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Car wars

June 11, 2014
By Larry DeHays , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

There are people who have owned Fords exclusively, and say that they wouldn't have a Chevy. There are people who love Chevys and hate Fords. They have lots of cute things to say about Fords, like "Found on the Road Dead," or "Fix Or Repair Daily." But that's not fair, because Ford has fewer letters so it's easier to make something up. Try it with Mitsubishi.

There are people who only buy Dodges and think Chevy and Ford drivers are nuts. There are people who refuse to buy Japanese cars because of Pearl Harbor. Some people say they won't buy foreign made anything, because Americans need the work. That last group has to live without television, or computers, or phones, or any other electronics, because almost none of those things are made in America anymore. The point here is that all of these people are making a mistake. They are shopping with a handicap. Like hitting the bargain basement at Macy's on Sale Day wearing a body cast. You may damage a few other shoppers, but you can't carry much out the door.

When shopping for anything, from food to machinery, we should go into it with an idea of what we want, including comfort, performance, warranty, looks etc. and then compare prices, buying from the lowest bidder who meets our criteria. After all, he is the one who has worked the hardest to get what you want while keeping the costs down. Thinking that one brand is superior to others is like putting on blinders before looking around.

If you were to get into a strange vehicle at night and start driving it down the road with the interior being dark, I guarantee you won't know if you're in a Ford or a Chevy or a Toyota. There simply isn't that much difference between them. If you say you don't care about using the lowest bidder, please don't ever try to run a business. You will fail miserably. Astronaut John Glenn was once asked what he thought about sitting atop a rocket with two million parts and full of explosives. He replied: "It was all built by the lowest bidders." Guess what. It worked for many missions, and the few failures wouldn't have been prevented by a higher bidder. They might have been prevented by higher specifications, but not a higher bidder. That's my opinion, but you know what they say about opinions.

Opinions are like onions. There are a lot of variations and no matter how you slice them they make your eyes water, and someone won't like them. I once wore a plain white t-shirt. No slogans on it anywhere. Some opinionated people wanted to know why I was so non-committal. Didn't I love something or hate something enough to wear it on my shirt? Hadn't I ever travelled anywhere and brought back a t-shirt to brag about it? So I put on a shirt with a nice drawing of a fish being caught. I was accosted by a member of PETA, calling me a fish murderer. I said I released the fish alive. They called me a fish torturer. I asked if they would call a shark that bit me a "human torturer." They said I probably deserved it. Some opinions, (not mine, of course) are really strange. Some of the preceding may not be accurate. Probably the part about the onions.

You can shop for a car with an open mind and a tight checkbook, and get a deal, or a tight, (opinionated) mind and an open checkbook, and waste money. A tight mind and a tight checkbook will buy nothing, and an open mind and an open checkbook will buy too many cars. That's my opinion. You're welcome to your own, of course.



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