Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Booker T. Washington said, "Character, not clothes make the man."Mark Twain claimed, "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Travis Erwin says, "Ask most men what they'd rather have - a nice suit or a sweet ride, 99% will pick the car every time."
Guys tend to think of their vehicles as an extension of themselves. Consciously or subconsciously. The choice of dream wheels depends on the man.
An outdoorsmen will demand a 4X4, maybe with a lift kit, a gun rack, a front-end winch or even a wench, depending on his state of loneliness.
Others want to go fast. They tend do fantasize of things that are sleek and curvaceous. Okay, all of us men fantasize of things that are sleek and curvaceous but I'm talking cars here. Porsche's, Ferrari's, Lamborghini's.
Others drool over pure unadulterated horsepower. Trucks that can pull mountains, and growl like a sixty-year-old, chain-smoking Waffle House waitress. The kind of truck that simply cannot pass a service station without stopping.
No man, I repeat no man. Dreams of driving a mini-van.
That does not mean sacrifices are not made. A real father will trade in his cherry-red Camaro for the sake of getting his kids to soccer practice.
But he won't like it.
Sure his buddies will tease him and toss around terms like henpecked, ball and chain, neutered, and maybe even the dreaded P.W. But he'll take the abuse and dream of the day he can get rid of the mini-bus and once again show what kind of man he really is.
Now the advice.
Most of my readers are female but some of you are guys.
Regardless of your gender, please pass this message along -- Guys DO NOT try and make a statement anyway. DO NOT say I am going to make the best of a bad situation. DO NOT over compensate - for anything. Regardless of what your shortcoming are.
I've typed all of that to tell you two stories. One new, one old.
Yesterday, I'm sitting at a stop light. I glance over and notice a guy about my age . He's wearing a ball cap and a blue mechanic-type shirt. The kind that usually has the wearers first name sewed on. Really nothing out of the ordinary.
But then they catch my eye.
By they I mean ... Flames. Big green ones, painted down the side ...
Of his black Dodge Caravan.
Dude, it's still a minivan.
The flames didn't suddenly make me think ... Wow! Now that is one cool minivan.
No, I thought there is a guy who lost an argument with his wife. A guy that should've invested in a TV long ago to stay busy doing something other that creating kids. I thought there is a guy who didn't want to trade in his Harley for a vehicle capable of holding car seats. A guy desperately clinging to something he has obviously already lost.
DUDE! Face the music. You are Fonzie no more.
Welcome to Richie Cunningham land. You may be cool again someday, but DO NOT highlight the fact that today, ain't that day.
This story happened a few years back but I consider it one of my wife's wittiest moments, and she has a great sense of humor so that is going some. Of course anybody willing to marry me had better have one heck of a funny bone.
We were on the way to a friend's house. Driving through a residential area when we came upon a giant red truck. I'm talking the bottom of the door was a good three, three and a half foot off the ground. The wheels were huge and had aggressive off-road tread. Painted on the tinted back windshield in bold red letters were these words ... NO FEAR
And standing at the bumper was a wee little fellow that belonged on the back of Secretariat, or guarding a pot o' gold beneath a rainbow. He had his arms folded across his chest. The ball cap on his head was cocked a shade to one side, and the smirk on his face said, "Napoleon had nothing on me."
I was about to open my mouth and say something about the sight when my wife held up her pinky finger and said, "Big Red Truck, small pink weenie."
So let me hear the most ridiculous cars that you have seen. Not necessarily the ones trying to be ridiculous like those who paint their van to look like The Mystery Machine, or paint a rebel flag on the roof in Duke boy fashion, but the ones that say look at me and then when you do the only reaction is a chuckle or a cringe.