The Wasatch Behind: Car or truck of the future
"Just think," Uncle Spud giggled as he slurped up his last spoonful of grits and bacon. "Last night I went to bed broke and this morning I own 60 percent of General Motors. Is this a great country, or what?"
"The government and the United Auto Workers own General Motors," I corrected him.
"And who owns the government?" he smiled as he wiped mush spots from his shirt with the underside of his cowboy necktie. "The government works for me; so I own Government Motors."
"Good grief," I moaned.
"No kidding," he insisted. "I've never owned a car company before. This will be cool because now I can tell those guys how to make a real pickup truck."
"I don't think they'll be making many pickup trucks anymore," I told him.
"Why not?" Spud questioned.
"The government owns General Motors now," I reminded him, "and the green people who own the government don't like pickup trucks, SUVs and vans."
"Why not?" he asked.
"Pickup trucks cause global warming. Didn't you know that?"
"Old Paint is a hot truck," Spud smiled, "But her big air-conditioner can cool-off the whole San Rafael Swell. I've rolled down the windows and done it several times."
"They haven't made a truck like Old Paint since the 1960s," I agreed. "And things are going to change again, and for the worse, too, I'm afraid."
"Have you ever seen anything designed by the government that worked like it was supposed to?"
"You mean like the trillion-dollar economic stimulus package?" he asked.
"Exactly," I said. "Obama has appointed a new Car Czar who answers only to him. That way, the new GM doesn't have to answer to Congress or the citizens. The Car Czar, who is not a car expert, and a merry band of political appointees will be making most of the decisions that affect GM from now on."
"They say a camel is a horse made by a government committee," I smiled. "Can you even imagine what a government mandated car will look like?
"Good point," he agreed.
"First the government car will be super fuel-efficient. Fifty miles per gallon will likely be the standard. That means our G-Car will be real small like a golf-cart. It will be made of plastic and tinfoil with itsy-bitsy little licorice tires. The back seat will be suited for midgets and top speed will be school zone friendly."
"Second, our new car will run on bio-fuels. Instead of gasoline, we might be able to buy two cheeseburgers and feed one to the car."
"Third, your new car will be green."
"Green is not my favorite color," Spud grumbled, "It reminds me of guacamole."
"I'm not talking about color," I said. "I'm talking about environmental green. Our eco-friends already want all cars to be white so they don't absorb heat and use too much air-conditioning. The new G-Car will have a solar panel or a wind turbine on top and an electrical outlet so we can plug it into the house at night. It'll probably have a turtle deflector on the front and multiple waste bins in the dashboard so we can recycle our fast food trash."
"And the new car itself will be made of biodegradable material so it doesn't mess up the landfill. Maybe we can eat the fenders if we get stranded along the highway and no one will stop to help."
"And it'll be city-friendly, able to be folded-up and stowed in a suitcase so it doesn't take up a valuable parking space."
"And the new car will be super safe," I assured him. "The whole thing will be one big airbag. Kick a tire and she'll blow up like an inflatable raft."
"And then of course, the auto union will have their say in making the new car, too. It'll take an ant pile of foreign workers a whole week to assemble the thing and the finished product will cost over $80,000."
"What's a pickup-loving redneck to do?" Spud asked.
"Stockpile," I suggested. "Buy a few old trucks for parts. They might be a treasure trove in the years to come. America will be like Cuba in a few years. All you see in Cuba is vintage 1950s era cars held together with wire and tape."
"I'm way ahead of you on that one," Spud purred smugly. "I've already got a whole backyard full of junked cars."