**NOTE** I wrote this in February... I am just getting around to posting it.
I'm not talking about you and the significant other that doesn't treat you right. I'm not talking about how some NRA members relate to their guns. I'm not even talking about what some people have with their own cousins.
I'm talking about some people and their relationship with their cars. Yes, their cars.
Before you start thinking that good ol' Gunfighter has been sniffing gunpowder or something, let me tell you what caused this particular train of thought to burst forth from the station that is my mind.
Today was my day to drop Olivia at school, which I did @ 9 A.M., I had to return home to switch cars, since it is against agency policy to transport anyone in my government owned vehicle, as I turned the corner onto my street, I noticed one of my seldom seen new neighbors was out in his driveway, lovingly washing his car.
Now, at first you might think that this isn't that big of a deal... after all, people wash their cars all the time, right? Well, read on, gentle friends.
Some of you live in the same geographical area as me, so you might have noticed the frozen precipitation that we had last week. You know, the ice that had area schools closed most of last week? Well, the good thing is that the weather took an upswing yesterday, with warm breezes, temperatures in the 50's, and a bit of warm pre-spring rain. This nice weather, which continues today, is melting lots of the plowed up snow and ice, leaving the wet streets slick with the gummy remains of all of the sand that the various public works people have spread to keep us all from killing ourselves on the roads.
Well, since the roads are still wet and mucky, why would you be washing your car? Now, I don't mean rinsing the muck from your car, that’s one thing, but this guy is out there with a long-handled brush, hose, sponge, and large bucket of sudsy water, actually caressing the bloody car! To tell you the truth, it was kind of creepy. It isn't like the guy drives a Jag or anything... I don't get it.
Now, if this was just some sort of aberrant behavior, that would be one thing... but this is just an indicator of a phenomenon that I have observed for years. This is mostly a male thing, but, women can be just as nuts about it as men can.
I understand that people want to get the sand, grit, and snow-melting chemicals off of their cars, but please… these same people are the ones that, before they go to work in the morning, are wiping the dew off of their cars with a chamois cloth! What’s that all about? It’s just a bleeding car! Sure, keep it clean, but wipe off the water? That’s just stupid. When I have asked people why they do that, I have been greeted with the blank stare usually reserved for the village idiot, and gotten this reply: “So I won’t have water spots” (God save us!) I just wish that these same people were the sort to be as careful about keeping the neighborhood clean, or their yards as nice, as they keep their cars.
I see this phenomenon as being a small part of one of the worst parts of American culture. You see, we tend to think that our stuff makes us special. Our stuff, our immortality symbols. We see them as things that make us better, more desirable, more valuable. People drive monstrous SUV’s that they never haul anything in, and never take off the road, despite the fact that SUV’s are considered trucks, and are therefore not required to have catalytic converters. This means that they pollute the air more than vehicles that do have converters. People drive these vehicles because they impart (in the minds of some) a certain level of status. Near where we live, there are subsidized income apartments (a great many occupied by members of the armed forces) where many of the residents drive these gargantuan, $40,000 cars. What does that say about us? We’d make a $600 a month car payment, rather than buy a house to live in?
I struggle with this regularly. I’m not suggesting that everyone drive the same kind of car as me… not at all. I just don’t get it why anyone would spend that kind of money on something so incredibly depreciable. That $40K car won’t take you anywhere that my $6K car won’t take you (and mine is paid for!)… so, what’s the point?
I know guys that I work with that drive Chevy Suburbans… who the hell needs one of those things? It costs them $70 dollars to fill the gas tank. That’s nuts! Some of them even spend money for this:
Anyway… this is just sort of spilling out because it has been on my mind (aren’t you glad you can’t see inside of it?). You can go back to your regularly scheduled programs, now.