the Orion.

Brain didn’t have heating. In winter I used to drive with a hot water bottle balanced on my knees. If it was a particularly nippy evening, snow and ice would gather in the foot well overnight. My girlfriend at the time insisted I kept a duvet in the car. I raised an excited and mildly lascivious eyebrow at this request, hoping for a spy-novel-distracting tryst. Sadly it was just to stave off hypothermia whist I drove.

Brian didn’t like the warm either, and would overheat, smoke billowing from the bonnet when things became too clement outside.

Yet I loved Brian. Brain for all his err… ‘quirks’, was mine. It was my route to freedom, my first step on in adult life. He carted guitars to gigs, took me on my first holiday without my parents, drove me to the seaside with my friends. He used to huff and puff along, but with cheery wheezing. When the car was stolen I was bereft. Poor Brian was found nose-down, diagonally slumped in a hedge. It was one quirk too much for him and he had to be scrapped.

Since Brian I have had 6 other cars. None could raise my heartrate. Sure they were all better in almost every way, but none of them had character, none of them seemed as exciting as Brian, the ugly Orion.

It’s odd that something with so many problems could warm the soul. But he was like me, bumbling our way through life, getting more wrong than right. That’s why we connected. We were tripping over at the same time, stumbling to the same beat. It’s funny how character works. It’s the quirks, the unique little things that help us connect with something. It’s not bland perfection. Nope, it’s so much better than perfect.

When you’re thinking how do I connect with others, just think what connects with you, character traits make you love something beyond logic. If you love it, then there’s just a fair chance your customers will too.

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