A COLLECTION OF STORIES BY LUKE TAGG
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SMOKE: Chicks Dig Red Cars

Originally published: 4 December 2003

The Cape Argus was carrying a little snippet yesterday about a British insurance agency that has claimed that after studying over 70,000 files of clients they have come to the conclusion that women looking for love and romance prefer to buy cars with warm colours - particularly red - and once they're settled down then tend to go for cars with cooler colours, like green.

Essentially a rewritten press release passed off as a story, but hey - no publication is perfect. Far from it. Particularly in this country.

The Press Release did get me thinking, however, about the importance of colour.

My condolences to anyone reading this who is colour blind - you might as well be off, as it's only really applicable to us coloured folks. It's Colour Discrimination Day here at The Daily Smoke - all Xerox Pigs to the left, all Full-Colour Babes to the right (chicks don't get colour blind).

I have digressed.

I don't know if women really do prefer warm car colours and I have even less of an idea of how an insurance company could work out that their clients are women searching for love.

It's like they took the form, saw what colour car the female had, checked whether she was single or married, made notes and drew up a press release. Nothing like a snoop around client files and some free publicity from content-starved editors to punt your product.

The Press Release went on to point out that the company's super-sleuths had discovered that single men search for attention by driving black cars.

Now that's something I could have told you for free, saving you the endless hours of searching through 70,000 files, but nobody ever asks. I'm hurt and mortified and all that stuff.

Before I slip into camp here let me avoid it all together and go straight to the heart of the matter - I have yet, to this day, to ever see a woman driving a black car.

Now I'll get thousands of emails from earnest young ladies showing me their bre - uh - informing me of the fact that they drive a black car, to which I will auto-respond with "Yes - but who paid for it?"

And before I get a letter of reproach from Black Sash or a welcome home card from Wifebeaters.com, let me point out that while I don't believe that any woman driving a black BMW Z3 actually chose that car and bought it, I will concede that the possibility exists.

In much the same way I will concede that the possibility exists that the Insurance Press Release was actually inspired by the pen of an intrepid field reporter, hunkered down in the mire of corporate Britain and reporting breathlessly from the insurance trenches.

Yes - the possibility exists.

Just in case there's still any misunderstanding - I would never buy a pink car. Does that make it worse? I'm not suggesting that women would buy a pink car, and I'm not suggesting they wouldn't. All I'm saying is I wouldn't. I'd buy a black one.

Christ - I have this falling feeling. Like walking over a cliff in a dream?

But I'll soldier on. This wasn't supposed to be about cars or women, despite the blatantly misleading title. It was supposed to be about colour. It's my big problem - I never see anything in black and white.


Some people are very particular about colour - things have to match; the colours have to make the right statement; in many cases the colour becomes the defining image of that person.

Think Reece Witherspoon in Legally Blonde (I've never seen anyone as pink), or Trinity in The Matrix (black and chic - very dangerous), or Shaleen Surtie-Richards in Egoli (hang on - we're moving into floral prints here).

In the '80s I had the misfortune of buying the fashion a little too late, and when everyone was getting more modern and less '80s I was dressed in a tight pink shirt and baby blue trousers with a white pvc belt stitched into the waistband.

There may have been white shoes in there somewhere, I don't remember - it was all too traumatic and now I'm starting to morph into a Big Wet Jessy.

But when I hit my student years I went all black - absolutely everything - and it wasn't goth or punk or mystery or rage. I just discovered that I liked black and so it has remained until today. I'll throw on deep blue shirt, or maybe a white one, but the rest is always black.

Call me conservative but I've been through the mill of peaches, oranges, baby blues, browns, greens and pinks, and I never intend to return. You just cannot offend anyone with black.

Which reminds me - are you colour blind folks still around? I told you this wouldn't appeal to you. How'd you like that last paragraph? Peach, orange, blue = black, black, black. You poor bastard. Hope you pull a blonde tonight. Or was she brunette?

Women all wear their fair share of black and usually for more formal occasions, but they are far better predisposed to looking good in a kaleidoscope of colours than the fat guy with the long hair at the back, in the Hawaiian shirt.

Women look good in most colours, although only a certain type should ever attempt canary yellow. What type, you ask? The type who looks good in canary yellow.

And to round it all off, and perhaps bring the the title of the piece back from the brink of obscurity - there is something to be said for a hot little number in black in a sexy red car. A hot, hot little number. In her hot red car.

Filthy, man. But I can dig it.

All Smoked Out,
Luke Tagg
Spending time online does bad things to a person, but I'm OK.

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Copyright © Luke Tagg. All rights reserved. A few lefts as well.

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