I have many fond memories of my Father but one that sticks out is about his complete lack of pretension.
My Father was a top executive at big Long Island defense firm back in the days when that meant something. During college I worked a few summers there and I always got a kick out of my Father’s car. He, of course, had a primary spot reserved for the top executives. Mercedes, followed by Audi, by BMW, by Cadillac, and then my Dad’s car, a 15 yr. old hand-me-down from my Mother jalopy held together by duct-tape and prayer.
I suspect many people judged my Father by that car and I suspect I did too, but so much the better. What you don’t care about is sometimes as important as what you do.
Anyway, I was reminded of this this weekend when, after trying for some time, I harvested my first deer with a bow and arrow.
Yesterday, I loaded the deer in the back of my car. Have I mentioned my car?
I drive a Prius. Yes, a Prius. My commute to my job is 60 miles each way so I bought a Prius to save money on gas. Hippies smile at me. I don’t smile back.
Anyway, I arrived at the location where the deer butcher/taxidermist collects deer from that day’s successful hunters. As I pulled up, a large pickup truck was backed up to the butcher’s van unloading some deer. I pulled up along side in my Prius.
I got out of the car and stood next to the van as the butcher completed tagging and moving the deer into his van. As he did so, I saw him give me a few sideways wary glances. As if he half expected me to throw blood on him and call him a murderer.
When he finished with the truck’s contents he cautiously turned to me and said, “Can I help you?”
“Yes. I have a deer for drop-off.”
With mouth agape, he looked at my car and then back at me and then back at my car and said “Really?”
So the moral of the story? Don’t judge a man by his car. That man in the jalopy may be an executive and that dude in the Prius a stone cold deer killer.
Don’t judge a man by his car. Except, of course, if he is driving a “Smart Car,” then you can feel free to judge him. Judge away.