Jewish World Review June 12, 2002 / 2 Tamuz, 5762

Ian Shoales

Ian Shoales
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Consumer Reports

Very similar to a rock


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Bill Ford took back the chairmanship of Ford Motor Company from Jacques Nasser last year, and since then he's been running a series of commercials on television starring himself as a kind of homespun, down home, homey guy, kind of like the late Dave Thomas, I guess, only he makes motor vehicles instead of fast food.

The trouble with the spots, for me personally, is that chairmen of Fortune 500 Companies, no matter how hard I squint, just don't strike me as the kind of guy who'd move in next door. And even if he did move in next door, he strikes me as a little-- well, how do I put this? Dull.

All he talks about is Fords, for one thing. That's understandable, I suppose. He is trying to move those suckers out of the factory and into our garages, after all. And he's got home movies of his Ford ancestors camping out with Presidents and Thomas Edison and he talks about how he fell in love with Ford the Mustang after watching BULLITT, and if he could only have ONE CAR, it would be a Ford Mustang, and how he likes the outdoors so much, he won't even stay in a hotel unless he can open a window.

So all that is well and good, he's a Ford who likes Fords (what a shock!), and an outdoorsman who likes room service. But how is this wealth of autobiographical detail supposed to get me on the showroom floor?

I'm not going to be camping out with Presidents, I won't be chasing assassins through the hills of San Francisco any time soon, and I don't stay in hotels as a rule. If it's not a seedy motel with a broken vibra-bed and a bad oil painting of Greek ruins, I say the hell with it. The windows COULD open if they weren't rusted shut, but it's not something I worry about. Not so long as the leaky air conditioner is blasting cold air.

What kind of hotel does Bill Ford stay in any way? How do you FIND a hotel with windows that open? I thought they were all climate-controlled. But even if he does have access to hotels with screened-in porches in the penthouse, and a place for him to pitch his pup tent, and set up his projector and show home movies for the hotel staff of his great-grandfather catching walleye with Nikolai Tesla and the Kaiser-- well, again, how does that make me want to buy a car?

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JWR contributor Ian Shoales is the author of, among others, Not Wet Yet: An Anthology of Commentary. Comment by clicking here.

Up

06/05/02: Of Humice and Men
05/30/02: Pooches in sharkskin suits and the end of dog tags
05/22/02: We baby boomers used to rule the roost
05/20/02: The Files now Ex
05/14/02: Entangled in Spider-Man's web!?
05/02/02: April Showers May Come Our Yadda Yadda
04/24/02: From child murderer to milk hawker
04/10/02: New realities
03/21/02: You did it your way? I have to kill you now!
03/14/02: IN THIS CORNER SUSAN LUCCI AND STEPHANIE ZYMALIST!
03/12/02: Life in the warehouse
01/28/02: Shoes and food
01/24/02: Suspension of disbelief has nothing to do with whether we accept something as real or not
01/22/02: Save the Grand Ole Opry?
12/15/01: If you truly want to appeal to the lowest common denominator
12/11/01: KNITTING!
12/07/01: Conspiracy by the 'fat suit' lobby?
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11/15/01: Literary tips in a jar
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07/13/01: Applying Newton's First Law of Physics to textbooks
07/10/01: The dumb and the dead

© 2001, Ian Shoales