Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Of Harry Potter and Of Classic Cars....

I recently went to the Borders bookstore at the Curve and I picked up the latest and final Harry Potter instalment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. In this context, ‘picked up’ meant that I picked up the book, flicked to the final 15 or so pages and read the ending there and then, and later put the book back to where it belonged. Which was on the shelf of some bookstore or some 13 year old girl or boy’s bookshelf. It was as expected, Harry lives, Voldemort dies, the kids (now at least 18 years old) end up back at the point where they part ways and move on with their lives.

The plot twist for the ending was something like ‘the wand of power will be passed on to its rightful heir if the following occurs:
1. in the case whereby my current owner decides to die, he is entitled prior to his death name a heir which will in all realms be my rightful heir. Or
2. if in the case where my current owner decides to die without him naming such an heir, I, the magical all powerful wand capable of destroying the one who in so many Harry Potter books whose name cannot be mentioned will choose my rightful heir.

Of course, in the case of the book, Voldemort didn’t read the fine print, and basically gets killed to death because of it. Somehow, you’d be surprised that in the real world, rich, corrupt businessmen on the same level of evil as Voldemort wouldn’t have a battery of lawyers that could decipher fine print. In this case, fine print as stated on the ownership of an all powerful and magical wand. The ending was too easy; it wasn’t like an ‘Elvis has left the building’ kind of grandeur, but more like a Proton Saga being crushed as it has outlived its usefulness. No one would remember that ol’ Proton Saga unlike if you crushed one Ferrari Enzo. In other words, the ending of the saga of ol’ young Harry Potter didn’t rock my boat.

Somehow, the reason Harry Potter sold was because I’d buy it if I were a teenager. I’d relate to it. I grew up reading Enid Blyton and her books gave the same same pleasure as reading Harry Potter. Kids would actually believe that they would be heroes, even besting grown wizards and warlords. But notice in the real world, a 13 year old kid may end up dead due to various crimes made by adult bad people. It is just fantasy, and in real life or in adult novels, 99% of the time it’s an adult who will solve a crime or a storyline. This is also another thing about Harry Potter novels that fail to rock my boat. It reads like a mystery novel. I rather get my hands on a thriller or horror and not a whodunit. I suppose it’s all about what you fancy in the end. But if I wrote Harry Potter, it’d have death matches instead of funny broomstick chasing a ball type of matches or flying Ford Anglias.

In my version Harry would zap to death his opponents, gets to bonk Hermoine all the time and other girls on a daily basis like James Bond as well as have more of a ‘rock star’ attitude. I mean, he’s Harry Potter, the guy who survived an encounter with some evil dude that no one else has. He SHOULD have some attitude as he’s still a teenager and popular and famous teens should be all cranky and worked up. Voldemort would be like the Emperor or a cross between a Balrog and Mum-RA, Dumbledoer would be more energetic like Gandalf and all the adult wizards would have more brains that they have now. I mean, Harry is young, na├»ve, while skilful as well as being protected by some scar on his forehead. But these older wizards have experience, which should account to something actually. Maybe that’s why I prefer classic fantasy by Tolkein and even Stephen King; they’re either classically written or morbidly written or with a better plot twist at the very end. However there is bound to be those who think I am just plain spoilsport but think about it. It's absolutely true what I am writing about the Harry Potter series.

Now this brings us to old classic cars. Don’t buy them. They’re useless aside from making you remember your childhood. Unless you are young and your childhood was filled with Honda Civics from the 1980s and 1990s. If you intend to buy a classic MGB GT or something of that sort, make sure you got the money and a lot of time to pamper it. I’ve driven an MGB GT, it drove superbly, steering has more feel that most modern cars and pretty ample handling for its 1.8l engine. But expect more from it like a daily commute in Kuala Lumpur or asking it to stop letting it’s petrol fumes from entering the passenger cabin is a hard thing to do. The parts you will have to order from England and they’re not cheap and I hate anyone who’d plonk in a Japanese engine in this car.

Even more recently, I helped reverse a 1957 Austin Healey 2600cc from its garage and I tell you it was hell. The door was small, the steering large, the seats unadjustable, the controls rock hard, the clutch high and the gear vague as doctor’s handwriting. To enter was agony as I had to be slim as a broomstick. To reach the clutch I had to actually reach it with my toes as the seat cannot be adjusted. I’m average in height mind you and I had to reach in. The only thing I enjoyed about that car is its looks and the power. Aside from that, it was sheer hell.

Now maybe that Jaguar Etype would be a different story altogether. Now if only I was ever given the chance of driving one of the most beautiful classic coupes of all time my mind may change on classic cars.

By the way, I have read a Harry Potter novel in full its just I don’t remember which one while I’m writing this and I couldn’t be bothered to look for the title.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Audi TT Coupe at a glance...and some 'smart' People.

I was recently at the Malaysian launch of the new Audi TT coupe and enjoyed it very much. Yes, yes the car was good looking, but I enjoyed the food served there especially. They had those small oderves served by waiters and waitresses, they have music, colourful lights, usherettes and I repeat again, food that was pretty tasty to eat. It was also a rainy night but that didn’t seem to hamper the overall atmosphere. There were lots of people there, rich towkays, businessmen, doctors, lawyers, accountants, maybe some crooks and petty thieves as well as the towkay’s girlfriends, mistresses, wifes etc. I suppose an Audi TT is a good car for a rich chap to give to their girlfriends, mistresses and more.