The Convertible Clause

bullrushes  sunroof 007

We’re having a nice stretch of sunroof weather so I have been retracting with wild abandon. As functional as it is, a sunroof has never been a substitute for driving a convertible. It is, however, the only option which should be allowed once you reach a certain age.

Here’s some background. My first car was a robin’s egg blue 1957 MGA roadster. It was already a classic by the time I got my sweaty, youthful palms on it. It came complete with chromed wire wheels, a removable aluminum hardtop and tiny, tastefully enamelled Union Jacks which rested just above the hood louvres. Though I dearly loved the car I could not afford to keep it. It was bleeding me dry so I made a difficult (but mature, I thought) decision to sell. It was the only convertible I ever owned. It remains the car that broke my heart.

 The Car that Broke my Heart

The Car that Broke my Heart

Though I never completely purged the convertible from my system, I did have the satisfaction of driving it while I was still wild and free. Well, maybe just free. I drove the car at what I feel was a convertible-appropriate time in my life.

I don’t think anyone over the age of 45 should be driving a convertible. I know that’s going to rankle a few of you, especially car dealers. But let me make my case.

You need the right amount of hair to make that car work. What is the first thing that a male driver notices when he passes a convertible? First, you look for a woman behind the wheel. Few sights stir the primal male loins like the vision of an attractive woman with a tawny mane dancing on the wind. Trust me, a man can spot such an apparition eight lanes away in heavy fog.

But if the driver of the convertible is a man my eyes instantly lock on the surface of his scalp, specifically the area of the crown.

If there is even the slightest hint of glint from the sun overhead on the noggin , that’s a guy whose convertible days should be numbered.

There isn’t a person out there who doesn’t theorize that a balding, middle-aged man driving a convertible is having some issues. This is patently unfair. Psychologically, he could be the most stable individual on the road. Still, the perception remains. And if you dare to place a much younger woman in the seat beside him you have truly kicked the cliche into high gear.

I feel very badly for younger men who are the victims of male pattern baldness. Their convertible-driving window is very short. Many of them have decided to shave the head. This fools no one and, at best, buys them about 25,000 kilometers.

Good convertible hair

Good convertible hair

25,000 km left

Little mileage left

Step away from the car

Step away from the car

Lest you despair, there is an exception to the Convertible Clause. An older gent, say someone with grandchildren (perhaps even great grandchildren) who wears one of those English newsboy caps..this man is now able to roll down the street in a convertible on a sunny Sunday and look charmingly spiffy. The roadside reaction will change. The same critics who once said ,’Isn’t that pathetic?’ will flip to, ‘Isn’t that sweet?’ before you can jam it into second gear.

Back in the game

Back in the game

If I’d only kept the MGA I’d been eligible for that kind of exemption in no time at all.


3 Responses to “The Convertible Clause”

  1. Jocelyn Laidlaw Says:

    Hey grumpy,

    I never noticed the glint of sun off the top of your head and I’d like to say I know you quite well. I think your silver white curls disguise the bald spot very nicely. In fact, I think you have fabulous hair…especially when you keep it quite short and tidy. Very sexy indeed.

    Speaking of cars you can’t keep….did I ever tell you that my dad was so stressed over his first car purchased, that he vomited the very first night he brought the car home and promptly returned it the next day?! The salesman was very kind, agreeing that you can’t possibly keep a vehicle that makes you phsycially ill.

    Hope you’ll fire up the shiny new BBQ for us in October.

  2. David Kincaid Says:

    That MG was indeed a beautiful car.

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