Episode 229. Mercedes 500SEC. F335 MRT. (Part 3).

So, it's the weekend, and this means that once again it is time for the weekly shop. So we all jump into the Mercedes, and off we go on the 22.7 twisty country road type miles to ASDA!

No matter where we're going, nine times out of ten when we go anywhere it seems that we usually take my car. I think that this is mainly so I don't sit there in Mrs Clints car noticing all the new little noises her car makes whenever I seem to get into it, or all the little things that now need repairing on her car. So, as we're usually in one of my cars, it's usually me that drives, but not today. Today as we are getting into the Mercedes her worshipfulness informed me that she was driving, and I was relelgated to the passenger seat. 

Actually in all fairness to her Worshipfulness, she's far from the worst driver I've ever been with, possibly due to my tuition when she was learning to drive, although she calls it my nagging. But whatever the reason sitting in the passenger seat is not a bad place to be when she is behind the wheel, although it still has to be said that Mrs Clints shoes are obviously heavier than mine, and therefore the ride along the country roads sort of looks like a green blur! However, pretty soon we were parking at ASDA.

Now, I don't know about you fellas, but I don't like anyone elses car to come near to my car when I park it up, I like to park as far away from the madding crowd as possible in order to avoid other people banging their doors into my car, as apparently this is acceptable to do when you're either getting out of, or getting ito your car in a car park. Infact, if I'm honest, I don't even want other peoples cars exhaust to touch my car. So, whenever I park at a car park we park far, FAR away from the other people. Mrs Clint likes this, as it gives her a nice little walk across the car park, and it makes her very happy... NOT!

Once inside ASDA Mrs Clint busied herself racing around the store getting all manner of groceries et cetera, and I acted like a man and faffed around looking at tools, buying a new air freshener for the new car, bought a load of HotWheels cars for our two little Monsters, bought an Elvis CD, bought a DVD box set, bought a load of sweets (not candy because we're not Americans) for tonight, then stole a carrier bag to put it all into after I'd paid for it all. Ooh, get me, a super villain!! The DVD I decided to buy was season 1 of the TV classic Bewitched. I bought this for several reasons, because I remember liking it when I was a kid, I thought my little Monsters might enjoy it, and because I think that Elizabeth Montgomery is probably the finest looking woman ever to walk the Earth... (Well, except for Mrs Clint, as she is much better looking obviously!) Anyway I figured that as it was coming up to Hallowe'en, and we don't let our two little Monsters go Trick or Treating because (A) I'm a very mean Daddy (and apparently Mrs Clint's a very mean Mummy too) (B) I don't know or trust anyone in my street (C) its begging, and I don't believe that anyone wants their evening interrupted by strange children they don't know banging on their door, and (4) it's an American tradition, and as we're not Americans, and don't live in Americaland, we don't do it. Having said that we do decorate the house a bit for the kids, and usually we do have a party, but as the Monsters have been Rat-bags lately they've fluffed it for this year, so no party. There you go you see, I am a mean Daddy! 

Anyway, pretty soon the shopping is all done, and we're back at the Mercedes loading the goodies into the boot, and our two little baddies into the back seat. I decided that I was going to put my New Elvis CD on, only to be out voted by the rest of my family who wanted to listen to Deep Purple instead, and so before long we were all rocking out to Smoke On The Water. I think I've probably turned my kids into social outcasts in the playground. I can just see their friends going, hey have you heard the new Taylor Swift  (or whoever) album? And my kids going, no, have you heard Led Zepplin? It's funny, one of their friends was wearing a Nirvana T-shirt the other day, and so I said to them, you like Nirvana huh? To which they replied, Who's Nirvana?.. DOH! Having said that, my eldest goes to Rock School, so atleast she's mixing with others who know who the likes of Deep Purple, Led Zepplin, and Nirvana are (even if it is just the tutors)... Hopefully! But anyway, back to the car!

Despite Mrs Clints insistance that she must drive on the way there, with the Sun starting to go down I got to drive on the way home, shopping, apparently is very tiring. So with me in the pilots seat we headed for home. On the way home it has become customary in my little family to do a lap of town. This is because ever since my littlest Monster could talk whenever we were out in the car she always wants to do a lap of town on the way home. It doesn't matter where we've driven from either, if we drove 200 yards to the shop, lap of town. When we drove back from Germany, lap of town, distance means nothing to her, she wants that lap of town, and so in the traffic on our lap of town I pull up next to a very nice, and very black BMW 635csi. I glance over to see that it was being driven by a fairly attractive blonde woman who I would guess to be in her mid forties, and who upon seeing me looking at her waves at me. I'm guessing that this was because she noticed that I too was in a mid eighties German coupé, so I politely wave back. This would've probably been fine, but then I turned to Mrs Clint, who it has to be said was looking less than impressed already and I said, "A pretty woman in a BMW 635 just waved at me, quick duck down and pretend you're not here!" Not only did her Worshipfulness not duck down, but she decided to give me a dead arm instead! Some people have no sense of humour. Anyway soon we were back at BelongaClint where unfortunately I was unable to assist bring in the shopping as my arm was still hurting. With the shopping unloaded and put away we settled down infront of Stevie the TV and ate our dinner while we watched a couple of episodes of Bewitched, man alive I remember being a kid and thinking that Elizabeth Montgomery was simply stunning, and as I have aged it would appear that nothing has changed to the way I feel about her! Strewth, why don't they make women like that anymore?

