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Americans and their cars … that’s amore

February 20, 2013
By Larry DeHays , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The English have their warm beer, the Italians have their pasta, the Germans have their leather shorts, and we Americans love our cars. The Russians have their vodka, the Japanese have their raw fish, the Eskimos have their snow, and we Americans love our cars.

We also love fast food. Our equivalent to Scandinavian Nirvana is sitting in our cars in line at a fast food joint. The leading cause of death for Americans is heart disease. The leading causes of heart disease are fatty food and lack of exercise. The leading source of fatty food is drive-through joints, which also require the least exercise, because we're sitting in our cars.

Rome lasted for a thousand years. We ain't gonna make it. If the Romans had invented burger joints, they wouldn't have made it that long either. The lead in their plumbing took longer to kill them. But back to cars, we don't mean to imply that other cultures don't enjoy cars. The English made Jaguars, in which one could properly sport about the countryside. The Italians made Ferraris and Maseratis and Lamborghinis and so forth, with which aristocratic young men could frighten the cows and sheep and peasants in the countryside. Germans make the exquisite Mercedes Benz, engineered like no other car (thank God, say mechanics) in the world, and the nearly unbreakable Volkswagen, except they are made in Mexico now, I hear. The Japanese, who didn't even have the wheel until Europeans showed it to them, have made excellent cars, but they seem to prefer their bullet trains, because their roads are terrible. That's why they didn't bother with wheels in the first place.

I mentioned Eskimos and Russians earlier, but neither of them have made any cars worth talking about. Scandinavians, of course make Volvos and Saabs, which are very popular in places like Vermont and New Hampshire, for some reason. Must be the cold.

Although all of these countries made good cars, none of their populace fell for cars the way Americans did. None of them had drive-in restaurants, with curb-hops, or drive-in movies, or drive-in banks, or drive-in pharmacies, or had drive-by shootings, but that's another subject. Americans treat their cars like a member of the family. Like a pet. Without it, they are lost.

Car repair customers are stunned when told they have to do without their cars for a day or two. What to do? How can I get around? Someone has to take me home and pick me up, and take my wife to the hairdressers tomorrow. Take a taxi? Don't be ridiculous. What would the neighbors think? They would think I couldn't afford a car. Take a bus? Out of the question. Undesirable people ride busses, and could sit next to me, and I'd have to walk to and from bus stops. Heavens. It's like having an amputation. It's un-American I tell you.

The preceding history thesis is not available for college or even high school credit, so don't copy it.



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