Signs of the Times

I'm asleep.

I was recently asked, “Zamboni, what are some signs of the times?” I told  them this is quite simple. You need only look at cars to see the zeitgeist. Not just the designs but also names. Names of modern cars are soft, mushy like baby food. “Prius” is medical condition of old people.  “Allantra” sound also pharmaceutical. “Accord”Oh, that’s nice. Peace accord, Jimmy Carter.

The world started to die when cars lost their fins. When Zamboni was a boy reading discarded LIFE magazines salvaged from Estonian Palace Hotel dumpster, I see adds for cars of the 60s and 70s. “Fury”, “Fairlane”, “Dart”. “Valiant”, “Falcon”, these cars mirrored how America looked forward, pushing fast and far. The pictures make me dream to come here.

I'm awake.

Today even the vans have no open space, but rows of seats like school bus. As a child, my playpen was simply put in our old VW bus which had a wide open cab. As my gypsy parents traveled about selling cheese and playing accordion I was not tied into a bolted seat, but left open to bob around and move with the contours of the road. And even though the extremely hot heater under the one back bench set my prized binky on fire,  it also kept us warm on many a frosty Balkan night’s drive.

Since cars are designed knowing they won’t be pushed off the assembly line for another few years, they must be someone’s vision of the future. They wrote songs about the GTO and Cadillac.

But the Civic?

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