From what I see in the newspapers and the greater minds who write for them, we may, or may not, become owners of auto companies. Is this a great country or what? As a child I dreamed I'd grow up to be a baseball player and an astronaut and the President of the United States (I'd figured this stuff out-there would be no rocket launches during the summer, so I could play baseball and when I was in space, the Vice-President would be in charge).
It would be a full life-busy, of course, what with the World Series and all. Back in the day we had NO divisions and no playoffs. You had the American League and the National League. The National League's whole function was to send teams to lose to the Yankees every fall in the Series. We had DAY games, where you could skip school for an outing to watch real baseball on real grass and sit behind grown men whose behavior you didn't understand because your Dad didn't get stupid behind beer at home. And there were NO designated hitters-everybody batted and if one of our guys got thrown at, then our pitcher nailed their guy next inning. Even the guy selling the Cracker Jack knew the drill. (And now that the Yankees have C.C. Sabathia we might even go for a little 'tackle baseball.')
And even the big stars, and the Yankees had a ton of them, did other things in the off-season to make money (we kids didn't know that. I thought Yogi Berra actually liked Yoo-hoo; it was all he ever talked about), so one year when my parents had rented a bungalow in Atlantic Highlands we all went to watch a night softball game (wow! what an experience that was) we got to see Yogi and Moose Skowron, the Yankees first baseman, play in an exhibition before the softball game called 'donkey baseball' that was exactly what you think it was. I'm thinking about Scott Boras who's a super agent for Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez, among others, and trying to guess how many shades of white his face would turn at the idea of one of his clients on a donkey. Probably the way he feels now when the Daily News has photos of his Bronx Bomber and Madonna. Vogue indeed.
Anyway, I never grew up wanting to own a car company, but it seems, thanks to the helping hand we're giving to the Moe, Larry and Curly of the automotive world, that's what we could be doing. I wonder if this will mean if I want to visit Washington D.C. if I get to use one of the corporate jets? Or do you suppose there'll be a sign-up for that? I'll bet Bob Lutz never gets told 'I don't think so, slick' when he asks to use one of the jets. I'd even get it washed and waxed before returning it.
I'd like to own my own home (I already own my own car, bought and paid for before I owned a car company. Bet I could've gotten an even better deal now. Heck with "Employee Pricing", gimme some of that Captain of Industry, 21st Century Plutocrat Discount action. That's what I'm craving) but I'll settle for the Fisher Body Works, I guess (beats going to the gym).
I'm thinking as a good first step to signify the emotional, and not just financial, investment each of us is making, we start naming the car models after the citizens whose money is going into the company. I have no idea what a LeSabre is (I took a year of audio-visual French in prep school and retained none of it), so tell me Buick is gonna start building four-door Bobs (Bills; modesty has NEVER been a virtue with me), with moon roofs and heated seats. Chrysler could have a Bernice mini-van as an homage to soccer moms everywhere and Ford can rename one of its crossovers, Pat, for obvious reasons. I'm not sure what the Hummer's new name would be, though Monica works from a marketing perspective.
Have your machine fax my machine and we can talk about it over lunch on the jet. -bill kenny