Not Buying The Premise

From Longtime Reader Chaz (who had obviously taken his Grumpy Pill earlier), I got this response to yesterday’s post about driving around Italy with a gorgeous actress by your side:

As the son of an actress and a barrister, born to the stage, I have to tell you that the very idea of being obliged to drive an actress, any actress, the length of a country, any country, in a car, any car, is for me a much less than appealing prospect.

Damn it all, man, most of your cars don’t even have a back seat for her to back-seat-drive from.

Were I blackmailed or otherwise coerced into doing this I would select the fastest car and get the whole wretched business over as quickly as possible. Whichever actress came with the car could jolly well keep schtum or ride the rest of the way in the trunk (note effortless use of correct US terminology).

My choice (definitely assuming your stipulation of ‘no breakdowns’) would be the Alvis Stalwart.

And ideally no passengers. One of my recurrent nightmares used to be that of being confined for a fortnight to a compartment on the Trans-Siberian Railway with the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu. As the poor fellow is no longer with us perhaps this one will now subside.

It had me howling with laughter all the way through.

Especially at the vision of Chaz trying to maneuver the Stalwart through some of those teeny Italian village streets…

I understand the problems associated with actresses (having been once married to one) and the exasperating experience of highly-strung, unreliable old cars (former Fiat driver), but none of that compares to the absolute joy of piloting either of them at full speed, so to speak.  In other words, it would be well worth the hassle.

All that said, I nearly wimped out with my choice because, as y’all know, it’s an unbelievably difficult choice:   which gorgeous car?  which gorgeous woman?  It’s a conjoint analysis with so many factors…

…but Gina Lollobrigida and the Austin-Healey combine throbbing sexuality with throbbing automotive power, so #3 ends up being my ultimate choice.

Next Sunday’s post will feature a similar set of gut-wrenching choices.


  1. Good thing it was a fantasy choice, so you don’t have to put up with the inherent problems of driving more than 10 minutes in an open car with a woman over the age of 25 or so at speeds over 20 mph.

    ” My hair is a mess. ” ” it’s too windy, too cold, too hot, don’t go so fast. go faster. too bouncy. …. it never ends.

    1. I see you’ve done that also. And an actress isn’t necessary, any JAP will do (that, BTW, is an acrid acronym having nothing to do with nationality – or religion, for that matter – was acquainted many moons ago with a Mormon who fit the definition perfectly).

      1. Once, on a sailboat moored off the California Channel Island of Santa Catalina, my brother and his friend and I were sitting in the cockpit whiling away the time after swimming and before dinner time, telling JAP jokes. Another of his friends popped up from the cabin, who was of the apparent ethnicity, to complain, “What’s going on here?!”, to the amusement of everyone else on the boat.

  2. > obviously taken his Grumpy Pill earlier

    KInda like Viagra, y’all take pills to achieve what comes natural to some of us…


    And as far as the Stalwart in Italian streets goes…

    When The Wife and I were in Italy we invented a game called “Ancient Ruins or Inhabited Buildings” because it was sometimes hard to be sure.

    I don’t think Chaz would have trouble navigating the streets. I think the architecture might have problems with Chaz navigating the streets. This would be a net improvement for the country.

    1. When I was in Italy, we decided that Italy had a five-hundred year maintenance cycle. That meant that if the street was last paved in the days of Michelangelo, it would be due for a repaving about now, budgets permitting.

    1. My problem is that if I got as far as Rimini with Gina Lollobrigida, I might never get out of there alive.
      Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

      1. A former boyfriend of my cousin once said that the real question in life is “How do you want to die.” He had a more heroic ambition than I do, he wanted to be a fireman, but I have to say here that dying in Rimini with Gina Lolobrigida is close to my ambition in that department.

  3. Regarding your update to the original question – you pointed out you had stipulated the car would not break down.

    Ah, but that was a classic male scoring plan from the movies of yesteryear – “Oh dear, our car has broken down, we’ll have to spend the night in this quaint little motel, and, alas, they only have one room available (Unspoken – I tipped the desk clerk to ensure it). I’ll sleep on the floor, of course.”

    In further thinking on this, you gave us no limit on funding, or time.
    If Sophia wasn’t on a schedule, and assuming said unlimited wallet, I’d take 6 months to make that trip.

    And given that first smitten women tend to be much much much more forgiving, I bet I could do that without pissing her off to the point where I’d have to drive from wherever I angered her to the Straits of Messina with my foot glued to the gas pedal.

    1. With all due respect, you wouldn’t last six months with Sophia. Carlo Ponti did, but he was always away filming.

      1. Hey, I’m not old anymore! You let me be young again!
        Dammit! Can’t I have my fantasy!
        I was rather enjoying the trip.
        Nice little cafes, scenic turnouts with breath taking views on the road.
        Pleasant 1950s movie flirty conversation.
        Entertaining misunderstandings, perhaps a comical run in with the local constable.
        Breath taking views later in the bedroom.
        Exploring the cuisine, the Italians eat Italian food for breakfast you know!
        None of this “you can’t eat that for breakfast” here.

        But you’re probably right, so I’ll settle for a couple weeks.
        Dang it, when you promised the car wouldn’t break down, I was hoping that would apply to the girl too.
        Ah, then again, perhaps it would be me that broke down. Heh.

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