Building a Better Bloke

Pop the boot to a man’s personality

Posted in Uncategorized by Sam de Brito on February 16, 2010

By Craig Heal

Nowhere is a man’s lifestyle and personality so prominently on display as when you pop his car’s boot.

It’s no secret that most men consider the type of car they drive an extension of their personality, but what would surprise most speed racers is that the real soul of their motorised personality extension isn’t what’s under the hood or the size of their woofers.

It’s what lies hidden in the boot – much like a man’s true character …

The car boot displays a highly personalised collection of the most important objects a man regularly requires or believes he needs for almost any situation; be it escaping a zombie pandemic or something as prosaic as his shitbox breaking down.

Think I’m barking up the wrong tree? Scan your own car boot and consider why you need all those objects and how they support your lifestyle and enforce your personality.

To some extent, these items define you. Let’s consider some common items found in the back of boot and the stereotype that jumps to mind:

* Blanket and natty, tweed hat – RSL aficionado pensioner.

* Novelty dice, hello kitty dolls – Seriously arrested development; someone best avoided, especially when behind the wheel.

* Body – Mafia hitman.

* Professional items like a laptop, steelies, PPE – speak for themselves.

Simply put, a bare boot does not suffice and can only mean one of three things:

1. The car’s new.
2. You’ve been rolled.
3. You’re disorganised and lack personal flair to make the car your own.

This begs the question, what should be in your car?

To populate your boot with manly things, objects need to meet at least one of the following three golden criteria. All other objects are surplus and are best left in the garage:

Items must be used frequently.

Items are regularly needed at frequent destinations.

Items used in case of an emergency gear.

(I can’t stress the emergency gear enough; pack the basics you need and know how to use them. The basics of jumpstarting a car, changing flats and oil filters are core skills every bloke should master.)

This brings me to items that should not be in a man’s car.

* Porno mags – this is unbecoming. Get rid of them or at least hide them under the spare tyre.

* Heavy, hard objects – what’s with men carrying stuff in the boot that’s surplus to requirements? The weight drops fuel efficiency and the heavy objects are liable to become mobile car panel beaters when you corner at speed. Lose the clutter.

* Though not strictly in the boot, but worthy of mention, are “Baby on Board” stickers – I’ve heard a variety of explanations for why doting dads have these. The stupidest reason expressed was along the lines of “if I have an accident, the rescuers will see there’s a baby in the car and rescue them first”. Okay, I see the logic, but if the rescuer needs a sign in order to find a baby in the crumpled wreck of a car, you’ve got bigger problems.

So what’s in my car?

Most of the items in my boot are the product of trial and error and unforeseen circumstances where I swore black and blue that I wished they were in my car. They are what’s important to me and you may now cast your own judgment upon my personality and lifestyle.

* First aid kit and book, jumper, lighter, torch – I don’t like emergencies and if I’m in one, I don’t want to be for long. The first aid book is for any dummies that might feel inclined to rescue me, should I find myself covered in claret. I’m blindly confident the book will fly out and open on the correct page should this ever eventuate.

* Boardies – I’m manic about swimming and impromptu stops at the beach.

* Car tools and recovery kit – they’re worth their weight in gold and will save you a motza compared to a tow.

* The newspaper and sport equipment – for general amusement.

* Hazard lights and steel caps – I work in the infrastructure industry, nuff said.

* Hair gel – one can’t always look like they work in infrastructure.

So what unusual items do you have in your car boot that you can’t live without? and what are other items that blokes should have in their cars?

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8 Responses

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  1. The General said, on February 16, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    Mine has a toolbox with a First Aid Kit, a small umbrella (which I haven’t put back from the weekend) a torch and a car battery charger.

    I have used the torch to help a former colleague inspect damage to her parked car once and should have had the umbrella when I got caught out in heavy rain. Thankfully haven’t needed the First Aid Kit yet and my car is just over 3 yrs old so haven’t required the charger as yet. Expecting I will though.

    Re the other mandatory contents of the boot, every bloke should also know how to change a tyre, methinks.

  2. Big Rob said, on February 17, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Fire extinguisher….apart from the obvious also handy for pranks.

  3. Eric um-Bist said, on February 17, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Set of golf clubs and champagne bucket

  4. Nomad said, on February 18, 2010 at 1:02 am

    I dont own a car.. what does that say about me? does it make me less of a man?
    Not that I am anti-cars, i just dont need one.

  5. blackops said, on February 21, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    arr, well, in the back of the ute presently…
    spare tyre, jack, wheel brace
    toolbox, jumper leads, d-cell maglite…

    half a sheet of gyprock (i work in construction, ok..)

    swag, to cover uncertain accomodation arrangements over australia day weekend…

    i reckon i’ll be trading the old girl in shortly. but when i do, there will be a neatly packed milk crate with enough stuff to get me (or someone else) outta trouble, which would probably constitute most of the stuff in the first three lines. funny, i met a young guy tonight while jump starting a car for a friend of my girl, he knew sweet fuck all about cars and how to do things. not to sound ‘blokey’ or macho or whatever, but it’s not that hard…

  6. Andy said, on February 23, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Spare tyre – an apt symbol for my ever increasing girth, borne from being confined to a cubicle.

  7. Mikey said, on March 18, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Have lots of work gear and a Bass speaker box. I was to lazy to lug upstairs last night and have a gig Fri. Glad for Station wagons.

  8. XLesky said, on March 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Well I’ve got 2 cars, does that mean I have a multiple personalities? Both are Valiants, because they’re unkillable, affordable and I just plain hate modern cars (I’m in my early twenties, thanks for asking!)

    My general daily driver, being a 35 yr old car has all you would expect a car of it’s age to take care of unforseen events (oil, water, fanbelts, spare, shop manual). It usually has a set of casual clothes and shoes in it (I’m in a white collar industry so getting out of the suit is a relief), a Chrysler parts manual as I’m an enthusiast and often might find a car in a paddock or be offerred parts and need to know my stuff, and a car detailing products (Chrome polish, micrfibre towels, chamois) because I attend alot of car shows throughout the year.

    My other car, being the weekend/Friday/project/muscle car it generally has an empty boot, It had no jack when I got it, the spare was buggered and since I put maybe 200k’s on it a month and most of those aren’t far from home it doesn’t need one. There’s also no water, oil or any tools in the back as the Hemi engine in it seems to be unstoppable (believe me, I’ve tried!).

    So based on this, what would your diagnosis be, Doc?


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