Don't talk to me about the pleasures of driving.
I pay a fortune for petrol.
I pay speeding fines.
I pay parking fines.
I get abuse from young people who blame me personally for global warming.
I was once arrested for a motoring offence.
And I don't even own a car!
It's true. I go everywhere by bus. But, for my sins, I have the privilege of having my name on the ownership documents of my wife's car. Yay. Lucky me.
Having just handed over the entire contents of my wallet to a petrol station attendant for the second time in two weeks, I started fantasizing about having one of those electric cars that I keep reading about. The more I thought about it, the more attractive the idea became.
This was the plan. I buy an electric car. I get an apartment where electricity is included in the rent. I stick a cable out of the window and power the thing up every night. At the end of the month, the landlord gets the electricity bill and almost dies of a heart attack, but it's too late: the contract has been signed and we've paid in advance for the next 42 years.
Just think. No more fuel bills. No more speeding fines (most electric cars can't go fast). No more parking fines (they're so small, you can hide them behind a bush or stick them in your pocket). No more abuse from young people for causing global warming. And best of all, I can impress Gadgetman, a friend of mine whose respect can be purchased simply by getting the latest piece of technology.
There are at least three electric cars being developed in Asia. I tracked down one of them. It was called MyCar and it had been created by designers and engineers at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
It was so cute! A tiny little two-seater thing, it only had two gears: forwards and backwards. It only takes five minutes to learn to drive it. "And in some places you can drive it without a license," one of the developers told me.
This is because its engine is so small that it cannot legally be classified as a car. It is more like a four-wheeled scooter, a bladeless lawnmower, or an oversized electric razor with wheels.
"I love it," I said. "When can I buy one?"
"Everybody asks that," he replied. "You can't." Although most electric cars are made in Asia, you can't buy them here.
I went to see Gadgetman. "I'm thinking of getting an electric car," I said. "I've just been to check one out."
He shook his head. "So old fashioned," he said.
I was surprised by his answer. He went on to explain that the electric car was invented in the 1830s. A century ago, 50 per cent of cars were electric. They held the record for speed and distance travelled until 1900. They died out in the 1920s because businessmen saw more profit in the petrol-engine car.
Anyway, for the time being, we have to stick to our current mode of transport. Oh well.
I suppose there are advantages to having a really old car, like ours. For a start, it's insured against fire, theft and dinosaur attacks.
Everything I need to know I learned on the road