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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Same car

I've discussed whether or not Christians and Muslims worship the same god, online and in person, at least 10 times. It is always frustrating. I thought I'd write a little short story to show just how ludicrous the idea is, and to help share how frustrating the conversations about this subject are.

Same Car
I'm in insurance. Yesterday I went to this guy's house- let's call him Billy, to insure his 1997 Camaro SS. This is the Camaro with the Corvette engine, which is an expensive car to insure. Billy is a 25 year-old male, which means he pays an age penalty to insure his vehicle. Total cost to Billy for one year of No-Fault was $4817.53 cents. Billy didn't like it.

What surprised me was the way he tried to reduce this bill.

"My Suzuki Sidekick only cost me twelve hundred a year," Billy said.
"Yeah, different car, different price," I answered.
"Well, they're the same car, though."
"No they aren't."
"Yeah they are. Look, four wheels on both! Same car!"
"Well, that doesn't make them the same car."
"Yeah, it does! Look, they both have engines, don't they?" Billy popped the hood on the Camaro. "See, there's the engine! The Sidekick had one, too!"
"That engine is 8 cylinders and it make 250-plus horsepower, Billy. The Sidekick has 4 cylinders and make 120 horses."
"Engines is engines! Same car! My gradma says cars is cars, dammit!"
"Grandma is wrong."
"Oh, sure, Grandma is wrong! They're both made in auto plants, ain't they?"
"Yeah. But one's made in Japan and the other in America."
"I'm talkin' about what's the same! Why you keep mentioning the DIFFERENCES, HUH?"
"Because I'm pointing out that they aren't the same car. If they are different they aren't the same."
"They both use mechanics when they're broke, huh?"
"That's true."
"Same car!"
"Look, Billy-"
"You just want them to be different 'cause you get more money that way."
"It is just common sense and logic, Billy."
"No no no. You won't admit they're the same because you got a dog in this fight. But this is the same car. They both take gas, don't they?"
"Okay, then."
"Look, Billy, you can point out similarities all you like, but those similarities don't take away the fundamental, obvious differences between a Suzuki Sidekick and a Chevrolet Camaro."
"Sure they do."
"But- you know they aren't the same! Why do you insist they ARE the same?"
"'Cause they are."
"They both have seats, ain't that right?"
"It doesn't matter!"
"They both have steering wheels."
"Billy, they are different cars!"
"No, sir. They both use gas, and people drive' em to get somewheres. HAH! I win, you lose."
"That means they are both cars, Billy. It doesn't mean they are the SAME car!"
"Yessir, it does. Grandma says so."
"Billy, Grandma isn't a car expert."
"Grandma says so."
"Billy, this Camaro weighs 3200 pounds, the Sidekick weighs 2300 pounds."
"They both take keys, don't they?"
"The Sidekick has 4 wheel drive, the Camaro doesn't."
"They both go forward and they both go reverse."
"The Camaro's wheelbase is 8 inches wider than the Sidekick's."
"They both require oil changes now and agin."

I handed Billy the keys to my Pinto and got in his Camaro.

"What are you doin'?" Billy asked.
"I'm going home."
"But that's my car."
"It's the same as my Pinto, Billy. I'm trading you."
"Wait a second. They aren't the same!"
"They both have wheels, don't they?"
"This ain't funny!"
"And they both take gas! Same car, Billy! Same car!"


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