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Top Gear

So I was watching Top Gear the other day. I hate driving, actually, and while there are certain cars that, to me, have sex appeal (Hello, Mustang! Hello, Corvette!), I don’t care what kind of engines they have. I see a lot of truck commercials while watching football, so I know that some trucks have trapezoidal frames and can tow more stuff than anyone should want to tow. Some cars, apparently have twin overhead cams, double wishbone suspensions, and hemis, maybe all on the same chassis for all I know. They probably know how to do triple axels followed by a triple toe loop, too. As far as I’m concerned, it’s really about the paint. I like shiny paint on sensuous curves. I like to watch reflections slide along cars in motion. I like the play of light in complicated hubcaps.

It will thus come as no surprise that my thoughts while watching the show had nothing to do with the cars.

I have decided that the show works because the three men, Jeremy, James, and Richard, are The Husband, The Good Boyfriend, and The Bad Boyfriend.

Let’s start with Richard. He is exactly the kind of adorable, charming, and difficult guy that makes the worst kind of boyfriend. You know that dating him is going to break your heart because he’s not going to settle down to anything or with anyone, ever, or at least before his boyish good looks fade. He’s impulsive and reckless. Lock up your daughters, or at least explain the risks.

Then there is James. James is also adorable, but like an overgrown toddler. I find myself wanting to protect him from the abuses of the other two. He is kind, careful, and considerate. He reads directions and won’t be browbeaten into doing the wrong thing. He has a touching faith in the writers of manuals. He would be the kind of boyfriend who always brings flowers on birthdays, who remembers the names of your cousins, who puts his socks in the hamper. He flosses. He takes his vitamins and his mother worships him. It’s heavenly to be with him for about two weeks and then you want to stab him to death for being so… so… tame.

Jeremy is husband material. He’s basically solid. He’s done his homework. He can balance a checkbook and he’ll mow the lawn (with a ride-on mower, natch). He won’t quibble about taking the kids to soccer practice. And he also has enthusiasms. There is that Murcielago hidden in his heart. He get frustrated and bangs on things. He’s strong, reliable, and human.

The Stig? Oh, he’s a one-nighter for fetishists.

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