Monday, October 23, 2006

So What Can I Teach My Kids?

If Lexus has anything to do with it, parallel parking won’t be one of the things I get to teach my kids.

In case you don’t watch 4-6 hours of television a day, the latest Lexus ad touts the introduction of cars that automatically parallel park themselves.

Of course, for $50,000, the car ought to do a lot of things besides just that.

In fact, the one thing I don’t want my car to do is parallel park. I am a damn fine parallel parker and would like to be able to pass that skill on to my children.

My first car was a 1973 Buick Electra 225. It was basically Buick’s version of the Cadillac Sedan DeVille (they ride on the same frame and share many ‘under the hood’ parts). I loved that car, it was truly a party barge. And my father spent hours teaching me to put that behemoth of a car into spots where Volkswagens fear to tread.

Oh sure, I could just be satisfied with the people I’ve already taught to parallel park – friends, neighbors, my wife. But there is something satisfying about giving you children a skill that quite a few people cannot do.

Yes, yes, yes. I could teach it to them anyway. But why?

It would be like your father’s father (or perhaps his father) teaching his son the fine art of loading ice into an icebox (the predecessor of the refrigerator). While he might have been the finest ice loader in all the land, it was an unnecessary skill to have with the advent of the ‘fridge.

While there are many things that children need to learn, I dare say there are many that they want to learn as much as driving, particularly in the teen years.

What’s next? Self-shaving technology? Abolish analog clocks? The death of shoestrings? How far can we take it? Will we revert so far back that monkeys become the dominate species, a la “Planet of the Apes?”

I guess I can live with it, as long as I can be the who screams, “You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God...damn you all to hell!"

And I got all of that from a tv commercial.

Imagine what I’m like when I watch the news.