Sometimes you just get a hankering, a craving, a yearning for a particular kind of thrill, for a certain je ne sais quoi. And in my case, anything that afflicts me can pretty much be cured quickly with a Mazda MX-5.
Which is how I came to pick up a 2016 Mazda MX-5 GS in Metallic Soul Red from the Mazda Canada. Some folks still call it a Miata, but all of us call it heart-stoppingly sexy and fun. That luscious sloping hood, with just the right amount of brawn, sinuously winding its way around the curves of fender. An undulating insolence follows to the tightly cinched rear, as the flippant roadster dares you to bend the rules and go ahead, live a little.
Slipping in behind the leather-wrapped wheel was like being embraced by a naughty friend. In fact, everything fit and cradled my five-foot four-inch frame so snugly, it was hard to believe this car had not been made exactly for moi. Which is, of course, part of the MX-5’s charm. It can make you think that from concept to clay to car, you were its muse, its inspiration. And just for that, it’s going to take you for the ride of your life.
Of course, the timing was impeccable. Here I was, just two days away from the Barbra Streisand concert. With the MX-5 at my command, I could be assured that for about a week, my feet would not be touching the ground! The combined high of live Streisand and MX-5 voodoo was sure to keep my spirit dancing above the of heads of hapless mortals for days.
But there was work to be done, errands to run, places to go, people to meet. All week long, we ran the gauntlet of road crews, stubborn streetcars, and chaotic traffic that is downtown Toronto at its finest. True to form, the MX-5 took over my better judgement and we sprinted along congested thoroughfares with nary a care in the world, outgunning less diabolical vehicles with an exquisitely taunting raspy snarl. Our favourite trick was flouting arrogant construction workers with stop signs, who are really only killjoys hell-bent on dispensing their own little reign of terror. I’d wait until the last possible moment, as the reprobate worker stalked out onto the roadway, hoisting his obnoxious sign. Then, peering out over the divinely arched hood, I’d squeeze the clutch, thrust the gearshift (oh! those short, sweet strokes!) into first, and lay the hammer down, leaving the poor sucker in my degenerate dust.
Towards the end of the week, I relented, and deigned to share the MX-5 with a neighbour. We peeled along the backlanes of the city down to the beach, where a fine tangle of twisty roads beckoned. My neighbour was game for some truly reprobate driving, and the MX-5 blithely massaged corners, shrieked down straightaways and generally tore up the unsuspecting asphalt. We whooped and howled around the main drag, and my neighbour reminisced about how she once dated a guy with an MX-5, which he foolishly traded in for one of those so-called premium brands. Now she’s married to a guy with a Mazda – maybe not an MX-5, but still.
And the Barbra Streisand concert? She was magnificent. Like the MX-5, Streisand is in a league of her own.
Even after all this time, she’s still the best-selling female artist, with number one albums for seven decades in a row.
You can bet that’s a hard act to follow. Unless you’re an MX-5.