It was an extreme reaction from Mrs Pickwick. You buy a Smart car and our sex life is over.
There were two possible scenarios to interpret this warning. The practical one - that should we consider such activity in a Smart Car, the absence of a back seat and the existence of a short stubby gear stick separating us in the car would render such activity impossible. Or the primitive one - that the sexual appeal of a Smart car was such that it was as if I had slipped on a tank-top, put socks inside my sandals and developed a comb-over, thus rendering possible activity unlikely.
The first was impossible as Mrs Pickwick likes her comfort. Researching our various car purchases over many years, she has focused on miles per gallon, low C02 emissions and the interior specification of the car rather than whether she could receive a damn good rogering on the back seat.
The second was more certain. While I have not possessed a tank-top for some years or been able to achieve a combover owing to an absence of anything to comb, she has regularly rebuked me for the sock/sandals combo or prevented me from leaving the house when my sartorial elegance verges on the sanitorial.
My appetite for a Smart car however remained strong despite the stark message delivered by Mrs Pickwick. The desire for continued Wedded bliss however forced me to accept a small window of open mindedness in which to consider other car choices. In my case, the window was the downstairs toilet window with its frosted glass through which nothing can pass apart from a very small cat.
Out of nowhere, the petrol heads of the family appeared to give their views. The house, phone and cyberspace echoed with new words and phrases such as brake horsepower and ABS. The first I had always thought was the slogan of the anti horse party and the second the opposite of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Amenable Bowel Syndrome). Well known makes of car were bandied around. This all came to naught. The essential problem is that I have always occupied the fringes of the Middle Class society, accepted only after an Extraordinary General Meeting which went to a vote. This means when it comes to clothes for instance, I apply the principle Pierre Cardin bad, Cardigan good. The relationship of a man and his car needs to be like a ventriloquist and his dummy. For me, a car had to be Orville the Duck to my Keith Harris, Emu to my Rod Hull. Driving a Mini or Audi is like going to work on the back of a sheep - the world is full of them, they all look the same, they smell as they get older, their road holding is poor and their emissions mean they are bad for the planet.
I continued resolute but outwardly silent in my choice of car knowing that Mrs Pickwick's normal stance on disagreement is that resistance is futile. It is normally necessary to turn her using subliminal messages in the same manner that Derren Brown can convince poor unfortunates that they are being chased by the undead. In this case, the lady turned without my intervention advising me one evening that I was right - I should buy a Smart car. This rendered wasted all my efforts to print the word Smart on sheets of toilet paper in Pickwick Towers, sprinkle the word "Smart" liberally in my conversations with her and fill the house with Smarties.
It was love at first sight when I went to the Smart garage seeing what Smart cars were on offer. Provided I could sit in it without my head going through its roof, I knew that a Smart car was now the only mechanical girl for me. And a week later, I plighted my troth with her and we commenced our life journey together slipping out onto the Stevenage Bypass.
Next came the name. The car is small, well designed and sassy with the ability to remove its top in Summer. I thought of my favourite actress Scarlett Johansson who at 5ft 3ins ticks all of the boxes and named her "Scarlett". Mrs Pickwick put a stop to this pointing out that the car contains only one big tit (me) unlike Ms Johansson and is white. Since then, the car has been named Blanche which suits her better although the tit remains - perhaps her surname should be Amazon.
Blanche is surprisingly roomy and possesses helpful technology. Indeed, you can even watch films in her if caught in a traffic jams for extended periods. I can feel a collection of movies appearing in the glove compartment with car themes - VW Beetlejuice, VW Passat to India, 12 Years a Saab, Renault Twingo Unchained and Jurassic Parking.
Blanche makes me smile when I am out for a spin with her and her top is down. Fortunately, she makes Mrs Pickwick smile as well. She does however provoke "Marmite like" responses from friends, families and casual observers who meet her (Blanche that is, not Mrs Pickwick). Many adore her but an equal amount consider her of questionable taste and impossible to spread.
In the end, it has all ended happily after although with one unexpected consequence. The arrival of Blanche has led to there being three people in our marriage now. Mrs Pickwick and Blanche are now an item, so much so that I will soon have to formalise joint custody arrangements.