Clyde List Learns to Drive a Car

Valley Observer, November 1979
Now we're watching television commercials that depict the automobile sailing through empty space. The auto will be each family's private Space Shuttle. What are these commercials trying to say? Wouldn't it be fun to drive your own car to the Moon or Mars and back? We can be certain that the scenery would be even more breathtaking than it appears on the commercials.

In other commercials the car is impossibly and unaccountably perched on a mesa or mountain outcropping. The car gives us ever-more-crowded Americans a way to be alone without apologizing for it.

Indeed, driving an air conditioned, deep seated, plush carpeted automobile isn't much different from staying at home and watching the scenery on t.v. Your car is just the same as a room in your house where you can go when you want to be alone.

I have memorized whole scenes from Shakespeare because of my car. King Lear's mad scene, complete with fool, rolls from my tongue with ease. It's a challenge to do the scene from Midsummer Night's Dream where five different actors are arguing over how to play Pyramus and Thisbe. The gate keeper scene from Macbeth has been my favorite ever since high school. My automobile echoes with all these snarling, basso-profundo, and screeching voices everywhere I go.

Sometimes a car will pull up next to mine and an entire family will be watching me and pointing at me and laughing hysterically at all the ways I am twisting my mouth and rolling my eyes. No matter. I just step on the gas and change lanes. Nosy neighbors are no problem on the open road.
Copyright 2005 by Clyde List

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