Window of opportunity

Car window activity has waxed and waned over the years. There are fewer things happening on car windows; even tax discs have gone.

During the ‘60s, I would travel in a relatively naked Ford Popular with my parents in and out of Balham with nothing more than “AUG 64” displayed in the bottom corner of the windscreen.

As things developed, people would add where their car had taken them (we had a sticker proclaiming ‘VENTNOR’ – I’d have preferred something more exotic like Vienna, Vietnam, the Viking Coastal Station).

People then began adding their names (it was always a couple, having BILLY NO MATES plastered, in a green laminate, across the top of your windscreen wasn’t ideal); you’d walk down the streets and see RENÉE RENATO; BURKE HARE; ADOLF EVA and suchlike adorning the cars.

Behind the names, dangling, would be a pair of furry dice the size of which looked like they’d come from a Brobdingnagian Monopoly set.

I could never understand the use of a nodding dog (usually an Alsatian) – hardly a deterrent to car thieves.

Furry dice has since been superseded by worry beads (with the state of my driving I should have a Vatican’s worth of rosary beads hanging from my rear-view mirror) or tiny fir trees, like the ones The Borrowers would use at Christmas.

Nowadays you know how many kids people have ‘on board’; their other car is a Dinky and, if you’re Scottish, a sticker saying ‘ÉCOSSE’, as the French dislike the Scots marginally less than they do the English.

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