So there I was, sifting quietly through my e-mails the other day when - 'boing!' - the most hilarious thing appeared in my inbox. It was a press release from Lotus and it read: "News from Lotus; Lotus Exige for East Sussex Police." It was entitled "With great power comes great responsibility."
You’re not wrong there, lads. Even if the release had said that the outer Mongolian police force had just taken delivery of an Exige it would have caused my eyebrows to travel several centimetres north, but I live in East Sussex, so the notion of my local plod tooling themselves up with one of the world’s fastest point-to-point cars, well, it fair sent a shiver down my spine.
I have tried calling East Sussex Police three times since, in order to find out why they think they need a Lotus Exige. And what I really want to know is how they intend to use the car.
Are they going to goad other drivers at night into having a dice with them, and then simply flick the blue lights on and nick them? Are they going to perform any kind of roadside policing assistance when, say, they see a female driver at the side of the road, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, with a broken down Mini Cabrio? If so, where exactly are they going to store all the detritus required to perform such tasks - the warning cones, the jump leads, the spare jacks – in their two seater mid-engined Exige? Or will they simply fly past and carry on enjoying their midnight ride, and call out another member of the force to help lady Cabrio?
And how, precisely, are they going to save their beloved Exige when it goes into lift-off oversteer during a high-speed pursuit using the recommended shuffle-it-through-the-hands police steering technique?
I suspect it's all a PR exercise; the sort of car they'll turn up at cruises and car shows in, and try to look cool to the baseball cap-wearing Saxo VTS drivers of the south coast. As yet though, they haven’t got back to me. I’ll let you know if and when they do. So long as I can stop laughing/crying in the meantime.