A brief lapse into Dinah Shore’s legacy

If you didn’t watch TV in the 50s, you were spared the harrowing déjà vu of living the dream Dinah caroled to viewers,

See the USA in a Chevrolet. . . .

I came a little too close to Dinahland this morning, seeing a little more of the USA than I’d intended—but who knows how many Chevy drivers of Dinah’s day aspired to see the great paper mills belching their triumphant smoke just east of Lewiston, Idaho? I have no doubt that for some it could become an acquired taste. But for others of us who are wired at hyperbolic frequency, these things loom huge and terrible, for the simple reason that they are (a) there; and (b), are not on your way to your destination.

I had been to the auto body shop before, just three weeks ago, to get an estimate for a repair of a small wound inflicted on one of Grunhilde’s (her name) quarter panels by a presumed-uninsured hit-and-run driver in a Wal-mart parking lot. I passed the shop the first time, largely because it has no visibility from the road, but is set back a ways, and the sign blends nicely with the environment. So I knew how to get there and approximately where to start looking for the place, but being a creature of patterning, I passed it again, this time going a little farther, leaving the city limits–it isn’t as if Lewiston is awfully vast–and hysterically calling the shop to confess my ineptitude, mortified that I was keeping the car rental lady, who was meeting me there, waiting. Happily, the car rental lady had dropped the car off, presumably having come in tandem with a colleague.

A good time was had by all. I saw America’s greatness east of Lewiston in my Audi. I saw my favorite familiar sector of the USA from the rented Chevy Malibu as I uneventfully took the direct route home. I say uneventfully, because the only eventful thing happened before I was underway, and that was finding the Malibu’s drink holder.

This essential feature, evidently designed as an adjunct to other Stanford-Benet tests, is located underneath three other cunningly latched storage compartments in a plastic box-like structure disguised as an armrest. It holds two drinks, and my water and coffee tumblers were quickly nested. My Audi’s collapsible drink holders were probably designed by people who scored in the Stanford-Benet ethersphere so that I wouldn’t have to in order to find them.

Just finding the Chevy’s drink holder encourages me to think nine days in Dinahland will be survivable–especially if I can figure out how to turn on the smart lights.


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