THE man, convicted last week of having sex with a goat, says that since the arrest, he has “been getting a lot of stick” from his mates.
Well you would, wouldn’t you. I mean, if a friend of mine were to be caught in an allotment up to his wedding vegetables in the back of Billy Goat Gruff, I’d certainly bring the topic up from time to time.
In fact, I’m trying hard to think of anything, anything at all, which is more embarrassing for a man. But it’s hopeless. I’ve been to the far horizon of my mind and there’s nothing.
Well one thing.
Being caught in an MG.
They are, I’m sure, perfectly nice little cars in the same way that skirts are perfectly nice items of clothing. But only if you’re a girl.
A man in an MG is as daft as a man in a tiara.
Back in the days when the world was black and white and everyone walked fast, MGs were very manly indeed.
They were the car of choice for Squadron Leaders, the car you drove after you’d shot down a couple of Hun in your Spit.
But at some point in the early Eighties everything changed.
Maybe it was a feminism thing. Women moved in on the ultimate symbol of manliness. Or maybe it was because the cars themselves became crap
But whatever, the MG became a girls’ car. I tested the MGF when it was first launched seven years ago and I recall vividly thinking that it was pretty good.
The VVC model in particular was fast, it looked good, it handled quite well and thanks to hydragas suspension it was as comfortable as a day bed in the sun. It was also well priced.
But it was still irredeemably girly. Anthea Turner had one and that sort of says it all.
I therefore concluded that anyone with an Adam’s apple would buy a TVR or a Lotus or a Mazda MX5 or a table leg or any damn thing just so long as it wasn’t that skirt in metal — the MGF.
But now the new owners at MG Rover have driven a sewing machine up the front of the skirt and turned it into a pair of trousers.
Welcome to the MG TF — a car that’s as blokey as a rugby prop forward. The hydragas suspension has been ripped out and replaced with a more traditional set up.
And the rubber bushes which isolated the cabin from the road are gone too, so that now everything is sharper, harder, more raw.
They’ve turned Celine Dion into the Clash.
They’ve even managed to eke a bit more grunt from the engines. The VVC now churns out 160 brake horse power and that’s enough to get the car from 0 to 60 in less than seven seconds.
Most importantly of all though, they’ve butched up the exterior a bit.
The front has the look of a kamikaze pilot, the sills are beefier and there’s now a big rear spoiler.
I particularly like the gun metal, super-light wheels.
I took it for a half-day thrash on some of my favourite roads and can report that it’s a blast.
The steering is fast but not so fast you have to drive with your heart in your mouth. Rear end breakaway is smooth and the anti-lock brakes are terrific.
Best of all though is the price. Just £15,750 for the 1.6 and only £19,995 for the VVC.
But all is not sweetness and light. The seats are still far too high and, according to Rover, can’t be changed because that would have meant doing crash tests all over again — something they can’t afford.
They did say, however, that if you buy an MG, they will fit lower seats as an after-market accessory.
For free? I doubt it.
Pity. I liked this car a lot.
I liked the way it looks. I liked the way it drove. I like it’s price and I particularly like the fact it’s all British.
So there you are. The first MG for 20 years that’s less embarrassing than having sex with a goat.
High praise indeed.