We ain't junk yards!

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | May 01, 1992

Dear Tom and Ray:

I enjoy your column. I find your wit and humor mix well with your obvious mechanical expertise. I've just got one gripe. It's the way you refer to "Auto Salvage Yards" as "Junk Yards." Come on fellas. We have enough trouble informing the public that we ain't Junk Yards. We are the nation's 16th largest industry. We do a valuable service to the public. Where would all the wrecked cars end up, if not for us? And concerning the word "recycling," we invented it. We were recycling salvage cars long before John Doe was picking up aluminum cans. The majority of us are honest businessmen. We sell pre-owned car parts saving the public time and money. So please cut us a little slack and delete the word "Junk" from your vocabulary--unless, of course, you're referring to that '63 Dart of yours!
20 Year Salvage Yard Owner

TOM: Gee, Walter, I don't know if we're going to be able to help you, here. The term "junk yard" is very deeply ingrained in the American psyche. I mean, if we made the changes you suggest, what would we call a junk yard dog? An auto-recycling center ca??nine?

RAY: Junk yards DO serve a very useful purpose. And in fact, the term has very positive connotations for us. My brother is particularly fond of junk yards, because that's where nine of his last ten cars have come from. The tenth would have been at a junk yard, but the guy who owned it couldn't get it started.

TOM: Seriously Walt, we are great supporters of what you do. Many auto parts should be reused. It saves people money, and cuts down on our waste disposal problem. But I'm afraid you're just going to have to live with the term junk yard.

RAY: Try to think of it as a term of endearment...kind of like when I lovingly call my brother "fat head."

TOM: Hey!

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