In response to your story concerning how to sell a car (Fiat) toa sucker—I understand you totally. In fact, I wrote a story aboutit for senior English this year in high school. I have totallyoverhauled the engine and did all the body work. I like my Fiata lot, BUT! understand totally. Here is my story . . . or my proposal.

A Modest Automobile

The society we live in today is hurried, complex, andalienating. People need time to stop and smellthe roses, time to savor the finer things in life. So, for the good of thenation, I propose that everyone drive a Fiat.

The benefits are as follows.

1. Community Bonding. Driving a Fiat would promote increased community bondingand awareness. When all the Fiats unexpectedly break down at the same time, people will be forced to reach out to each other for help and encouragement and to trade useful tidbits of information.

2. Economic Growth. This is inevitable, with the whole societyspending money on hourly transportation repair. Mechanics' incomes will rise, industry will expand, and unemployment will decrease. Foreign alliances will also be made,due to the widespread need for specialized, hard-to-get auto parts.

3. Personal Growth. Each person's character and integrity will grow every time his Fiat baffles, confuses, and angers him.

4. Ethnic Diversity. The Fiat will help expand the nation's knowledge of Italian rhetoric, as each owner pores over the poorly translated Italian-to-English service manuals. An appreciation for Italian design will also contribute to this cultural diversity as Americans explore the Italian way of taking a simple engine and making it into a masterpiece of confusing complexity.

5. National Health. Medicare will no longer be needed. The health of our nation will be improved by the amount of exercise needed for day-to-day survival. Walking for help in the clean, fresh air and building muscle tone struggling with Fiat bolts and screws are two small examples. The air will be cleaner because we will be rid of all those pesky SUVs. The small four-cylinder Fiat engines will cut down on harmful exhaust and save precious fossil fuels. And the fact that they will so seldom be running will be an added benefit.

6. The Joy of Not Knowing. Exhilaration without acceleration will be enjoyed byall who drive a Fiat. They will receive hours of thrills from their inability to know where or when they will break down next.

The promotion of the Fiat is for the public good and forthe health and well-being of a strong nation.

Ben Bomer

[ As Read on Car Talk ]