It was Valentine’s Day. The day when all true lovers should be with one another.
Which meant of course that I was by myself. Or more truthfully with my younger brother. Who was staying with me for a while.
As that day was hot and the distance close, we decided to go to the Brisbane Motor Show. At the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
And it was there we witnessed the dance of true love.
Where men (not all men I suppose), had decided to spend time with the things dearest to them.
I mean what is it about blokes and cars?
Me I was only there for the air conditioning.
Yet there were some boundaries that could not be crossed. Even in the first found glow of true love.
Upon walking in I noticed that the Ford section was quite adjacent to the Holden section. Red versus Blue. One could only imagine the pushing and shoving between the camps as they set up.
But this proximity created a relationship boundary that could not be crossed. As I witnessed.
I recall a couple enter the Holden section. Next, they separated. She started wending her way to the Ford camp.
He didn’t follow. He was not the rescuing type, I suppose. Even on Valentine’s Day.
His body language seemed to display fear. Fear of being contaminated. His red racing colours turned blue.
All he could do was try to call her back.
“You can’t go there, I’ve been a Holden man all my life”, he said.
I mean times have changed haven’t they? Men don’t put cars before woman nowadays, do they? Even on Valentine’s Day.
Yet it seemed they did.
And there was the music. Now everyone knows Valentine’s Day has a soundtrack : slow soppy love songs. But that rule was waived at the 2004 Brisbane Motor Show.
Because there is only one band for the Revheads of this world. ACCA DACCA. So I’m watching in inert surprise at the guys next to the street cars, dancing to Dirty Deeds or TNT. Yet they would stand askance at being asked to dance a waltz. Even if it was Valentine’s Day.
In truth, the only group of people who had taken on the spirit of Valentine’s Day were the car salespeople. Every one of them was dressed formally: suits for the men, evening dresses for the women.
And they stood out like beacons amongst the throngs of blokes dressed in racing colours. Which is a kind of formal wear, I suppose. But for Valentine’s Day?
And the salespeople spent most of their time shooing little boys away from getting behind the steering wheel. And removing the big boy’s handprints from the duco.
And as I left, I found myself a little wiser. Without passing the test, the lesson I learned was this.
Next Valentine’s Day, any Valentine’s Day, if the motor show is on, if any motor show is on, take the car mad motorhead obsessed man bloke in your life there. And just leave him there. Set him free.
For should he refuse or even return once gone, you must be his once and true Valentine.