Anyway, with dinner finished, and the best part of a months recommended allowance of sugar in one go eaten in the form of sweets that we had bought to give out for Hallowe'en treats I was feeling somewhat restless. Probably the sugar rush! So I said to Mrs Clint that I might just head out for a burble about in the Mercedes. She looked at me and said, why, do you think you'll be able to find the pretty girl in the black BMW again? With my arm still aching a little I replied with, Hopefully, do you have any idea where she might live? Which, before her Worshipfulness had time to respond I quickly followed up with I thought I'd take it for another spin before the auction listing ends and it belongs to somebody else. I'm not sure she was really convinced to be honest, but she accepted my reasoning, and off I went.

After trundling around town aimlessly for a while, and with no sign of the attractive blonde woman in the BMW 635csi I decided that it was time to drive elsewhere. With Roy Orbison now on the stereo I knew that I had to escape the city was sticky and cruel, and so I decided to take the country road route to Portsmouth. As it was about 23:00hrs by the time I left Winchester the roads were pretty qiuet, which was nice, infact I only saw about three or four other cars on the road the whole drive there. Arriving in Portsmouth I decided to just trundle around there for a bit, but pretty quickly I found I was a bit bored, and decided it was time to head off somewhere else. The next destination, Southampton. Once again I stuck to the A roads, despite it being pretty late I wasn't in a particular hurry, and with a bit of Chuck Berry now blasting from the stereo I was cruisin' and playin' the radio with no particular place to go.

Arriving in Southampton I was still feeling less than inspired by my latest destination, and so I decided to just drive straight through Southampton, and on into the New Forest. However not before I indulged in a little traffic light Grand Prix. 

Now, normally I wouldn't indulge in this kind of crêpe, but it was late, the street was big, wide, empty, and well lit, and frankly the disrespectful punks in the Škoda Fabia needed to be taught a lesson. So I'm sitting there minding my own busness at a red traffic light, and this punk kid pulls up next to me, his mate then leans out the window, and says nice car... GRANDPA!! Son of a BI... GRANDPA! Don't get me wrong, I'm in my early fifties, but I don't think that I look that old... To be fair the trilby hat probably wasn't helping my case, but atleast I know which way round to wear my hat, not like these two din-lows with their baseball caps on backwards! My money says that if they were stood outside their car their trousers would be half way down their ass too!! Anyway, even though I figured that their car was a Fabia VRS, and I had a feeling that I was going to get my ass handed to me, I casually selected 'SPORT' mode on the transmission, and gave it a little rev. The punks were giving their little Fabia a damn good rev, infact I don't believe I've ever revved a car as much as these two yahoos were, they must've been bouncing the poor little thing of the rev-limiter! The traffic light went green, and I buried the loud pedal into the plush woolley Mercedes carpet... Hooooooo-WEEEEEeeeeeeeeeee! With almost no hesitation, we were off the big wafty cruiser was hurled forward toward the horizon at a pretty startling rate for it's age, bulk, and beauty, but not only that, we were  even winning! The 5.0litre engine roared and continued to throw the car at the horizon faster than an exocet missile all the way until I reached the speed limit. After reaching the speed limit I levelled off on the go-go juice, because lets face it, standing on the loud pedal that hard can't do the MPG figures much good. Infact, at one point in my little acceleration test I glanced at the econometer which had the needle firmly embedded off the scale on the 'un-economical' driving end. Anyway, after what felt like about five minutes (but probably wasn't) later the two punks in their Škoda Fabia came by, that poor little thing was screaming like a banshee, and sounded like it was about to explode! Hmm, I thought to myself that this probably wasn't a VRS then. Nice car Grandpa indeed... Punks!

Before long I had arrived in Bournemouth, and after a brief tour of the town, where I saw a couple of really cool old Datsuns I was wondering where to go now? By now my Rock 'n' Roll CD, Which I now wonder if having that blaring out the stereo was probably not helping my 'Grandpa' case, was pumping out a spot of Ricky Nelson. It's late we gotta get on home It's late we've been gone too long, too bad we shoulda checked our time, can't phone (because if the police see me on the phone I'll probably get a fine) we done spent ev'ry dime, it's late we're 'bout to run outta gas (probably due to my impromptue acceleration test!) it's late we gotta get home fast, can't speed (too many cameras) we're in a slow-down zone baby, look at that clock, (3AM, are you freakin kidding me, good thing it's not a school night!) why can't it be wrong? I reckoned Ricky Nelson might have been on to something there, if only I'd listened to him earlier.

With a fair old drive ahead of me before I would get to my bed it really was time to head for home, I stopped to pick up some go-go juice, then joined the A31 and stood on the loud pedal once again accelerating to warp factor five! Well, 70ish mph anyway, before I flicked on the cruise control and sat back to enjoy the cruise home. The next forty odd miles went away effortlessly, and the big comfy Mercedes wafted me home in a level of comfort that I have not experienced in any of the other cars that I have bought this year. Every time I drive this I can't help feeling that this really is a special car, it feels special to drive, it feels special to own, it even feels special just to look at. I remember thinking that one of the main things that I didn't like about my Jaguar X-type estate was that I didn't feel that the car its self was special enough, I  mean, it was a Jaguar, surely it should feel a bit special shouldn't it? In my mind when I bought the Jaguar I thought it should've felt very much like this Mercedes. It was an executive estate, an executive manufacturer, it should've felt special, it should've made me feel special about owning it, but it just didn't. Whereas the Mercedes however does feel special, and does make me feel special about owning it, it has real presence out on the road, it even has real presence sitting in your driveway, this is why it's a great car, not just because it is a great car, but because it makes you feel great about owning it, and this is why I like this car a whole lot.

I really will be sorry to see this one go, but go it must.