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22 April, 2004

Mustang Sally

Following the lead of men d'une certaine age wielding tiny appendages, Lola LebCan (currently unable to access any appendage, large or small) has splashed out on a scarlet sports car. Quite how the dust, heat, pollution and danger of Dubai's roads lend themselves to topless driving - the car, not Lola - not yet anyway - is anyone's guess, but at least cruising for a bruising down Palm Strip in style is now possible.

A sports car is indeed a brave choice, in a country where not even armoured tanks provide significant defence against the appalling driving. Dave, a defensive driving instructor at a major oil multinational, inspires only despair.

"Look past a few glassy buildings - you're in a place that's basically two thousand years behind. The driving here and the police enforcement aren't going to improve in any of our lifetimes. There's no point getting frustrated, you need to look to yourself and saving your own life out there."

There is a wonderful though sadly totally untrue anecdote about Sheikh Mo, cruising down Sheikh Zayed Road in his white Mercedes ice-cream van. He spots someone driving like a moron (spoilt for choice, one would assume) and gets the driver to pull over and get out of his car.

Mo shoots him in the foot, and drives off.

Apocryphal or not, in the very darkest of hours - stuck behind a moustachioed subcon Nissan Sunnyman doing 60kmph in the fast lane, stuffed animals blocking his back window and endless beads and CDs-on-string jangling under his mirror - this is a tale to cling to. Regardless of Dave's greater wisdom, this is a parable for all our times. Mo unleashed: the only hope of salvation.

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