The week’s column is written by Adele's brother and Jinny's son David.
I swear, the other day I saw a set of custom wheels and tires on an F-150 pick- up that must have cost twice as much as my first car. They were oversized, over-wrought, and I’m pretty sure they were over-priced. As I was giving them and the gleaming-black, totally un-blemished truck body sitting on top of them the once over, the owner appeared and climbed in his chariot. (And I do mean “climbed”.) I gave him a casual glance and noted, like myself, he was over-the-hill.
It seemed pretty likely these wheels had never seen a job site, a trash dump, or a farm yard. The pristine bed told a similar story - never seen a stick of wood, a load of hay, a scoop of gravel nor even a lowly garden spade. Yet this vehicle certainly gave the appearance of being all about power and the ability to do actual work. In light of this revelation, some of you might wonder: “What’s the point?”
Well, it is a fair question but you might as well ask why a pretty painting hangs in the museum. It doesn’t do much, just hangs there. You can’t use it for anything practical. Heck, you’re not even allowed to touch it. It’s just beautiful and, more often than not, tells us a little story. Aside from being able to make a run to the Quick- Mart for a six pack, that truck was no different in principle than the painting.
“OK,” you say. “I’ll concede that a lovingly preserved machine can, in fact, be considered beautiful. But what’s the story?” (Glad you asked.)
It’s a simple analog. The vehicle was certainly near new. This equates to “youth”. It was certainly appealing to the eye. This equates to “good looks”. It was certainly expensive. This equates to “rich”. And, it certainly appeared powerful. In short, it was everything its owner was not nor likely to be upon closer inspection.
Sounds kind of sad? It’s not. Just good, old-fashioned biology at work.
“How’s that!?” you ask with incredulity in your voice. (I love it when you do that!) OK, I’ll attempt to explain. To begin with, we’ve got to concede the bottom line: we are all slaves to biology. Think not? Let’s name, what I like to call, the Biological Imperatives, and they should be fairly obvious. The organism’s immediate concern, human or otherwise, is survival. The requirements to that end are water, food and shelter from the elements in that order. I think all of us can agree we are steadfastly programmed to obtain those items by any means possible since failure to do so certainly will result in our demise. For those with even a slight philosophical bent it might then beg the question: Why?
Now, far be it from me to disparage anyone’s beliefs but, if we are honest, logical and thorough in our thinking the conclusive answer to this question is: in order to reproduce. There simply is no other demonstrable reason for us to strive so gallantly against the callous brutality of nature. Every other proposition is merely a figment of one’s particular belief system. Regardless of how sincerely and fervently we may “believe”, we cannot materially demonstrate any other connection. I’m sorry, but whether human, beast of the field, or insect, our prime directive is reproduction; as quickly and as many as possible. It’s a numbers game: the more sea turtle hatched, the more will survive the perilous crawl down the beach to the sea. Thus, the species hedges its chance for survival overall by unswerving devotion to this imperative despite the myriad of problems it raised for human kind. As to why we must “survive” at all – I can only imagine God has plans he’s not willing to clearly share at this time. Stay tuned.
“OK, smarty-pants,” you say. “What in heck has any of this got to do with an old guy and his fancy pick-up truck!?” (I’m getting to that.)
The analog above is an illustration of what I call the FDC Theorem. (Makes me sound like a real brain, don’t it?) This is a male specific formula where F = Flash, D = Dash and C = Cash and it all has to do with ‘gettin’ the girls’ which is a definite prerequisite to reproduction. Cash, we all understand. Dumpy guy enters a night club, begins displaying a host of dead presidents and suddenly his “attractiveness” skyrockets. Dash is an amalgam of social status, romance and/or implied power. Big boss, rodeo cowboy, sky-diver, race car driver, ball player – you get the idea. And Flash is just flat out good looks. If a guy has one of these in creditable amounts he’s in pretty good shape. If he has two, he’s golden. If he has three – he’s going to Hollywood!
You see the FDC Theorem in full play in the case of pick-up guy. Despite the fact this average guy with a nice ride is probably not in the dating or mating game, that no biologically viable female is apt to give him a second look, nonetheless, the subliminal hounding never ceases. Biology is as relentless as it is single minded. At the base level it’s goading him on. His subconscious is being saturated with the biological notion that, theoretically at least, he can and should produce just one more offspring. In the context of current, social reality – this ain’t gonna happen. And even if it did, do you honestly think biology would finally be satisfied and ease off? NOT!
Alas, this energy must go somewhere. If it can’t express itself in the precise goal of conception it must manifest otherwise. The VA- VOOM, BOOM-BOOM has got to go somewhere and, inevitably, it does.
Now I’m not saying a nice car never helped a guy “get lucky”. I daresay it certainly has. (Let’s face it – it’s a shallow world.) But I’d wager there have been a lot more losers than winners with this approach. “The winners?” you ask. “If what you say is to be taken seriously, it kind of seems like a no-win situation for us poor bio- slaves.” Oh, there is always an up-side, a “blessing” if you will. I assure you the American Association of Automobile Dealers is eternally grateful.