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BRAGGING about your car's economy, especially fuel economy, is a bit like spending all day at Glasgow Central in the hope of catching a glimpse of that truly exciting BF 3433 train.

Most of us know at least one of these tragic souls - but would we ever aspire to be one?

Then there are the tree- huggers who brag about fuel economy with a reverent tone.

Every extra mile squeezed out of a gallon of fuel, they imply, is one less baby seal clubbed on the rocks. Not strictly true, of course, but emotion matters more than facts to these types.

As true car braggers know, economy is a totally neutral term. There can be good economy, bad economy and Oh-my-God-I-don't-have-to-fill-up-with-fuel-again-do-I? economy.

GOOD economy is perhaps the most difficult to brag about.

Most self-respecting drivers don't want to be mistaken for the anorak- wearing remnants of a 1982 CND Ban the Bomb rally.

This means that bragging about low fuel consumption has to be balanced with some bad - or heroic - behaviour.

For example, feel free to brag about getting 44mpg while averaging 90mph - just as long as the mileage was clocked up while on a dirty weekend to London.

Travelling 620 miles on a single tank of fuel is also OK as long as you were engaged in developing a cure for cancer while at the wheel. Get the idea?

Bad economy is much easier to brag about. After all, poor fuel consumption has long been tied up with great driving skills.

"It's fine about town, but when I really push it on the open road I only get one mile to the gallon."

It's vital to remember never to show your hand first when confronted by another bragger.

Get your adversary to come up with their fuel consumption figures first. Then it's just a case of lying to make yours lower, proving that you are a faster, more aggressive driver.

There are occasions, however, when a successful bragger must admit defeat over economy.

This happens when they are confronted with the owners of imported American cars, who, while not being braggers, have cornered the market on poor fuel returns. A true bragger should make their apologies and leave, explaining there is a BF 3434 locomotive due any minute ...
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 19, 2001
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