You don’t reveal yourself by stripping naked – there’s a limit to how different bodies can look – but by getting elaborately dressed. Put on your most extravagant outfit and I’ll know almost everything about you.
That’s particularly true if you’re trying too hard: if you’re spending lots of money to misrepresent yourself. “Know’st me not by my clothes?” says Shakespeare’s Cloten, a rich thug and dimwit. “No,” comes the reply, “nor thy tailor, rascal, Who is thy grandfather. He made those clothes, Which, as it seems, make thee.”
Now the vehicle we choose to go about in is essentially our outermost clothing. That young fellow thinks he’s clothed, tucked inside his leather-jacket, behind his too-obvious Ray-Bays or dodgy Police aviators or (sigh) Oakley Batwolfs, encased in his Mustang; waiting at a red light, lip-syncing to Uptown Funk. He’s not: he’s on display. The young women in the dull Fiat in the next lane glance, glance at each other, sigh: a small-penis-car – that’s the term women use among themselves. Potential Mustang buyers beware.
Nowadays dealers selling mid-life-crisis cars actually call them that. Your hairline’s not what it was, your tummy’s developing a barely-discernible swell, yet you feel you’ve still got It? Step this way, sir. Alfa Romeo will be your adopted grandfather, because it makes your scarlet 4C, which will remake thee ....