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All aboard for the drive of a lifetime

There are occasions I thank my lucky stars that I never got hooked on games. I've lost many a pal over the years to Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto; one got so hooked on Super Mario, his diet consisted of nothing but mushrooms and the last I saw of him was in the woods.

One game I do have very fond memories of though is Driver, and recall many long nights sitting up with my brother-in-law on visits to London, eating take-away curry and guzzling gallons of lager until the sun obliterated the screen around 6am. Now the new game, Driver San Francisco, is just out and my fingers are itching.

Of all the games I've tried, Driver -- based on the 1978 movie starring Ryan O'Neal, which shouldn't have worked but did -- gave me the greatest buzz. I can only assume it's because, like so many other blokes, I love driving. Some guys would love to blow things up all day. Others would like to pass a lifetime killing zombies, or, in the case of my Super Mario pal, dashing through a mushroom kingdom in search of Princess Toadstool.

Now I have been spanked by my good wife for at times confusing Driver the game and a normal driver, like myself, in my car, the make and model which I won't reveal -- but she's a corker. I love my wife and I love my car, just not in the same way, and it's best for everyone if the two spend as little time together as possible so all three don't get upset.


So if the missus and I must go out in a vehicle we take her car. And I will reveal the make and model and I will reveal we leave the key on top of the microwave in the kitchen and the porch window will give with a good push, so if anyone wants this 04 Renault Scenic piece of crap, please take it. Driving the wife's car is a bit like going back to a bicycle with stabilisers, with Mammy behind pulling your ear when she wants you to turn one way or the other.

I'm aware of the statistics that women make safer drivers, I used to work in an insurance company and we never made a penny out of the ladies. But they don't make safer co-drivers, that's for sure. If they're not switching on the indicator for you every time you turn 10 degrees on a roundabout, they're keeping tally of the number of near misses you had, ie failing to leave a space as wide as the Suez Canal passing a parked car.

Now I don't condone boy racing for a moment. But I do enjoy being left alone to drive in peace. That means no talking, plenty of Indian takeaways, gallons of lager and a heavy pair of curtains. San Fran, here we come!