According to a press release that’s just appeared in my inbox, what with it being Valentines Day and therefore a guaranteed one-way street to the centre of Hades as far as the PR and advertising industries are concerned, men should forget trying to impress women with flash cars – because that’s not what they’re interested in apparently.
Instead, according to the good people at easyfundraising.org.uk – which is ‘a free and simple online shopping facility that helps consumers to support a cause of their choice’ – what the women of today really want is a chap with a charitable heart, someone who supports good causes, not someone who drives about in a bright red Ferrari with his undercarriage metaphorically on display.
Psychologist Dr Penny Goldsbrough says; ‘Today’s woman is looking for a man with strength of character, rather than the car he drives' (which makes not a lot of sense grammatically, even if the sentiment is obvious – but then that’s the PR industry for you in a nutshell).
Dr Goldsbrough goes on to claim that ‘We’re moving away from a ready, steady spend society (you don’t say, Mrs Sherlock) towards a more caring culture. We’re no longer as concerned with peer pressure and keeping up with the Joneses,’ she says.
According to the statistics unearthed by easyfundraising.org.uk (because there are always statistics in press releases such as this, if only to prove that what’s being claimed is indeed 100 per cent true – at least as far as the eight people who were canvassed in the easyfundraising office are concerned) 73 per cent of women like chaps who support a charity, while a mere 27 per cent want a feller with a Ferrari.
One of the more intriguing observations not mentioned in the release is that this appears to mean there’s no middle ground in this instance; it’s either charity support of Ferrari ownership, and that’s it. If you drive a Lexus and are really good with kids but don’t donate half your annual salary to help the aged, forget it; the woman of today isn’t interested.
What puzzles me most about this particular release – which by the way is entitled ‘women prefer charitable heart to fast car’ – is what its writers think I’m supposed to do with this not exactly shattering piece of information?
Am I supposed to run into the street and hand the keys of my long term BMW 1M to the first homeless person that happens along? Should I try to get hold of Bob Geldof and offer my services to the famine relief in Ethiopia? Perhaps they think that, after being made aware of this astonishing news, I should terminate my interest in cars, stop earning money from writing about them, and pop my left testicle in the post to the Dalai Lama?
Or did I just get out of bed the wrong side this morning, what with it being you-know-what?