“Mazda man!” was his opening gambit. No, this is not the name of an obscure comic book hero – the man was trying to connect with me on the subject of cars. His remark didn’t really make sense at first, so I just looked at him and smiled.
“I see you’re a Mazda man like me!”
He paused, I realised what was happening and then missed the brief opportunity to end the conversation.
“I’ve had them all – the 626, the old 323, that one…is that a diesel? Great cars, great cars.”
I wanted to point out that I was not a ‘Mazda man’, that he was very mistaken and that I was only driving a Mazda because it’s reliable and my father-in-law sourced it, got me a good deal and I was pressurised (in a well-meaning way) into buying it. I wanted to make it clear that I would not be working my way through the Mazda range, was not comfortable with his assumption that I wanted to join his club and that, in fact, I was on my way to waste ground to burn the car out as a favour to some guy I met in a really tough pub in the West End of Newcastle.
Instead I mumbled a polite response and drove away.