One of the things that I’ve learned from going to car shows is to try to remember to not act like an expert, to listen more than talk. That way I might actually learn something, or at least not embarrass myself in front of someone that’s a real expert. That’s a nice way of saying that it’s better to keep my mouth shut and have people think that I’m a fool, than to open my mouth and prove their point.
Yesterday, novelist Bruce Holbert published an opinion piece on guns in the New York Times. Apparently Mr. Holbert mishandled a gun and accidentally killed a friend when he was a teenager. If you want to debate the firearms issue, you can go over to this site’s founder’s newer digs, but this is The Truth About Cars and Mr. Holbert does touch upon car culture at one point in his op-ed piece.
Discussing his upbringing, Holbert says,
Where I grew up, masculinity involved schooling a mean dog to guard your truck or skipping the ignition spark to fire the points, and, of course, handling guns of all kinds. I was barely proficient in any of these areas.
Skipping the ignition to fire the points? I’m not sure that even rises to barely proficient. I’m not even sure what the heck he means. Perhaps Holbert is a artist whose medium is bovine fecal material and he assumes that the average reader of the NYT opinion section knows as little as he does about cars. Or, perhaps there’s some tiny kernel of automotive knowledge underneath that gobbledygook.
What do you think? Was it just an overwrought way of describing “hotwiring” a car, or is it akin to installing a forged Knutson valve in your muffler bearing?
Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks – RJS