The Citroën Dali

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The Citroën Dali

The Citroën Dali

“Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole”
– The Modern Lovers

Last Thursday evening we were driving home from Wales. Clare was sitting beside me and the kids had fallen asleep on the back seat. The two grown-ups were about to have a proper grown-up conversation when a jet black Citroën Xsara Picasso overtook us somewhat aggressively. The grown-up conversation was put on hold. “The Citroën Picasso,” I snarled with mild indignation. “What do you think old Pablo would have made of that?”

“I wouldn’t know,” said Clare. “Why don’t you tell me. I can see you’re itching to.”

So I did:

“I think he would have hated it. I mean, there he is: this major big-ass icon of the 20th Century, a bona fide cultural heavyweight who revolutionised art and transformed the way in which we see the world. People like that don’t want to end up becoming synonymous with a safe and sensible family car. It’s bad for the image. If you ask me, I think he’d be pretty damned furious that his descendants were so willing to whore his name off so indiscriminately.”

“Really?” said Clare, somewhat dryly. “I bet they didn’t get a penny.”

Really?” said I, somewhat dimly. “That makes it worse. At least, I think that makes it worse.”

There was a moment’s silence as I gathered my thoughts and watched the red tail lights of the popular MPV fade into the distance.

“It’s all about design principles,” I continued. “If you’re going to name a car after someone like Picasso then at least try to remain faithful to your source of inspiration. A proper Citroën Picasso wouldn’t look anything like that. For one thing, there’d be none of those functionally streamlined elegant curves. The real deal would be cube-like, wilfully asymmetrical and feature oblique references to the Spanish Civil War. Plus, all the wheels would be different sizes.”

“It’d be a bugger to drive,” said Clare. “You struggle with parallel parking at the best of times.”

I was now in full-on monologue mode, so I managed to deftly side-step my partner’s sarcasm: “Why stop with Picasso?” I said. “I want to see a range of family-friendly, design classic MPVs inspired by the greatest artists of the 20th Century. Just imagine a Citroën Dalí! A vulgar egg-shaped monstrosity with a massive pair of waxed windscreen wipers, a melting speedo and a Sat Nav that refers to itself in the third person.”

“Or a Citroën Pollock,” said Clare.

“What’s that like?” I asked.

“It’s like a Citroën Picasso that’s been in an accident.”

2017-05-25T14:24:07+00:00

About the Author:

Tom is a mostly funny writer, sometimes illustrator, and lapsed stand-up comedian based in Birmingham, UK. Currently an Expert Blogger at Time Out Birmingham, he's had humour pieces, illustrations, and articles about popular culture published in print and online publications.

5 Comments

  1. Princess Boo June 4, 2009 at 7:01 am

    Claire Rocks! xx

  2. Tom June 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Indeed she does ;0)

  3. Nicky June 10, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    I'm suprised you could identify a Citroen Picasso, even more suprised that you know what an MPV is… I haven't forgotten you asking me if I thought your 'so bald you could see the follicles' tyres were okay 😉

  4. Tom June 12, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Ah, Nicky – since then I've undergone an extensive car-awareness re-education programme, although I still need to work on my parallel parking.

  5. Nicky June 14, 2009 at 8:01 am

    I appear to be going backwards, I'm mostly driving a Moggy (again). I keep getting smiled at.. I like to think I've brightened people's otherwise grey days but I suspect it's really just pity 😉

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