Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Tuesday 8 September 2009

It's not big and it's not clever

We’ve all heard them – the cars that cruise past the bedroom window in the middle of the night with open windows and speakers blasting out the jacked-up bass into a quiet street. What goes through their tiny minds, we wonder, and why do they do it? (Although these questions are usually phrased rather more explicitly, particularly at two in the morning.)

Last night’s Gadget Show provided an answer in the shape of young turk presenter Ortis, ‘pimping his ride’ for a car competition at the slightly incongruous Santa Pod Racetrack, Northants.

Eschewing the Aga-sized bank of in-car speakers favoured by his competitors in the entertainment class, he mounted external speakers on the doors of his Golf. ‘This will really impress the girls’, he announced proudly.

So that’s it. An audible phallic symbol. And the rest of the neighbourhood has to put up with the racket even on rainy nights because the driver can wind up the windows and still annoy everyone in the street while he and his passengers play on the built-in games console in the dashboard.

But the worst of it is that this particular car could soon be coming to a street near you; the Gadget Show is offering it as a prize in one of those intellectually demanding phone-in competitions (‘Madonna had a hit with a)American Biscuit b)American Crumble c)American Pie – calls cost £2.50’) so there's no knowing where it will end up.

There is only one consolation when you’ve been woken up for the third time by one of these inadequates cruising past – the theory that the vibrations caused by these speakers can drastically loosen the bowels of those in close proximity.

Sadly there appears to be no scientific evidence for this but I, for one, fervently hope it’s true.


  1. When they go deaf they will find it was not such a good idea. What does upset me is seeing loons like this belting away with kids on the back seat.

  2. I once had the misfortune to be in front of one of these cars at traffic lights and wondered if I'd have to call the AA, as my Jeep had clearly thrown a piston, or something technical.

    But no, it was just the sound system transmitting itself to me through his wound up windows, AND mine...

    The relief when he turned a corner and was gone was palpable.

  3. At least external speakers will be easier to vandalise.

  4. Good point, Ross - I knew that can of tyre foam would come in handy one day!

    belting away with kids on the back seat - like piercing a cat's ears, I bet the RSPCA would be after you like a shot if you subjected an animal to such an ordeal.

    JuliaM; console yourself with the thought that vibrations capable of transmitting themselves through two sets of windows must be having some deleterious physical effect.

    How about starting an urban myth that it causes sterility?


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