From Rootes Review

Vol. 10, #7, July 1985

by George Roberts

Sigmund Freud would have had a field day psychoanalyzing a Sunbeam Tiger owner.

Are we normal or are we mentally unbalanced?

There is a shroud over the Tiger owner’s brain which is activated at any unsuspecting moment or place. This “SHROUD” is totally composed of Tiger related knowledge. It is an awesome power; it does not communicate with the rest of the brain to question where funds or time will come from to perform any Tiger task, it DEMANDS, and like a spoiled child almost always gets its way. “NEW PAINT,” it says; “MORE POWER,” it says; “MORE CHROME,” it says; and we are helpless-wives, children, friends are shunned, the SHROUD has commanded and we must obey. We are but slaves to perform bodily tasks for the SHROUD’S requests.

The SHROUD is not content to disease only its host; it has the capability to infect beings who come in contact with the host. Its power is sometimes diminished in this transference but, in certain instances, it festers and becomes just as over-powering in the recipient as it was in the main body. Whole families have been known to jabber incessantly to anyone who lends an ear, “My Tiger …0ur Tiger….” The disease spreads unfalteringly to friends and neighbors; no one is safe from the SHROUD’S power. Many a Tiger owner has become an owner because of his or her contact with an infected Tiger person.

Reliability, dependability, family car are words that are ignored when the SHROUD is present. Some foolhardy owners may babble about reliability and dependability but they don’t seem to count the many hours spent in the garage preparing for a trip with the Tiger; the SHROUD clouds their memory of these times.

Unknowingly we become exaggerators and deceivers when the SHROUD demands. How many times have you heard or said: “I’m just going out to the garage to work on the Tiger for a few minutes.” The person who says this knows he or she will not be a few minutes . Hours later they will, still be laboring on their Tiger.

“I’m just going to take her for a little test ship; I’ll be right back.” Ha, a little spin; be right back. Possibly it depends on our understanding of the words little spin and right back. In comparison to a cross-country trip our little spin might be, in our minds, just a little spin, but is this what we meant; we deceived. In terms of weeks, be right back is appropriate when we drive up hours later. The SHROUD seems to exaggerate our basic knowledge of words.

“That little part, it was only ten dollars.” We do not finish this sentence by saying, “when it was available in 1966–I got it for only fifty dollars yesterday.” The SHROUD chuckles.

“My Tiger, it only leaks a little.” Again this is based on our understanding of the words leaks a little. Compared to the sinking of the Titanic, our Tigers do, only leak a little..

The SHROUD has other characteristics also. It loves to be flamboyant. Attend a Tiger meet and you will quickly see the SHROUD’S presence. Men, women, children walking around with every available Tiger remnant hanging from their bodies: T-shirts, jackets, belts, jewelry, caps, rings, necklaces, complete costumes; all with Tiger emblems, pictures or Tiger stripes. The Tiger owner is one of the easiest people to buy presents for, buy them anything with a picture of a Tiger on it and they will be ecstatic. Be it a poster picture of a Tiger or Tiger brand laxatives they will treasure it with all their other Tiger memorabilia which already overflow from packed drawers.

Are we normal or are we mentally unbalanced? Don’t visit your psychoanalyst, we might never see you again. Got to run. I need: MORE CHROME, NEW PAINT, MORE POWER, NEW HEADERS, MORE CHROME, MORE POWER…

The SHROUD chuckles.

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