We've all heard of people who look like their pets, but have you ever considered how much we are like our cars?
It’s not something that’s ever entered my psyche before - and while I’m very fond of my little Mini, I’m certainly not one of those people who talk to their vehicles or give them a daft name.
But this week, the similarity between cars and humans suddenly struck me when I failed my health MOT.
When I say “failed”, it wasn’t a fully fledged out-and-out big fat F ... but more like those minor fails you get on your driving test.
For those of you who don’t know (and I didn’t), once you reach the significant birthday of 40 - which I did earlier this year - you’re invited for an NHS Health Check, which is the equivalent of your car going in for its MOT.
It involves going in for a blood test followed by an appointment with a nurse or healthcare assistant when they go through the results with you.
With a family history of heart disease and diabetes, I decided there was no point in burying my head in the sand so I resignedly went along for my blood test.
The very next day, I was somewhat alarmed to receive a text message telling me my results were back and to call the surgery. “What already?” I thought to myself in a panic. Not used to things moving so quickly in the NHS, I convinced myself I must be at death’s door.
When I called, I was told that everything had come back fine apart from “serum lipids” which was higher than they’d like and an appointment was duly made for me with a healthcare assistant in a few days time.
I did what any rational person would do and consulted Dr Google and discovered “serum lipids” was cholesterol. Having never had my cholesterol tested before, I convinced myself that I might have a sky-high level of 12 or more.
So it was with some relief when I was told they were looking for a total cholesterol level of 5 or less in adults - and mine was 5.1. Despite only “failing” marginally, after going through the rest of my results with the friendly healthcare assistant and confessing my lack of exercise and propensity for snacking and love of dining out, it made me take a good hard look at my habits.
And that’s when the car analogy came to mind as I realised that if you want a car to run smoothly, you have to fill it with good fuel, not any old oily rubbish. The health check was comparable to a car being jump-started and gave me the kick up the backside I needed to make some lifestyle changes.
It also dawned on me that like a car, when you’ve notched up some miles on the clock, you need to take a bit of extra care of yourself to prevent conking out.
There are so many other similarities between cars and people.
We both experience the occasional bumps and some days it’s hard work getting started. Sometimes we need our batteries recharging or a good service. (No, not that kind of service you smutty lot!)
Some have nice bodies while others are getting a bit rusty but we usually scrub up well after a good wash and polish. We both have backseats, but some are more generously proportioned than others. And the older we both get, the less likely we are to run as well.
However, the time to worry is when we get towed off to the scrap yard.