Several years ago I decided to read a Land Rover magazine. I don't actually have a Land Rover, or and 4x4 for that matter, however I like reading magazines on topics outside of my experiance. Indeed the weirder or odder the better. It's amazing what you learn if you take a chance. I love the fact that there are so many magazines and books of such a huge range of issues.
Anyway I was this magazine about Land Rovers. Part of this was the practical stuff about repairing or altering your prized off-roader, the best pieces of kit, routes, and so forth. However a big part was the aspirational articles which show the reader the dream.
These articles are about people taking their meticulously tweaked Land Rovers and take them to remote foreign climes and actually drive off-road and have real adventures. Most people who have Land Rovers or Range Rovers and the like don't push them to the limit, the writers do and push their incredible vehicles and themselves to the limit.
If I was going to be serious I could bore on at length on the wider anthropological and social aspects of people visiting other cultures and people off the beaten tracks.
But I won't.
However I was reading this multi-issue article about a man and his wife who prepared their Land Rover and shipped it to the Middle East and spent months driving through the remote places, huge sand dunes, and having a great time interacting with people many of whom had never seen a a Western white person.
The whole tone of the article was light and fun. These people where living the dream. Spread over months the article was slavered with amazing photos of the smiling couple, their beloved Land Rover, smiling locals, and some amazing countryside.
And after two months of happy reminiscences there was a throwaway paragraph at the very end.
This briefest of paragraphs said something like, and this is me paraphrasing,
'Oh and then going down a steep dune the Land Rover rolled. It was totally trashed and we had to scrap it, which was tragic. My wife had her arm out of the window and had it amputated when the car rolled. It was a great trip apart from that'
And then it ended.
I just thought that this minor point was the important point of the trip. The trauma and agony and disablement of a active young woman summed to merit more than a aside.
Strange how the minor point is the most important I real life if not a story.