En garde!

A few evenings ago, my wife & I were returning to our car after having a pleasant dinner with some friends. My good mood was quickly soured by the arrival of a grubby reflective vest containing a surly character demanding money. Naturally, when I refused, he launched into a lengthy string of curses that made a lot of reference to the female anatomy. Fortunately another group of diners left the restaurant at that point and he took off in persuit of his new quarry at high speed.

It wasn’t all that long ago when there wasn’t such a thing as a car guard. Then, almost without warning, they appeared, multiplied and it became impossible to park anywhere convenient without being accosted by someone mumbling something along the lines of, “…look after your car…”. Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe in paying for a service of value, but I fail to see what value a car guard adds to my life. Anyone who has had their car broken into while being ‘looked after’ will know what I mean.

Practicalities aside, the thing that really irks me is the fact that this so-called ‘service’ is imposed on me whether I like it or not. Surely if I wanted someone to look after my car, I would ask? It’s the equivalent of a dietitian wandering into a bar and telling a patron, “That beer could be bad for you. It’s more healthy to drink water. Okay, now give me money for the consultation or I will curse you unto the seventh generation”.

Many other examples spring to mind.I have been told by well-meaning, but otherwise misguided people that I have “so much more” your average car guard. True enough, but I don’t believe this places an obligation on me any more than someone who drives a luxury German sedan is obliged to replace my crappy town runabout.


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