One of Kate’s friends was over yesterday, and when her father came to pick her up, he committed the cardinal sin of male rudeness: He pulled into the driveway and honked.
I went outside to scold him. He said he didn’t want to leave the comfort of his heated seat. Then he told me about his friend’s 1986 Mercedes, which has two horn settings — standard and, with the flip of a switch, “polite,” for driveway honkers, I suppose. We talked about the neighbor across the street, who had all four of his 2006 Escalade wheels stolen one morning last week, from his driveway and in early daylight. They left it precariously balanced on landscaping bricks, one of which collapsed, giving the thing the look of an elegant, chrome-trimmed dinosaur drowning in the La Brea Tar Pits. Then we discussed whether his friend with the 1986 Mercedes should get the Michigan Heritage license plate for classic vehicles of a certain age. You pay one price and never have to renew again. Then his daughter came out and got in the car to go home.
Detroit: Where all the small talk is about cars.
(After the Escalade wheel theft last week, some of the neighbors gathered on the sidewalk and talked it over. It took approximately 40 seconds for the discussion to shift to whether GM should make locking lugnuts standard on all models above a certain price point. After living in one place where all the small talk was about the weather, and another place where it was all about the Buckeyes, it’s a nice change.)
I told Alan the other day that I want my next car to be an American-made minivan with a pumpin’ sound system and spinning rims. That ought to confound ’em in the carpool lane.
OK, then. Detroit will soon host one of those plastinated-body exhibits (at a rather staggering ticket cost, I notice — $70 if all three of us go). It looks simultaneously fascinating and repellent. I have no objection on religious grounds, but whenever I hear “all the bodies were freely given” and “in China” together in a sentence, I just don’t quite want to swallow it whole. It’s rated PG-13 as well, which makes me wonder why — genitalia? I suppose so. Gruesomeness? Most likely.
Ever been to one? What was it like? How did it make you feeeeeel?