St. Macchinas’ Day, anyone?

I loathe Valentines’ Day. I don’t wish to sound dramatic but isn’t it a colossal, monumental, stupendous waste of time, money and effort?

Of course in the Western World, we’re used to such wallet-emptying nonsense. Halloween is another example of this fleecing flimflam although you can excuse that to some extent because little people seem to like it (I’m talking about children, not Janette Krankie or Warwick Davies).

Before you accuse me of being an Ebenezer I should point out that I’m not like this with everything. I like Christmas. That’s an event for everyone. Valentine’s Day isn’t: it’s solely for adult couples. And nobody knows the meaning of it either. It’s just a commercial opportunity introduced by greedy capitalists to exploit the gullible, the dumb and the vapid. It’s forced upon us every year and we have no choice but to go along with it. We’re hoodwinked into buying roses or chocolates or something more extravagant altogether. For what? It’s ridiculous.

With every orbit of the sun, February the thirteenth looks the same; The greetings card aisle in supermarkets is full of confused looking men who have a bunch of flowers in one hand and some Ferrero-Rocher in the other. It’s tragic. And you can forget trying to get into a restaurant, you’ve got no chance.

To make matters worse, for the duration of the day all we see on social media are cringey posts with captions such as “the boy has done good…”. I scroll through smirking thinking “aren’t you the same girl who only last week was posting “that’s it! I’m not being walked ova again. It’s just me n mi kids from now on!”?” I nosily read through the sea of disingenuous comments wondering why most of her friends are suggesting that she ‘inbox me hun x o x o’. I’m never entirely sure what that means. It’s all very strange.

You will occasionally see a Facebook post from somebody who’s poor partner has been too busy working and raising a family to have gone out and bought a dozen roses and some Milk Tray. We know this because their post will simply be either an angry red-faced emoji or three solitary letters; ‘FFS’. I feel for their other half. You just know that means they’ll be spending 72 hours in the dog house.

It’s 2023. Isn’t it about time we put this insanity behind us? Happily, I’ve got a better idea. Instead, why don’t we have a designated day where we celebrate something worthy of our attention: The motorcar.

The humble car has done more good for humankind than penicillin. By comparison Edison, Franklin and Berners-Lee’s achievements look feeble and insignificant.

The four-wheeled wonder has mobilised the masses. It hasn’t just revolutionised mobility but social mobility too.

It’s hard to believe but only a hundred and thirty years ago, regardless of whether you were a farmhand or a Rockerfeller, you had a horse. That was as good as it got. Nowadays the gap between the rich and the poor has decreased and that’s thanks to the car.

Anyone and everyone can have a car. There are no barriers to ownership. There’s a car for everyone. Big. Small. Fast. Slow. Cheap. Luxurious. You can buy something incredibly beautiful like the Aston Martin Virage or something inconceivably ugly like the Nissan Juke.

What’s more, a car can take us anywhere we like. The automobile has given more people freedom than William Wilberforce.

You know what it’s like when your car is in for a service or repair and you’re left without transport, you feel as though your wings have been clipped. You feel like a child again asking for lifts. It’s depressing.

The other great thing about the car is that you don’t need an awful lot of money to be part of the club. I recently bought an old Fiat Panda for £250 which very shortly I’m planning to take on a 2000 km road trip (you’ll have to check out my YouTube channel for more on that) and I love it. It’s simple and unfussy. It is the very definition of cheap and cheerful.

So why don’t we have a day where we celebrate all things automotive. Wouldn’t that make more sense than being forced into buying an oversized, overpriced card, some Black Magic and begging for a table at your local Harvester?