Such was my state last weekend, when I scarpered back to my parents' bit of the country for my cousin Paul/uncle Terry's combined birthday shenanigan. It was okay, I suppose. I spent the first bit of the day drinking in the conservatory with Paul's grandfather, whom I don't recall ever meeting before. He entertained me with tales of how his Jewish friend was too fat to join the RAF, how the happiest time of his life was when he was a tailgunner in a Lancaster bomber shooting down Germans, why he doesn't trust Muslims, the way that "The Continentals" have ruined meat for the rest of us... then Dr Sister arrived, allowing me to get on with the serious business of getting quite inappropriately hammered. By the middle of the afternoon, Dr Sister, Neil The Boyfriend, my dad and I had seemingly managed to relegate ourselves to the Naughty Step at the foot of the garden; slightly removed from the rest of the party, but still close enough that we could dive in and grab delicious snackums from time to time.
Meanwhile, two great events have occurred in Sam's life in the last month. Firstly, he has shaved off his beard ("What a strange sensation; I can feel the wind whistling through my chins"), though for some reason retained a ridiculous moustache. Secondly, he has bought a new car. Well, new to him, anyway.
Clearly, the first of these two crucial developments is of little interest to anyone other than Sam himself. The second, however, is somewhat more significant to Matt and myself, as will soon become apparent. Sam's "new" car is the majestic 1988 Volvo 240 GLT (Grand Luxe Touring), commonly referred to by motoring journalists as "The Swedish Brick". It has a genuine leatherette interior.
And this has inspired Matt and I, to no-one's greater surprise than our own. You see, Sam has gone out and bought a car that is clearly rubbish, but that he really likes - although in his defence, it is still infinitely better than his previous car; a Ford Fiesta, mostly composed of rust held together with duck tape, which he attempted to run on chip fat for a while. Anyway, this is precisely the kind of irrational heart-over-head decision that Sam can make with ease (because he is a buffoon), but that Matt and I are far too sensible to ever make - as much as we might like to. What we both need is an excuse to be as dumb as Sam, and buy rubbish cars that we love, but that we know will be appalling to run.
And so we have decided that for our holidays next year, we shall go on a road tour of the British Isles in our rubbish cars of choice. In a kind of Top-Gear-esque fashion, we have budgeted ourselves a maximum of £500 for buying our rubbish cars of choice, and will then vaguely bimble about the UK doing "stuff". The finer details (like where we will go and what we'll do) have yet to be be pinned down, but of course we have already decided what our rubbish cars of choice shall be. Mine will be a Mk3 Toyota Supra; a 3l turbo, if I can find one that comes in under budget.
Matt, meanwhile, is wasting work time searching eBay for a cheap BMW 5-series V8 (apparently considered to be "one of the most elegant shapes of its time").
Our intention is to sell these terrible heaps o' crap once we're done with them...
That's the plan, anyway.