Despite decades of evidence to the contrary, Ross Stapledon, 47, of Chiswick is still firmly of the belief that his shiny new Audi is the key to success with women. He first picked up the notion that nice cars make men irresistible to women when twelve years old and has clung to it ever since, zealously buying a new car every year, despite having been told several times by various women that they couldn't give a toss what car he drives, and despite knowing that most women he meets barely notice either him or his car. The only change in his hopes is that, since he is now married with three kids, Mr Stapledon now imagines the car will bring him not a partner but an extra-marital affair with a woman much younger and hotter than his wife.
While neighbours imagine that when he is tenderly cleaning and polishing the car every sunday he is polishing his substitute penis, what Mr Stapledon is actually polishing is the dream, as yet unfulfilled, that an attractive woman will one day say to him, "Wow, that's a great car. Fuck me please." Every now and then after a couple of pints he will still look hopefully at nearby women in the hope that his dream will be fulfilled. Over the years he has somewhat downgraded his ambitions with respect to the attractiveness of the women he hopefully eyes, but the fact that he still clings to the dream at all after thirty years of owning cars, in which time a car has not once counterbalanced his charmlessness to earn him so much as a second glance in a pub car park, could be seen as a testament to the power of the human imagination.
While Mr Stapledon has never explained his dream in detail to anyone, he shares the idea that shiny cars pull hot women with two other middle aged men he often meets in the pub, and all of them sometimes make sidelong references to the notion. None of the three men ever mention the idea to their wives, not so much for fear of being thought unfaithful as for fear of being mocked for the rest of their lives. They are, nonetheless, unshakeable in their privately held beliefs, having committed on average a hundred thousand pounds each in the course of their lives over and above what they strictly needed to spend on cars, in the hope of one day reaping exciting sexual rewards.
Psychologists say that the key to the resilience of such dreams is that they become imagined in greater and greater detail over the years, thus appearing to offer ever greater rewards even as the real chance of success, always stupendously slim, dwindles rapidly into the distance.