Dear Dave, Why Have You Not Responded to My Letter?

Ok, so it wasn’t a letter.  Well, I mean, I suppose you could consider it one.  Sort of.  I don’t get very many comments on this site, and certainly not many from real people—I’m looking at you Malkovich.  So when I do, I usually don’t realize it for months and then forget to respond to them at all, specifically that guy who found episodes of Jin Jin and the Panda Patrol after I mentioned it.  I swear, I’m going get back to you soon.  There’s another reason I’ve been thinking about comments and responses, and hopefully I’ll be able to share that reason relatively soon.  So this was already on my mind when, in response to a terribly written and pointless rant about car window decals I posted a while back, random internet person Dave informed me that:

Dave 1

this is Dave

“The reason most people put decals on there cars is because they have built the motor, and turned them into little hot rods. A dumb ass wouldn’t know that. And it does make them look cooler. Nice webpage though, it makes you look like a idiot. But if you have anymore why’s hit me up, i’ll be glad to help you understand.”

While it took over a year and half from its original posting for Dave to stumble on it, probably while shopping for new windshield decals, I’m still a little miffed he hasn’t gotten back to me on the response I left for him.  I tried to be timely.  Also, Dave, you could not possibly have spent enough time on my site to establish that I am an idiot.  Stats, Dave, stats.  There just weren’t page views for the day you commented for you to have seen enough of Gas Station Burrito to make an educated determination.  I would like an apology for that comment.

But in an effort to better communicate with all four of my readers and the other two people, in addition to Dave, who accidentally found GSB this year, I’d like to share my response again.  I tried to balance being timely with offering a sincere and well thought out response.  It’s probably the first time I was timely in anything and it was certainly more sincere than what that dick John Malkovich got…

I still don’t understand, but I appreciate your feedback. I’ve been thinking your comments over and I’d like to say this: To me it seems that the decals cheapen the car. I know next to nothing about cars, a fact I am ashamed of every day. Check the oil, fill the radiator, all four tires appear to be attached, that’s the extent of my knowledge. But the guys who rebuild their engines (and their friend’s engine, and their sister’s engine, and their neighbor’s…) the guys who bleed for their cars, who sink every day off and spare dollar into making, replacing, rebuilding, tracking down original parts, all in the service of, in some cases, works of art on four wheels, aren’t the type I’d expect to have decals on their cars.

Maybe I overestimate their pride in their own vehicles. Or I mistakenly thought they would surround themselves predominantly with similar-minded people, the sort who could tell you what you were running blindfolded just by listening to the engine turnover; the kind of person who would expect you to know their car a mile away from the custom exhaust system you helped them install, and to smile without realizing they had when the throaty rhythmic growl of a finely tuned engine hits their ears… and who, when in the company of the type of person who couldn’t tell a Cavalier from a Corvette and answers the question, “What do you drive?” with a color, knows that the subject of cars should never be broached.

With that in mind I find decals cheap and pandering for attention. It isn’t a lack of respect for the cars or those who built (or rebuilt) them. It’s the opposite, in fact. I find them cheap when I consider that those who’s attention they will grab are the opposite audience you deserve. They’re a stage cue for the shallow to swoon. The people you described, who’ve built motors and made hot rods, are exactly the type I would expect to avoid using decals. They’re not sorority girls hanging their graduation tassels from the mirror. They’re scrapped knuckles and grease ground in to the bone, and they are satisfaction that when they turn their key the engine starts because they made it. The people who know their car will know their car. They don’t need a decal to draw their eye, and certainly won’t be impressed by it. If anything, it seems to serve as a distraction from a truly beautiful custom car.

But, perhaps, we just have different opinions on the matter… thanks again for your feedback..

I wasn’t entirely satisfied with this response, wasn’t sure I was making my case clearly enough.  I kept hearing my old boss telling me to stop over-thinking it and hit the button.  Did I make my case?  My opinion is that there are two types of car people: the kind that can rebuild a transmission, and the kind that can slap a light kit underneath their Civic that they bought at Wal-Mart.  Which type sounds more likely to put a decal on their windshield?

About mattS

Couch potato, burrito aficionado, whiskey sour drinker, handyman, writer of interesting things.

Posted on March 17, 2014, in Comments and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. That person who found episodes of Jin Jin and the Panda Patrol here. It’s been a while, really, sorry for not commenting earlier. One word: university. What I wanted to say is, I have all the episodes now, 18 of them in English, others in Russian. Literally every character has become a meme among my closest friends. Thinking about doing a review of the entire show. What has my life come to.
    On the other note, you made an awesome response to Dave. High fives all the way.


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