Not long after lunch Philo turned up with the car he’d found for me. Truthfully, I didn’t know what to expect. On the phone he’d said it was a Daewoo Matiz but that meant nothing to me, you could write what I know about cars on the back of a postage stamp and still have room to draw a picture. The first thing I noticed was that it was silver. Silver is good. Had it been orange, lime green or pink I wouldn’t have been interested but silver, cream, white, blue (as long as it wasn’t pale blue) or, best of all black was fine. Shallow? You bet but, as colour is about the only thing I do notice about cars, it was the most important thing to me.
The second thing I noticed was that it was small. Small is also good. In my mind small means it will be easier to park, there’ll be less chance of me taking out the odd gate post when trying to get it down our narrow drive (if I ever even attempt such a thing) and it will use less petrol. I have never understood the need some women have for a great big car.
The final thing I noticed was that it had a satisfying number of small dents and scratches. Why would dents and scratches be a good thing? Well, the way I see it, if it already has a few battle scars I’m not going to feel so bad if I add to them, plus Commando might not notice if I do have a slight mishap. If it was all mirror smooth paint work I’d be afraid to drive it. Not only that but it makes it less likely that someone is going to steal it. I’m a firm believer that the more really fancy expensive things you have the more you have to worry about them and the more chance there is that someone will try to relieve you of them, possibly by force. I don’t want to be a slave to all my possessions, where’s the fun in that?
With Philo and Commando looking on I had a little sit in the car, adjusted the seat, looked in the mirrors, tried out the clutch and brake, fiddled with the gear stick and pretended I knew what I was doing. As far as the engine was concerned I trusted Philo’s judgement, he’s a mechanic after all and he’s my son so he’s hardly going to sell me a lemon. I loved it. I handed over the six hundred pounds I’d drawn out from the bank earlier and handed them over to Philo. It actually felt quite odd to be buying a car and I kept thinking that this was the most money I have ever spent on something for myself in my life.
Then we left my little car out on the drive way and we all went inside and had coffee. “What are you going to call it?” Commando asked. This may sound like an odd question but every car Commando has ever had has had a name, in fact they’ve all had the same name. For some reason that I’ve never worked out he always calls his cars Betsy. I’m pretty sure I saw Philo rolling his eyes, I don’t think he believes in giving cars names, he’s far too sensible for that. Sometimes I wonder if he’s mine, he’s the most sane, sensible person I know, how on earth did that happen?
I thought about it for a while, turning names over in my head and dismissing them. Then it came to me. The car is a Daewoo Matiz, Matiz sounds a bit like Le Tiss which is the affectionate name given to ex Saints player Matt Le Tissier. Le Tissier spent his entire career at Southampton Football Club, almost unheard of in these days of huge transfer fees, and was the first Premiership player to score one hundred goals. In his whole career he scored from all but one of the penalties he took. He is a legend. “I shall call it Mattie Matiz,” I said. Everyone agreed it was a very good name, although I think Philo was still rolling his eyes.
The thought of driving Mattie Matiz is quite scary but, at the same time, rather exciting.