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Dear Tom and Ray:


I'm interested in buying a new car next year. My main criterion will be safety. A military tank wouldn't be sporty enough for my teenager to drive, so that's out. What else would you suggest? Thanks! By the way, I really enjoy your column. You're the next best thing to "Dear Abby!"
Linda

TOM: Whadda ya mean "next best?" I'm deeply offended.

RAY: Pipe down, Exhaust Breath. Listen, Linda. Because of the recent outbreak of monster truck crushings, we're recommending steel-and-concrete-reinforced-Volvos these days for those interested in true safety.

TOM: My brother is referring to the over-zealous ad agency that propped up a Volvo wagon with reinforcements before it was run over by a monster truck for a TV commercial. The Volvo came out unscathed, but the company lost considerable credibility, and the ad agency lost the account.

RAY: Since then, another monster truck test was performed on an un-reinforced car, and the Volvo actually survived. So we feel good about recommending Volvos again. I mean, you never know when a monster truck might try to run you over.

TOM: And don't worry about the Volvo not being sporty enough for your teenager. I guarantee you that if there's gas in the tank, a teenager will drive anything.
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