A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE – Sept. 12: Don’t leave any bills behind, please

Head in the clouds attitudes lead to car 'accident' in the parking lot.

Did you ever observe that as soon as you buy a new car you immediately start noticing more of the same model on the road than you’d ever seen before?

It must be linked to our desire to belong and fit in – maybe we are just looking for validation.

You can test this instinct with any new car buyer. Just ask any friend or acquaintance that has recently bought a new ride if they like it or not. The answer you’ll hear most often is a wholehearted endorsement of the product.

Maybe we need to convince ourselves that we made a wise choice when we bought this particular gas-guzzler. But once you’ve signed the loan papers you might just as well be happy.

Cars these days are often designed to look so much alike for purposes of aerodynamics and fuel economy. An engineer inputs the type of car she is trying to build—four-door mid-size sedan for example—and when the computer spits out a picture of the car the results are preordained.

A Ford is going to look like a Nissan, which is going to look like everything else with a similar price point and package combination. One of the challenges is developing a brand name that will stand out—when the mathematics dictates that every car looks the same.

There’s even some nifty looking economy car on the road now that looks so much like a VW Beetle as it’s coming toward you that Special K and I have agreed to swear off playing the ‘punch-buggy – no return’ game because of misunderstandings and hurt feelings.

But it’s not enough they look alike when they are whizzing by on the highway—they even look alike standing still.

Each week I deliver the newspapers to stores and post offices across the West Boundary. I was lost in thought last week as I walked back to my car after delivering to the Midway post office.

There were two cars parked there—but when I’d parked there had been only mine. Both cars were white and looked so much alike I hardly noticed the woman who was getting into the closest car as I walked past.

I was just pulling out my keys when she started yelling an apology to me—it seems she had gotten in my car by mistake.

As soon as she sat down things started to go weird on her. What were the two Rubbermaid totes doing in the back seat?

Other strange things had been put into her car too—she didn’t recall that trash container on the floor and where did this briefcase and book come from?

She shot right out of the car and started apologizing profusely as she reached back in to pick up her mail from the passenger seat.

I told her it was okay, but I did insist that she make sure she’d gotten all her mail—especially the bills.

***

The fall fair this weekend promises to be a great time. A few of the terrific acts that will be on the dais this year are Sinatra tribute artist Rick Valiant who is booked for Saturday, an all-ages dance and concert on Saturday night with Tim Hus providing the music, and Fred Penner will make Sunday special for kids, young and old.

Check out the full schedule online.

 

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