Or, Why You Will Never See Me at the Detroit Auto Show

I have never understood or related to the American male’s fascination with cars, particularly sports cars. (It must be something wrong with my XY set of chromosomes because I have never understood the male devotion to professional sports teams or the “sport” of killing small things at a distance with high powered equipment either. Somehow both seem to be somewhat unsporting. It has always struck me that before you can call yourself a true “sportsman,” you need to have gone after grizzly with a Bowie knife, shark with a surfboard and a ten pound test line or, better yet, intelligent game that can shoot back. But, that is another story.)

I’m afraid that I see vehicles merely as a more convenient transportation mode than walking. I drive them until they die or I am forced to put a slug through their engine block and give them a decent burial. Why own a new one each year when it loses half it’s value driving it off the dealer’s sales lot? Why bother to learn the different makes since, with only a few exceptions, they have become pretty much indistinguishable from each other from the 1980s onward. I haven’t been able to spot the differences in brands since tail fins went out of style. (Yeah, I can tell the difference between a Ferrari and a Volkswagon bug, but they prove my point.) As with cats on a dark night, they all look black to me. The cars usually need to have a quarter million dollar difference in price before I begin to notice much of a quality difference driving them.

I suppose there is another reason I tend to own individual cars for years until they finally rust shut. To get a different one, I have to deal with car dealers. Frankly, I would rather have a tooth extraction without Novocaine. Maybe it is because of all the complaints of clients who have been cheated or lied to that make me weary. Maybe I am just afraid that the salesmen will spot my ignorance.

It probably should be mentioned that I hate driving as well. I can’t wait for teleportation. Beam me up, Scotty. My back hurts on even the shortest ride which explains part of why I don’t drool over car magazines. (Drooling over the female models sitting on the car models yes, but not the cars themselves). Of course, that is only part of it. My back did not always hurt, but I always hated car trips, not to mention car sickness on the winding mountain roads where I grew up.

At one time, cars did provide a convenient place for intimacies with those having two X chromosomes. And, the fancier cars with expensive foreign names did provide clues for the genetic imperative of females to locate males able to provide for future families, but now days motels accept credit cards from just about anyone no matter how short and females can just Google the financial status of potential mates on the internet. Heck, these days, you can bring your high school date to your room at home and close the door with an expectation of privacy.

Maybe I might like cars if I was rich enough to have a chauffeur do all the driving. Nah, if I was rich enough to get all my wishes fulfilled, I’d rather have a helicopter or luxury jet to simply get me there fast. After all, I love travel and seeing new places. It’s just that I hate the traveling necessary to actually get anywhere really interesting.

I do know the years my own vehicles were made as well as the makes, but that’s only because I need to know the information every time I renew my license tag or have a repair appointment.

Being a life long environmentalist, I also hate to be burning gasoline, polluting the atmosphere, enriching oil companies and supporting countries who hate us. Some of my friends kid me about driving cars with such poor gas mileage. However, when I ask them to compare total mileage driven in any given year, I usually come out ahead. We deliberately chose a place to live where home, office and food is all within wheelchair distance.

So, what does it all mean? Nothing I guess other than if Detroit had to depend on me for its profits, it would go bankrupt. Oh wait. It’s going bankrupt anyway. Gee, I wonder why?

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