Dear Ford Australia,
First I want to thank you for gifting me the Ranger Wildtrack Double Cab Pick-up for a month. It was really nice of you, especially after I pointed out quite clearly that I have about as much of an affinity for motor vehicles as a rabbit has for attending rave parties offering free myxomatosis chasers.
And A Small Request
Secondly, I feel obligated to offer my apologies for not writing an actual review for either of the cars you have gifted me – the Ford Territory and the Ranger Wildtrack. But that again goes to my complete automobolic idiocy and a previous aversion to talking about anything that has pistons in it.
Thirdly, you know and I know (and now the readers of this website know) that I have not been dealing directly with you; Ford Australia, but with Chris from Pulse Communications.
He’s a top guy; quietly spoken but straight to the point, generous in spirit but with a preference to end phone conversations very abruptly and possessed of a bridled enthusiasm for his job that reminds me of Kevin Rudd; though Chris has less of a penchant for bowl hair-cuts and, I’d imagine; fuller lips.
Anyway, apart from recommending that you continue to work with him for the reasons I’ve detailed in the above paragraph, I have drawn him into this letter because I promised him that I would drive your Ranger Wildtrack into the MCG and write about the experience if he was somehow able to extract five corporate tickets from you so that me, Dad, Trevor, Brendan and John could go to the Geelong V Hawthorn game for free. And it is here where my apology officially begins…
Even though I have not spoken directly with you I am assuming that you have been checking my website throughout the term of our agreement to see that I am fulfilling my part of the bargain. I want to save you the trouble by letting you know that I have failed to deliver on my obligations, once again.
I had every intention of driving the Ranger to the game Saturday night because I really wanted to test out the vehicle’s capacity to host a man’s night of celebratory debauchery. It was only when Chris rang me back to tell me that you had poo-pooed the idea of supplying us with a driver that a little bit of a tiny spanner entered the works.
I tried to argue my case with Chris by telling him that a driver would allow us to drink before the game, on the way to the game, during the game and wherever else we decided to make the driver drive us after the game, but he remained true to the vision of the brand he was representing, saying, ‘Ford don’t want to be seen to be promoting excessive drinking or to be funding a booze-up’.
I replied by saying – quite correctly – that to Ford customers, adding a driver to a booze-up would be considered as revolutionary as adding a blow-wave to a mullet; simply an ingenious way to make a good thing great. But he stood his ground and proved himself to be a great spokesman for the companies he represents. I would have loved to supply a picture of him here but because I don’t have a photo of him, or even know what he really looks like, I can only offer you a representation of how he appears in my mind when I talk to him…
Ford Australia, please don’t interpret my deficiencies as a sign of disrespect. I respect you immensely. You are a ninety-year-old, super-powerful, family-friendly company. You have gifted me a five-seater Ranger Ute weighing in at 2,200 kilograms so that I can help promote it on my tiny little website which – according to the rules of cyberspace – doesn’t weigh anything at all. And, yes, you were expecting me to drive your vehicle to the MCG tonight and to write a positive article about it but sometimes life throws something unexpected you way – like a half a dozen beers – and requires you to be flexible enough and courageous enough to break a promise; to leave one of Australia’s most revered Utes in your driveway and to take your tipsy bogan arse to the footy in a cheap n’ nasty yellow taxi.
Still, every seemingly negative twist in a plan offers a turn towards positivity. I want you to know that I was wracked with an intensity of guilt throughout the night that made me aware of a sudden and profound shift in my consciousness.
Ford Australia, you are entirely responsible for changing the way I experience cars.
Even after meeting Brendan and John outside gate 7 of the MCG and giving them your money in the form of free entry to the game; even after being sucked into one of the pulsing orifices of the greatest sporting grounds in the world; even as we watched the Cats win their eleventh game in a row against the Hawks, my thoughts turned to the Ranger Wildtrack back home.
Pathetically, I held her key in the secret breast-pocket of my Geelong jacket, perched against the empty 200ml flask of whiskey. I imagined her, nay; sensed her, waiting in my drive-way with a whimpering kind of patience, to place my chilly arse upon her heated seat, to revive her cold engine with a flex of my supinators muscle, to inspire her golden roar.
It was only after bringing her into several irrelevant conversations throughout the game that I realised just how taken I was by her.
As I chatted to Shane and Jason – complete strangers sitting in the row in front of us at the MCG – and showed them Ford related posts from my website on Jason’s iPad, I realised something for the first time in my life; I am in love with a car.
When I climb inside her at the Northland shopping centre car park, or throw a bag of second-hand pants into her ample tray outside Savers in Sydney road, or wipe a leaf from her bonnet (like James Dean would stroke the forehead of a giant jungle cat) as I wait for the boys to come out from school, I am empowered by the passers-by who see us together. This beast you call the Ranger Wildtrack – who I have renamed Bettsie – has undoubtedly lifted my profile within the suburbs of Northern Melbourne.
Yes, I am still one of the well-worn teeth within of the jaw of Reservoirian conglomerate but, thanks to Bettsie, I now carry the glint and revere of a molar with a silver filling. When we grace a street with our presence people hear our roar and turn their heads, they park their cars closer to the curb to allow us parade-like access and stand close by with Instagram apps at the ready.
I can’t deny that I am a more respected human because of Bettsie; not only because my natural (but underutilised) air of prance and awe is amplified inside her purring interior, but also because she is the perfect pedestal for my talents.
I have always been a shy man, plagued by insecurities, assuming the most horrible thoughts from the minds of strangers, allowing minor mistakes to shadow my more obvious triumphs, but Bettsie has put an end to that. Together we are the one beast of prominence; risen from crystal-clear waters, shaking uncertainty from our coat, arching our back and crooning our brilliance to the moon like direct descendants of the Gods.
So, as well as this being a genuine apology for my failure to honour the terms of our agreement, this letter is also a request… please let me keep Bettsie!
Surely you can spare her! I can’t bare to think of her being passed off to other bloggers, disrespected and disregarded as ‘the display model’, offered only a temporary glance into the lives of many strangers. I just can’t let her go back to that.
If you give me Bettsie – and in turn provide her with a nurturing environment and a family that truly cares for her – I will continue to speak of her on my website, as she will be a major part of my life.
If you don’t give her to me, I will be forced to adopt another approach… When you send your representatives around to pick her up, I will hide in a closet and not answer the door.
Look forward to your response.
To find out more about this seriously awesome motor vehicle visit the Ford Ranger Wildtrack Page. To join Ford Australia’s Facebook Page so that you can leave a message insisting that they let me keep Bettsie go here.