Are you of the Way?

Sit down awhile, and I shall tell you a tale. A tale of guile, of greed, and of tragedy. A tale perhaps whispered in the long grass, enacted around campfires and carried nomadically across the darkling plains. A tale once told, not easily forgotten. It’s about a Red car and a Blue car. They have a race.

When I was about 6, this song meandered into my head, liked the look of the place, and took up residence. Since then it’s made its presence felt about once a month, often for no discernible reason. I assumed it was just me, that I was special, that the earworm had chosen my brain as its host. Not so.

For last week I saw a tweet indicating the advert was back. This was a lucky escape. If I’d been watching TV and it had turned up, I’d think I’d have exploded. But I didn’t realise this at the time, reeling as I was from the shock of finding someone else who remembered the Red car and the Blue car. So I did some digging.

A quick survey of friends and family was disappointing. Nobody knew what the hell I was talking about. My parents, sister (24), dance partner (25) and friend (30) gave me soothing looks and told me not to worry about things, and would I like a rusk. Rising above this, I realised my fellow twitterer was about my age. I formed a tentative hypothesis: you have to be around 26. Let’s say there’s an age where adverts/jingles get stuck in your head, and it’s about 6-7. This means members of the Church of the Red Car would be about 26 now. I had no evidence for this, but it seemed plausible, and in solidarity with my fellow Churches I decided this was good enough.

Until today, when I idly mentioned this theory to a slightly older friend, and was told no, she remembered it too. An impromptu survey of her friends suggested Red car / Blue car knowledge throughout the late twenties.

So, new hypothesis: the earworm infection period is extended. People under 25 – we’ll call them Too Young – weren’t intellectually developed enough to understand the genius of the Red Car and the Blue Car. People over 30 – we’ll call them Old – were starting to think about other things, like taxes and death. Only we privileged few, between 6 and 9, were susceptible to the Way of the Milky1. This sounds about right.

Scientific tests complete, we can begin further work on recent developments. Here, for the delight and pleasure of the Too Young and the Old, is the new, revamped advert:

Did you notice the difference? No you didn’t, because you’re Too Young or Old. We of the Way shall enlighten you: in the original Blue Car chooses the Milky Way because ‘he knows it won’t spoil his appetite’; now, it’s because ‘it tastes just right’. Clearly the 20 intervening years of chocolate-based investigations have revealed that the Milky Way does in fact spoil your appetite. I’ll add it to the charter.

  1. that’s…that’s not a good thing to say. I won’t say that again []