I noticed the strangest thing at a party the other night. One of the guys there had just spent around 1 million rand on a Ferrari FXwhatever and was telling everyone who cared to listen (and a few who didn't) about his shiny new purchase.
Obviously this wasn't strange. And neither was the excited male reaction. A lot of tyre-kicking and peering at the engine ensued. So far, so normal. What struck me as funny was the their overall male certainty that the car was going to be a "babe magnet."
"Dude, this is amazing," enthused Billy, the not-so-proud owner of a white Toyota Corolla. "Chicks so dig sports cars."
"Yeah man, the girls will be falling over their feet to jump your bones."
"You lucky dog!"
This illustrated something that I've been wondering about for years. It seems that all men believe that women like sports car drivers. One of the major selling points used in trying to flog these overpriced hunks of metal, is the idea that driving one will make you an instant hit with the ladies.
Like James Bond. Or Lewis Hamilton.
Really, just pick up any men's magazine and see how they tell you it's practically impossible not to be up to your knees in booty if you own one of these "supercars".
"I don't think women think men who drive sports cars are hot, I know they do," said Jaco when I cornered him in our tiny office kitchen. "Sports cars equal money, money equals power and women like power."
Pick up any women's magazine, however, and you'll see that women generally associate sports car drivers with, ah, inadequacy.
So it's power vs. teeny weeny is it?
In an attempt to settle the issue, I've asked around 50 female colleagues, friends and total strangers what the first thing is that comes to mind when they see a man in a sports car.
One said it depended on the car. Italian was great. Vintage was better.
Three said it turned them on.
And the other 46 had various negative opinions with "small penis", "arsehole" and "insecure" coming out tops. Also, there were quite a few "ughs". Which, although I expected it, still surprised me. Because I'm used to women being a lot more forgiving and a lot less likely to base their judgment on things that are so very superficial.
"I know it sounds bigoted," said Meagan, a sweet but sultry intern, when I pointed this out. "But if a man is shallow enough to spend that amount of money on what is ultimately a status symbol, I reserve the right to judge them on that."
Which, I had to concede, was fair enough.
Alma, a sexy pixie type, emailed me with the following:
"It depends on the age of the driver –
20s says: "Daddy still buys me my toys"
30s says: "Look at me, I'm successful"
40s says: "MID-LIFE CRISIS"
50s says: "I bought this in my mid-life crisis, now too stubborn to part with it."
60s says: "I have my toupee stuck on REALLY well."
Yet, funnily enough, none of the girls had a major issue with the cars – the issue was with the drivers.
So is this a case of major miscommunication between the sexes? I would hate it if sneaky advertisers convinced guys to shell out around a million bucks for something that makes them look stupid.
I dunno. What do you think? Let's do a poll. Do chicks dig guys with sports cars?