Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Graying of the Freeways

You might think this entry is about the lack of maintenance given to the country's freeways since their construction between the 1950's and today. Well, 'tis true enough that, in their haste to hand out vast sums of money to those who don't feel like working, and to hand out even more money to artists who construct hideous, useless structures they call objets d'art in front of government buildings and in atria and foyers of these same buildings, and to hand out money for greater and grander offices within those buildings, the highways are getting the short shrift. Politicians need these grand offices to create the edicts that cause us to have to take three to five times as long as it should to get to our lousy metal desk-furnished soft cubicles. And to wreck our cars in the potholes that happen when it rains, that there's no money left over to fix. But that's not what this rant is about, at all.

Have you ever notices, while creeping slowly along these selfsame freeways, that most of the cars thereon are gray? Almost all of them.

In the mornings I usually commute in the dark, in relatively light traffic, at normal freeway speeds. In the afternoon, on the other hand, I drive in the afternoon light, at speeds that range from a slow creep to maybe 50mph, for part of the way, if I'm lucky. Plenty of time to observe the cars around me, to observe some of their incredibly bad driving habits and to occasionally check out the odd blonde talking illegally on her cell phone.

To observe the drivers of convertibles with the tops down but the side windows up (!?) and with those silly girlie screens behind their heads so they don't have to contend with the stray current of moving air that might cause a stir in their $400 coifs.

But, most of the cars are gray. Gray cars driven by gray people. Gray, for my current purpose, includes everything from the purest silver to, but not including, black. It also includes grayish brown, grayish beige and grayish blue--and remember, they don't call it olive drab because the color is electric.

I don't think, even though it hadn't occurred to me until relatively recently, that I've ever owned a gray car. The closest was my 1975 Olds convertible, which was a kind of off-white. It also almost always had its top and all of it's side windows down unless it was raining. It doesn't rain often in the southern third of the Stalag.

Oh, yeah, my 1937 Olds hotrod was sprayed with gray primer, but only in anticipation of a deep candy burgundy paint job it would've gotten had I not sold it.

Why would anyone buy a gray car? There sure are a lot of them. Perhaps it's a herd thing. Conformity. Fitting in. A sign of a conforming society.

Perhaps it's camouflage. Pavement is gray. Blending in with your surroundings.

I think that I shall never see/
A baby blue SUV/
A car the color of the sky/
Or the blue of a baby's eye.

When I decide to buy another car, I'm going to look for paisley.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

12 comments:

Oswald Bastable said...

My peripheral vision is shit, so if you don't want 3 tons of steel in you side, drive something other than friggin' grey.

I can't see it worth a damn!

T. F. Stern said...

My work truck is Red, my toy Z is Green. Have fun and be seen.

Lone Chatelaine said...

And around here, where it does rain alot, they don't turn on the darn headlights on those grey cars they drive. Therefore making it nearly impossible to see them on the road beside you or behind you when the remnants of the hurricane is passing through.

The Wine Commonsewer said...

My truck is silver, not gray. ;-)

My daddy had a red Chevy convertible which he used to complain about because it was a COP MAGNET.

I took him at his word.

Col. Hogan said...

Oswald,

Besides, don't you guys drive on the wrong side of the road?

Col. Hogan said...

TF,

A 240Z, 260Z, 280Z or a 300Z?

Ol' BC said...

Colonel, glad to see you're still rolling along quite nicely. I had some really good catching up on the last few posts.

Col. Hogan said...

LC,

Those're just the dumb ones, trying to save on their electric bill.

Col. Hogan said...

TWC,

If your dad was anything like you used to be--believe me, it wasn't the car.

Col. Hogan said...

BC,

Thanks. You were a mite slow there, for a little while, but the quality stayed good.

TWC said...

Col, Pop was an Old Lady. In his case, it WAS the car. :-)

Even his high school buddies used to razz him about driving like Granny. And I don't mean The Old Lady in Pasadena.

Col. Hogan said...

TWC,

Are you saying that the acorn does sometimes fall pretty far from the tree? (Ar, ar!)