Saturday, 6 December 2008

I Am Curious about Yellow...

Cars, that is...

OK. It began when I was heading south, and being bored, started to count 'Unsuitably Coloured Cars' as a diversion. Well they are out there... puke green, blood stain red, deep bruise purple (the last branded as 'Envy' - dear gods, what colour do they paint the adultery version??) And in the midst of things came the yellow cars.

So I started counting precisely how many 'orrible coloured vehicles I saw on a journey. But in doing so I became very aware of yellow. Not gold - it's just metallic beige, in most cases. (There is one variety that is metallic yellow - you know it when you see it.)There were a lot of yellow cars around - or was it just my perception? They ARE obvious, after all. And (as an aside) some are better than others... a yellow Mini is cute. A yellow Volvo looks like a travelling slab of butter. And it depends very much on the shade of yellow. A pale yellow Fiat looks OK. A saffron yellow Citroen looks ... hell, just weird. (And, as a disturbing aside, there are suddenly more orange Fords around... are the damn things ripening??)

And then I drove down to Mum's place and a wee while later, went to visit a friend in Nottingham (hi Tats!). And on the way, I counted the yellow cars. As you do... (to quote Richard Hammond).

From home to Mum - 420 miles. Yellow cars - 41. (1:10(ish))
From Mum's to Tats' - 100 miles - 20 cars. (1:5) and the traffic was MUCH busier.

Which made me wonder.

(a)Is there any correlation between traffic density and the number of yellow cars you see on the journey?

(b)Is the distribution of yellow cars significant? Do they exhibit any migratory pattern - are they urban or rural - can I find any correlation?

So I've been counting yellow cars... and (so far) it's proving interesting (although I ain't sure it's a statistically sound analysis, so don't kick me yet!).. on 'average' rural + urban roads (eg, from home to Aberdeen and back, or on my way to work - sampled over 3 months)I get an average of 1 yellow car per 10 miles. So I'm taking this as the baseline figure. Anything more means busy traffic, anything less means quiet-ish. OK, if I was being very scientific, I'd break it down to urban and rural (and I'm trying to find out how I can do that sensibly and safely - at the moment I just click a mechanical counter when I see one and check the mileage at the end of the trip..)

And so far, the (a) theory is holding up.

And there are odd features that support the (b) theory...vis:

Yellow cars are an urban species.
Yellow cars prefer daylight - ie. they are diurnal - and on the whole are more commonly seen when the weather is warm.
Yellow cars are biassed towards the East coast. (Have they migrated in from the Continent?)
Yellow cars are - on the whole - clean... I've only seen one dirty one in six months.

The study continues - made more difficult by the onset of early dark - with sodium lighting, it becomes harder to pick out definite yellows - but I'm still recording cars seen per miles (visible).

And once in a while, you get a perfect 'yellow car moment'... at a roundabout in Aberdeen, I saw a primrose-yellow small Peugeot approach a roundabout. From the opposite direction came an identical primrose-yellow Peugeot. They hit the roundabout at the same precise moment, and passing, exited from opposite roads. Synchronised yellow.


I'll keep you posted...


Anonymous said...

Mad, from the sound of the last part, the yellow Peugot moment, I fear you are beginning to hallucinate. I suggest some nice soothing books on tape to listen to while driving. The Stig might have some suggestions.
Excellent reseach however. Love the image of a yellow slab of butter motoring down the road.


Mackie said...

ROFLMAO that is so wonderfully silly :-D

(:shock: the security word is "lather" i never had it a real word before, ever)

Tats said...

You realise you've had me doing this since you explained it? I have some observations / speculation to add to the study.

1. I think yellow cars may flock. I seem to see them in batches and then not see them for a while. I'll continue to observe in case this is seasonal.

2. Maybe they are ripening, because I saw 3 orange ones the other day.

3. Could it be that the yellow is now seen more because the police have lobbied the manufacturers, so that they can have more success at playing "car snooker" when they are on speed watches?

And the word is "fanobleg" - not sure what it means yet...

Sue said...

Mad - I can recommend a good therapist....

Personally I have long had an irrational hatred of yellow cars; custard on wheels, if you ask me. What I really hate is really expensive cars in yellow - why do they do it??? I even saw a yellow Porsche...uggghhh!

Girl from Mars said...

I would never buy a yellow car. Yellow is the official "Die Post" colour here. Cars should be black or white. basta.

Word Verification sound like germs sitting an exam. Exerms.