On the Monday following the Americarna parade, I was politely asked in the office if I had enjoyed watching the cars and the associated festivities.
It is possible that my enquirer had associated these old bangers with aged people such as myself, and perhaps innocently thought that the sight of so many of the vehicles of one's youth might have roused some nostalgic reminiscences buried deep in the psyche.
Bad question. The enquirer was left in no uncertain terms that there are certain levels below which one declines to reduce oneself to, and gawking at antique gas guzzlers surrounded by a bunch of knuckle-dragging petrol- heads is well past that limit.
I accept that my attitude to this ''festival'' is seriously at variance with the greater proportion of Taranaki's great unwashed. But even still, it never ceases to astound how the mass of onlookers seem unable to associate (even remotely), these hideous monstrosities with the worrying climate change trends.
When I inform anyone who cares to listen that I was as equally appalled by gas-guzzlers as a young person as I am now, they look at me in bewildered disbelief. Can you believe it?
Some of us - even now - actually make a special effort to queue up to cheer the bloody things and wave flags at them as they trundle past still belching excessive CO2.
Why is it so hard for your average Joe Bloggs in the street to spot the connection between increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to their currently worrying levels with the squandering of limited petroleum resources for decades by idiots being persuaded to buy overweight cars with grossly inefficient engines?
And in this respect, the current buying of two-tonne all-terrain SUVs to mainly go supermarket shopping is no different in principle to past generations buying ridiculous over-the top yank tanks of Americarna credentials.
About the only good news in Monday's paper was that last weekend's effort was John Rae's last. Let us sincerely hope that this province comes to its senses, refuses to tolerate this obscene nonsense any longer and pulls a shroud over Americarna.
JOHN DE BUEGER
- Taranaki Daily News
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