1. They exist
We tend to forget what a marvel the auto is in spite of the colossal pain in the butt they can be, not to mention the carnage, the pollution, the congestion. That you don’t have to do anything but sit yer butt in the seat, start it up and take off is a testament to the smarts of the humans, the same smarts that brought us the indoor toilet, the printing press, the computer, artificial limbs, the 12-string guitar and the vegetable peeler.
2. The folks who keep our roads passable
Before pavement, there was only dirt and rocks and mud, and the average speed of a horse was what, 5-10 MPH? In each county or city across the nation and the world, men and women toil day and night to keep those roads passable, in all kinds of intense heat and bitter cold and rain, so that you and I can go to the store or to work and back.
The amount of sheer back-breaking labor involved is considerable – and it’s all just for you and me.
Sure, they get paid and the money comes from our taxes, but it’s a bitch of a job. I’ll never forget being in India, seeing a crew out during a monsoon and one guy standing in a hole in the road up to his neck in water.
3. Their convenience
Before the automobile, if you wanted to go somewhere, you had to get fully dressed for whatever weather, go out and saddle up the horse, climb on and off you went, bumpity bump.
Today, if you need to go to 7-11 a mile away, you can be in your pajamas at 3:30 AM when your girlfriend demands ice cream, dash out of your house and be at the store in three minutes.
4. Their ability take you far, far away on a moment’s notice
In New York and want to drive to Florida? No problemo, if your car’s in working order. Pack a bag, fill the tank, check the oil and the tires and you’ll be there in two days. Try that in 1865. Even old Abe Lincoln couldn’t do it.
5. Heating and air conditioning.
20,000 degrees below zero? 110 in the shade? Your car can fix that, so you don’t have to get a sweaty butt or cold nose or see your breath in the car. When I was a lad, our car had no air conditioning. We boiled in summer, and my Dad even smoked cigars in the car, too. (By the end of his life, nobody would even get into his car, let alone take a drive in it due to the El Producto fragrance.
It’s a beautiful day and a beautiful life.