Young and Stupid

Really, the whole thing could’ve ended much worse.  An old truck, abused through decades of off-road adventures.  A young, stupid, and inexperienced driver setting off across a continent that has killed many seasoned and gritty pioneers.  That it ended it complete brake system failure on an escarpment in New Mexico’s version of the Rub al Khali shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.  The only shock is that it didn’t end in a fiery crumple of metal and a roadside shrine.  What is it about being young and stupid that precludes any pessimistic and realistic thoughts of failure?  Does old age make us more cautious?  Does that caution shield us from greatness? Should I ask myself another rhetorical question?  The answer is…yes.  I think the risk-taking bravado of youth, combined with the wisdom of age and experience, would make an unstoppable duo.  Unfortunately you can’t be two ages at once and when you’re old enough to know how to do something great you’re too fearful to take the risk to do it.  All of which explains why I drove an old Land Rover across North America in my early twenties and now can’t even be bothered to refill my windscreen washer fluid in my grey station wagon.  Good God, Peter!  Grey!  If I were young and stupid I would’ve bought a red station wagon*!  Ahh, to be that age again, to decide that the vehicle shown below would be a perfectly reasonable and comfortable steed to carry me and my co-drivers across the continent.  Oh, by the way, I wrote a book about this in case you’ve missed my shameless self-promotion in the past few months.  Click here to be young and stupid again.

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*This is a direct swipe at my younger sister who just bought a station wagon so bright red that it triggers a salivation response in policemen at speed traps.

Writer, architect, father, husband.

Posted in Events, Writing Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,
4 comments on “Young and Stupid
  1. Ian says:

    LOL, do red cars carry higher insurance premiums in the States? They do here because they are seemingly involved in more accidents. I’m not sure whether that is simply because it is a cheap basic colour and usually more of that colour are sold or red is the preferred choice of poor drivers?

    In the twelve years my wife and I have been together I’ve driven 500K miles in green, blue and white trucks and been involved in just one accident (van ran into me while I was stationary) and I’ve had no breakdowns. In the same time frame my wife has done approx 10K miles and written off one car, crashed another and broken down so many times I’ve lost count. Thus the chance of being involved in an accident or breakdown when my wife is driving is approx 50 times more than if you were with me. Her favourite colour car is red……. 😉 😉

    I hope your book sales are going well.

    • Very funny. I’d bet your wife would argue statistics play no role her in accidents, they just report the facts. Not sure if red is more expensive as my cars have been limestone, tan, white, and grey. My first car, a Fiat Spyder, was bright red, and my insurance was expensive because I was a new male driver. Still a male now, not as new.

  2. Snortus Begortus says:

    Ahh,but it WAS perfectly reasonable. Comfortable … less so. After all, it didn’t break down (well, not really) until I’d already left the trip. Ho ho ho.

    Trip of a lifetime, it was.

  3. Yes, it didn’t break down, “not really”. In an old Land Rover there is a sliding scale of mechanical failures: does it require shirt sleeves rolled up? Do you have to lay on the ground? Will it take less than an hour to repair? All these things mean it is not a breakdown, just a normal Land Rover “issue”. Passengers love “issues”.

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