Nothing Rhymes with Volvo
By Mattie Lennon
I’m trying to set up a support group called VOLLOCS; with a V. (Acronym
will be explained anon)
You see I owned a Morris Minor in the seventies………….. Which
reminds me. Have you ever noticed, apart from the social possibilities
afforded, the literary merit of the MM.? Fair play to Christy Moore,
Richie Kavanagh and Micky McConnell they saw the rhyming potential of the
Morris Minor; Dine ‘er, Wine ‘er Baldy Miner, Recline ‘er.
Try working Peugeot, Chrysler, Citron or Hyundai into a villanelle or a
Have you ever heard anyone stand up at a Fleadh to sing; ” The Toyota
Camry Car”? And an ode to an Isuzu or a Renault would be utter
Philistinism. I suppose you could rhyme something with KA, but who’d want
I digress. As I said I owned a MM in the seventies and I sustained a
lumber-disc-lesion (slipped disc) to you in the same decade. I contracted
the latter in the back of the former during nocturnal post-dance
activities around Lacken and surrounding areas of the Wicklow Mountains.
I claim the Morris Minor designers/manufacturers were, at least partly,
negligible through providing front seats which tilted forward making
certain pelvic roll-back activities possible, if uncomfortable, in the
rear. There are many places in our towns and cities, where the outside of
a building describes an internal right angle, contagious to the
thoroughfare. Have you ever noticed that, in such corners, there is
sometimes a convex railing, with a spiked top, in position? This was a
Victorian device for the purpose of discouraging erotica while parallel
with the perpendicular. Why couldn’t Sir Alec Issigonis have designed, if
not spikes then, some form of deterrent in the back seat of the MM?
But instead of inhibiting they subtly advertised the added facility. A
promotion leaflet from fifty years ago reads; “……..relax in perfect
comfort in the rear seat of the Morris……the seat is extra wide and
deep and there is extra legroom…..deep pile carpets pad the floor….”
More recently Paul Skilleter in a Technical and Historic; analysis of the
Morris Minor says it; “….gave a standard of ride-comfort such as had
never been experienced in a small British car before………is more than
a car…..it is a familiar, dependable friend that does everything asked
of it….has well planned accommodation inside”.
And what did the late Ian Nairn mean, when he wrote, of the MM, in the
Sunday Times,;”…..there is no way I can see a comfortable solution to a
passionate embrace in the back seat?”
Bad back or no bad back it would be sharp practice on my part to take
legal action against the designers of a machine with such attributes; and
anyway Sir Alec Issigonis didn’t leave forwarding address. Of course I
mightn’t fare very well in court anyway; and it would be less than prudent
to call a witness.
I see, now, where the British inventor, Cris McGlone, has applied for a
patent for the “Posture Perfect”; a buzzing leotard. If the wearer adopts
a wrong posture an alarm will go off. I wonder……….
A friend of mine, a shopkeeper, claims the aforementioned alternative
gymnastics are not possible in the MM. (This man once owned a Morris
Minor, but it must be said he has a perfect back) “I’ll show you how
possible it is” says I ” Get me a Morris Minor and a………”
Then I remembered the words of Nicolas Boileau; “Chaquee age a ses
plaisirs…” (every age has It’s pleasures) I am anno-domino-barred.
However I felt obliged to point out to my friend, the shopkeeper, that
when Dermot O ‘Leary was promoting “The Oldest Swinger in Town”, it wasn’t
a Prefect or an Austin Seven he used on the posters.
I’d swear the ancient Romans knew the erotically appealing properties of
the MM; do you remember that little red car in the background in Ben Hur?
It certainly wasn’t a Romeo or a Lada.
‘Remember the character in Lee Dunne’s “Does Your Mother” who was
conceived in a watch-mans hut; he was called “Watchbox”. Now wouldn’t
Morris Minor make a better name for a person than, say, Ford Orien or Opel
A University-of-California study has found that men whose initials form
negative acronyms e.g. P.I.G. or B.U.M. die 2.8 years younger than those
with initials like V.I.P. or W.I.N.
It would hardly be conducive to longevity to be called Volvo Diesel or
And speaking of longevity; the next time you see some fellow walking with
difficulty ( I would have every sympathy with him, he is in pain but) ask
him what’s wrong with him. He will quote all sorts of erudite specialists
and tell you we evolved too quickly. We weren’t intended to stand up
straight, he’ll tell you. Then you’ll have to listen to all sorts of fancy
terminology; Scoliosis, Lordosis, Lor…this and Lor..that. Just listen to
him for a while and then innocently ask; “Did you ever bring a Morris
Minor to a dance”?
If you happen to see my old Morris Minor on the road the Reg.No. is 7440
IK have a look at the current driver. If it’s male and walking in the
manner described above, there is a good chance he didn’t heed the warning
on the faded bumper-sticker; PRACTICE SAFE SEX, AVOID THE BACK SEAT. Oh I
nearly forgot the acronym. VOLLOCS= VICTIMS OF LATENIGHT LIASONS ON CAR