I bet some of you probably have never heard of the codpiece? In the fifteenth century, it was in an around-about-kind-of-way, the equivalent of today’s PPE (and I’m guessing if you work on any industry site, you’ll know all about wearing fluoro orange, yellow, or maybe even pink to ensure you get noticed).
You see, when the pox raged through Europe, the scourge of syphilis spawned all sorts of concoctions to tame the chancre, a festering sore that was super contagious. Those concoctions were often messy poultices that would spoil the lavish fabrics and garments worn back in the day, so the codpiece masked a problem that could have been so easily avoided by abstinence and at the same time announced that you were someone important.
Now, this is an esteemed 4WD publication and you’re likely wondering what does talk of the pox have to do with 4WDing? Well, I believe plenty, so in the coming weeks, I thought I’d devote some time and plenty of thought to the codpiece(s) that man seems so compelled to adorn their vehicles in what had to be either a subliminal or overt expression of their masculinity (AKA an extension of one’s willy).
He who points the finger, better have had some experience, some skin in the game so-to-speak, and I’ll be the first to admit to being a bit of a Renaissance 4WDer and carrying plenty of junk on my belt in a phallic, peacock-strutting 4WD manner for all to see. But over time, I’ve come to realise that junk doesn’t maketh the man.
Sure, there are some essentials warranted to get the best from your vehicle, but so often I see chequebook waving that misses the mark and all it really is about is comparing appendages and who has the bigger one.
The thought for this series came to me around a year ago on a visit to my local Bunnings, when there for all who passed in the car park, was the most brilliant example of an automotive cod I’ve ever seen, a Hilux so gaily adorned that its owner had to have been contagious, drunk in the belief that lashings of chrome trim, his sailplane tub top, and comically inspired tyre brand would elevate him to 4WD nirvana.
I wasn’t the only one stopped dead in my tracks as other hardware purchasers paused, took a deep breath, and either shook their heads in disbelief or laughed or both. We owe its owner a debt of gratitude so this wrong can be made right.
Since utilities are the most favoured form of 4WD I’m going to start with how you might organise your junk in the trunk in an article called Codspiece 101 – #1 Tub Malfeasance. Read it on the next page.