Worrying new research commissioned by nondescript French carmaker Citroën reveals that Brits find driving with their ‘significant others’ can be a bit stressful, specially when they are trying to park or something.

Attempting to park whilst a spouse or partner is present in the vehicle was reported as leading to dangerously elevated levels of stress, potentially resulting in violently recriminatory emotional outbursts, by 31% of males and 45% of females.

Whilst bringing a vehicle to a halt on a deserted airfield caused only moderate levels of stress, parallel parking was identified by 18 to 24 year olds as the most feared single element in the current driving test, with the test examiner standing in for the hypercritically hostile life partner.

Unveiling its dramatic new findings, the identity-crisis challenged motor manufacturer highlighted the chronic confidence deficit haunting Britiain’s partnered-up would-be parkers. One in four now describe themselves, the survey suggests, as lacking the confidence to park their car, while their partners describe them as lacking the skill, judgement, emotional commitment, work ethic, maturity, humility, and basic human decency to do so.

The one chink of positive news to emerge from the survey was that the presence of a mother in law in the vehicle was identified as a concern by just 3% of those questioned, suggesting that Mother in Law Fear (MILF) has declined dramatically since the dark days of the 1960s and 70s when burly middle aged men were so cowed by their partners’ mothers that they felt the need to congregate in darkened rooms, ripped to the tits on wishy washy warm beer, tittering nervously as the more fearless among them stood up to poke fun at the tyrannous matriarchs they dared not confront under their own roofs. Happily, MILF has been washed away by the benign and welcome tide of general and all encompassing contempt for age that has rid our nation of such archaic anxieties.

The disturbingly elevated levels of partner-induced anxiety revealed in this timely new research study, however, strongly suggest that, if we’re ever going to live in stable long term relationships, motor manufacturers had better equip us with self parking cars PDQish.

Bankstone News wonders whether Citroën might be working on something like that.


Yuletide bonus: Try the quiz for yourself!

The full list of options presented to survey respondents is not revealed in Citroën’s press materials, but Bankstone News imagines it must have read something like this:

Q23. Tick the relevant box to indicate how anxious each of the following makes you when parking your car (Where 5 represents very anxious indeed and 1 represents not particularly anxious at all):

the presence of a partner, spouse, or significant other in the vehicle
the presence of the partner, spouse or significant other’s mother
the presence of some kind of alien, like, you know, ET or something
the presence of a vicar, priest, imam, rabbit, or whatever
the presence of former minister of fun David Mellons
the presence of some kind of axe-wielding clown-faced psychopathic maniac
other (please specify)

Answers please to [email protected]


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