The Lighter Side of Owning a Ferrari
Lunchtime Excursion by john babos
I work at one of the local rocket factories in the area. On occasion Iíll drive my little Ferrari to work to charge the battery and get the juices flowing; the carís and mine. When my coworkers realize this, it usually begins a series of lunchtime excursions to the parking lot. Few of my coworkers have ever seen a Ferrari up close and I can satisfy their curiosity while introducing them to the marque. Now, the people at this rocket factory are very well educated; in fact I would venture to say that there are more people addressed as Doctor in my office than in most emergency rooms. The majority of the educational backgrounds are in physics, mathematics, astronautics and other numerous words that end in Ďicsí that I canít even pronounce. This forced, Ďright sideí thinking that my coworkers have endured most of their lives has influenced their thought processes in many ways, which brings me back to the lunchtime excursions.
When they see the car there are always numerous compliments on how nice it looks. However, the pragmatic side of their personality flares up and a myriad of questions begin. Where does the baby seat go? Where are the roof racks for hauling lumber? How does your bike rack attach to the rear of the car? Is there enough room in the rear fender wells for tire chains when it snows? Where do you put the groceries? Why is your motor in the back and why is it sideways?
I tell them that I donít have any children, I donít haul lumber, I donít ride bikes, I donít drive it in snow and the thought of leaving my little Ferrari in the Safeway parking lot awaiting groceries is indescribable. Visions of a grocery cart filled to the brim heading uncontrollably towards my car are terrible. I can just imagine a crushed door panel with eggs, mustard, Chlorox, and a ripped T.V. Guide splattering Pininfarinaís finest. (Hopefully the child was removed). I donít even try to explain the motor. They look at me as if lobsters are crawling out of my shirt, wondering why I would ever let a car limit my lifestyle. Its then that Iím dragged over to either a pickup truck or even worse, a minivan. On my last excursion I was lectured about the advantages of owning a minivan over a very pretty but impractical car. I was told there are numerous places for baby seats, lots of room for lumber, bikes, tire chains, and grocery sacks, not to mention the longitudinal motor in the front which, they point out, maximizes the elastic deformation of drive wheels in contact with the asphaltic surfaces producing, at right angle to their mutual interface, the dimensionless constant known as the coefficient of static friction that when applied in a ratio with the magnitude of the force which both bodies exert on the other results in nominalized mobility.
They are my friends so Iím polite and nod, thanking them for the information. Each car has a purpose I guess. I then return to the office to face the possibility of another coworker who wants to see the car and now a second lunchtime excursion. The same theme plays itself out with the same questions and my standard answers. Try as they might, their brains arenít wired to appreciate the virtues of a Ferrari, and mine isnít wired to appreciate their practical views. However, what I have learned from this has led me to change my living will. Crystal, my lovely wife, now has direction to pull the plug if I ever get a mini-van since that would certainly indicate brain death.
Note: To anyone reading this who owns a mini-van; just kidding.