Blue, White, and Rusty All Over

Aug 15, 1998

RAY: The Vinnie brothers have done so well in the garage business that they decided to go out and buy themselves a couple of new Oldsmobiles.

One Vinnie goes to a dealer in the daytime and picks up his new car, while the other Vinnie goes to a different dealer and takes delivery of the identical car from Enzo (who moonlights as a car salesman when he isn't painting lines).

The first Vinnie had bought a white Olds, and took a roasting from the other Vinnie for it: "You knuckle head, don you listen to Cah Talk?" Vinnie said. "They say light cahs rust tha fastest, you know." Vinnie replied, "No problem. I pahk my white beauty in na one-cah garage, an yours goes in na driveway." Vinnie shakes his head. "Oh, no, no. My dahk blue baby goes inside, cuz yours will be a hopeless rust bucket in no time."

Now, they drive the same roads and weather conditions every day; in fact, they could ride together if they could stand each other. Fast forward four years, and we notice that the blue car that has been in the heated garage all along has become a rust heap. The white car, which has spent its life outside in the cold, is in great shape.

Question: What's happened here?


RAY: Here's the answer:

The culprit is the heated garage. Rust is the result of a chemical reaction, and most 10th grade science students know that most chemical reactions are accelerated by heat. So the salt, water and other things that rust cars act more quickly when the vehicle is in the warm garage than outside. Too bad for Vinnie.

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