Your car sits motionless and lifeless in your driveway or parking stall. By lifeless I mean it’s just an inanimate metal, glass and plastic object.
It requires practically no attention and just minor care. Sure you check on it once in a while to make sure it hasn’t been stolen or vandalized.
You put gas in it about once a week and give it a wash about once a month or so, or more often if it’s spotted with bird droppings. But when you sit in it and turn the ignition key, it comes alive! It’s animated with energy, power and mobility potential.
Human bodies also are physical objects. However they require regular attention, care and maintenance. I have to feed, shower and walk mine quite often. It’s like a constant babysitting chore. If I neglect it and let it be for a while then it’s breathing and circulation systems are liable to go out of whack. Even while it’s sleeping I can’t take off for very long. I might return to find it cold, stiff and lifeless.
I’ve become less attached to this vehicle of mine over the years. It has slowly grown old, slow and hard to handle. Like an old rusting car, it looks nothing like it did back in the day when it was young, handsome, bronze and muscular.
I could take it to the shop (hospital) and spruce it up some of course. Some body work might help take out a few of the dents (wrinkles) and I could have some new parts installed. But why waste all that money on such an old model?
But then again you could say it’s a classic. They don’t make them so reliable sturdy and sound anymore.
You do however get a bit fond of them over the years, give them names, personalities and such. It’s often hard to let them go at the end. It’s quite an emotional event seeing them go off to the bone yard.
There’s been a bit of controversy too about foreign made models entering this country. Many feel that US made vehicles are of better quality, should be protected and given preference. There is a big move afoot to limit, regulate and control all units entering from Mexico.
I myself actually have a foreign made vehicle. It’s a 1945 Irish model, but it’s been in the USA a long time. I think it measures up alright to US made products.
These days we have fast, sleek cars that preform like human athletics. We have big strong muscle cars resembling bodybuilders. We have great old vintage cars similar to our noble seniors. We have our dependable workhorse trucks used by people who preform like them - farmers and construction workers.
Heavy duty pick up trucks could, I suppose, be classified in the male category. Gentle and pretty, mild mannered cars like the Prius would surely seem female. There are some models that fall between both categories. Of course you can say the same thing about humans these days.
Then you have machines transformed into beautiful trophies and status symbols. Some people regularly wash, wax and accessorize their automobiles and parade them around to be noticed and admired. Does this remind you of some people’s actions and obsessions with human bodies?
However, regardless how well you care for and maintain a vehicle, it has a limited life cycle. It’s number of years and mileage have an end point. How many model T’s do you see driving down the road?
However, they make thousands of fresh new shiny units every day. Just notice the newspaper, TV and radio ads.
“It’s our biggest sale of the year folks. We’re making incredible deals. Now is the time. You owe it to yourself to get that vehicle of your dreams. Trade in that old clunker. Your brand new 2020 model is waiting for you. Come on down!”
So what do you think? Do you really want to leave that old wreck laying idle in the garage (nursing home)? Why not trade that old worn out model in for the beautiful new vehicle of your choice?
“This is our best selection of make, model, style and color ever. They’re going fast folks. This is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. It’s decision time people. Bring in your old broken down clunker for an unbelievable trade-in today.
Drive it in. Haul it or drag it in. Just come on down!”
Dan O’Connor can be reached at email@example.com