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Writins of Weakeyes Cody

                                  Talented and witty writings

Cars  @2000

Most everywhere old folk are granted a measure of respect, but not in our United States, where like last years automobiles we're obsolete and relegated to the realm of receding relics. It's terrible when we finally realize we've been deemed so. Once we were magnificent in our endeavors, crossing oceans of responsibilities with acres of great white sails of ideas to propel us. Now, we stand at anchor in a quiet harbor watching others put to sea to do what we did so well for so long.

 

But think about it, if you will. We've been a successful nation for well over two hundred years now, so there must be something that we're doing that is right and appropriate. The fact that we discard old ideas and methods is probably better than sticking with antiquated discipline and falling behind other nations in the race for advancement. Just look at our new cars, for instance. They all look like jelly beans. Most everyone admires them and the aerodynamics are arrived at by wind tunnel tests. Can you imagine what a 200 m.p.h. wind would do to a Model A Ford? Each year brings new design and change to nearly everything. Rut I don't change!

 

In fact, I'm locked into the fifties or late forties where my whole ideology could be shoved into a '55 Chevy and sent roaring pedal to the metal down life's freeway in perfect serenity until something breaks and when it does, I'll get out and jolly well fix it, not replace it. Because it's a perfectly good machine with years of use yet! Am I opposing progress, change, and modem technology? Not necessarily, but I'd like to hold their noses to the grinding wheel of reality for a moment and see how they hold up.

 

Lets keep it simple because I'm more simple than technical. Look at names of cars. Not so long ago there were Chevies, Fords, Plymouths, and a dozen or so other singular makes all of which I was acquainted with and could identify by their distinctive sound alone. Today, I find nameplates like, Viper. Viper! A small and very poisonous snake. is this an image we want to project? Stealth. I could have used one of these back when I had to cut the lights and ignition to coast down the hill and into the yard at four in the morning to avoid being caught.

 

Probe. Oh yes. I can hear the conversation now: "My husband's Probe, is just too small for us and we're considering something larger. Perhaps a Cherokee Chief, a Ranger, Trooper, I-Hombre, Wrangler, Samurai, or a Grand Marquis? Or maybe just a Sidekick'?"

Then there are those who like to fly, and pick a Thunderbird, Firebird, Sunbird, Skylark, Eagle, Swift, or just a Talon.

 

Then there's those lip locking names like, Integra, Acura, LaSabre, Catera, Camero, Lumini, Cirrus, Camry, Intrepid, Straws, Aspire, Odyssey, and Infiniti, any one of which could just as easily be a tube of lipstick, a soft drink, catfood, or a British battleship. Recently I bought my lady a Sable. She's not really into fancy furs or small weasels, but it pleased her more than the Cougar, Bobcat, Jaguar, Colt, Mustang, or Ram. She likes her critters already skinned.

 

Ford made an Explorer, recently. Now, what's left out there to explore, I ask? Nothing, since the Sierra Club took a dislike to Land Cruisers, Blazers, 4-Runners, Range Rovers, Pathfinders, Mountaineers, Troopers and Brats. But we still see these shiny freeway fliers blitzing along the Interstate every day, their knobby tires singing their macho songs as the rubber hits the pavement carving .005 off the tread per revolution. Maybe next season they'll use 4-wheel drive again? I think those new vans all look like vacuum cleaners, don't you? But with beautiful paint colors and with names like, Astro, Venture, Aerostar, Windstar, Quest, Silhouette and Voyager to make you think you're driving something straight out of Sci-Fi's Star Trek.

 

Are these new cars better than the old ones? Of course. Anyone would be foolish to argue otherwise. I can jump into any one of these flashy little buggers and be in Albuquerque, for a burger and fries at Mickey Ds, check into a motel, shower, and watch Barbara Walters, before curfew. But if the thing refuses to run, then it'll be next Labor Day before I can find a competent technician to plug it into a computer for a diagnosis of the problem. And the bill will be more than the total cost of raising my son.

 

I was once a reasonably good shade tree mechanic and I often polished and stroked my car because it was like a good horse and I loved it. Today, I can't even find a shade tree, and if I did, I couldn't see beyond these bifocals to find a nut. Moreover, I don't raise the hood much because I don't understand my jelly bean. Can anyone tell me what I'm looking at? There's a million and one lines, hoses, wires and pumps under there. I don't work on 'em or love 'em anymore. I just drive 'em and change the oil.

 

So here I go. An early twentieth century man operating a late twentieth century machine, cruising seventy miles an hour in the right-hand lane, sifting in a seat that supports my lower lumbar, my foot off the gas and resting against the floor while listening to a CD player. This thing could hit the ditch any second and I could die in perfect comfort. Progress is wonderful. Is it not?

 

~ Weakeyes Cody