Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 27, 1995)
Monday, February 27,1995 Page 5
Ditch her for newer model
She’s gotta go. I’ve outgrown
her. I’ve matured, and quite
frankly, it’s not in my best interest
to hang onto her.
She expects so much time and
attention, both of which I have very
little. She always wants to go fast
and gets hot at the worst times. She
drinks too much and doesn’t
consider the impact on my pocket
book, fully expecting me to load hei
up whenever she asks.
If I’m with her for too long, I
begin to feel cramped and closed in,
She doesn’t give me enough space,
and I can’t separate myself from
her; I’m always forced to take her
with me wherever I go.
Oh, did I mention that she’s
loud and insists on making her
presence known at all times. Just
because I do that doesn’t mean she
Yes, my mind is made up. It may
be painful at first and we may both
go through some initial shock, but
it has to be done. I have to end this
relationship while we’re still on
good, terms, and before I kill her.
I have to sell my car.
But this is no ordinary car, mind
you. This happens to be a classic, a
vintage automobile that commands
respect, if for no other reason than
She is of a fine breed of muscle
cars whose artistic lines and
seductive shapes, coupled with pure
power and brute force, will never be
She is a 1968 Camaro RS and
yes, she has a name, but that’s
I’ve reached a turning point iii
my life, and the wheels of my 210
horsepower Camaro can’t follow
me down this road.
Soon I’ll be, er, connected, and a
two-door sports car with virtually
no back seat or trunk space no
longer fills my daily requirements
This past weekend we went to
Chicago to see the International
Auto Show at McCormick Place,
and it was, as usual, quite a sight.
The quest for a new car had begun.
We waded through what
seemed like thousands of new
cars, trucks, vans and 4x4s, not to
mention the mass of people,
trying to find a vehicle that would
fit our needs.
Our needs included something
that would fit four real people
without amputation, get decent gas
mileage (above 25 mpg), would not
get us killed in an accident (no Geo
Metro) or break us at the bank.
The Honda Civic looked good,
except that by the time you get air
conditioning, cassette and auto
matic, even the cheapest one
A Nissan Sentra is $14,000, a
VW Golf is more than $15,000 and
,a Toyota Corolla is even more! The
cheapest 4x4 is the Suzuki Side
kick, and although it is much less
than the competition, it runs more
than $16,000 with a few basic
Needless to say, the Lexus
SC300, the BMW 325 and the Audi
90 Quattro were entirely out of the
question, but that’s not to say we
didn’t hold up lines sitting behind
the wheels of these cars and
dreaming of a time when we could
be worthy of these creatures.
So we left the show with a
feeling of inability and remorse.
Time to find a used car.
Fortunately, I have friends in the
car business and we happened upon
several clean, low-mileage, late
model used cars that were surpris
Most cars lose about 30 to 40
percent of their value in the first
three years, and those are the ones
that are the best deals. They’re not
too old, usually not too many miles
and not a roach (slang for a burnt
hulk of a car).
After careful deliberation we
decided to go with a used 1992
Honda Accord EX, a dependable,
unbreakable, high-value car. It has
a sunroof, ABS and most impor
tantly, it’s a 5-spced. All for less
than a new Civic with nothing on
My transition is now half
complete. The new wheels are here
and I have to part with the old ones.
It will be a struggle at first, being
separated from her, but that feeling
will pass. I’ve got a new girl now,
one that is not so demanding,
possessive or loud.
I need to name my new girl, but
out of respect I’ll wait until old
Bertha leaves. She’ll find some
body, just like I did, and she’ll be
Say, you wouldn’t be interested
in a slightly worn beauty, would ya?
She’s a real runner, let me tell ya ...
Justice isajunl or broadcastingand news
editorial major and a Dally Nebraskan col
T-shirt theft causes uproar
News that the son of a prominent
UNL official and an accomplice
stole nearly $2,000 worth of
“National Championship” T-shirts
from the University Bookstore has a
friend of mine up in arms.
This, combined with the fact that
the two young men are still em
ployed at their university jobs, has
him more angry than I ever thought
I’d see him. I thought my friend
was above worrying about this kind
of thing. He had always impressed
me as someone who was concerned
with more important things.
While my friend shouted about
how incredible it was that the two
still worked at the University
Printing Services, I couldn’t believe
what I was seeing. He said, “If I
walked out of the store with a pen,
I’d be locked up.” He also com
plained about the seemingly light
punishment the two thieves
received. As he continued to shout,
he spattered my face with saliva.
I’d never seen him that way. His
girlfriend looked up from where she
was sitting and said, “He’s been
like this for two days.”
It appeared my friend had
reached his limit. It was as if he
had suddenly exploded with anger.
This was not the laid-back guy I’ve
known for five years.
This was someone different.
This was a man who was fed up
and angry that a person who came
from the right situation could do
wrong and get away with it. I
imagine many people are angry
about it. Some people, however,
know this kind of thing happerfs ail
the time and manage not to get too
worked up about it. I mean, really!
T-shirts? Who gives a hoot about T
Sometimes a person reaches a
point where they can’t take any
E. Hughes Shanks
more of something, and they blow a
gasket. Obviously, that what’s
happened to my friend. But I’m still
puzzled that he’s so upset.
I always thought he was really
classy. He comes from a good
home. His parents are scholars and
educators. He himself is fluent in
French and has lived and studied
abroad. As a child, the only blacks
that I knew like that were in my
family. I guess my friend reminded
me of myself. And that’s what I
told him. But he didn’t hear me. He
was too angry.
I admit it looks bad for the
university to continue to employ the
son of one of its administrators
after stealing from the University.
Incensed that there must have been
a plea bargain made since the
charge became a Class I misde
meanor, he said, “Two thousand
dollars, man. That’s a felony! Now
you know, the average brother
wouldn’t get off with a slap on the
hand like that.” I agreed, but
neither of us were the “average”
brother. “So why should we be any
more ticked off than anyone else?” I
I wondered if I was missing
something. It seemed as though my
friend was stooping to soap opera
like depths to make such a big deal
about it. Maybe for him, the theft
and light sentence represented
something much more than I
realized. But I wondered, who
really loses out? It isn’t like the
thieves were taking food out of the
mouths of babies.
At the very worst, the social
implication of their theft speaks to
the the greed and obsession of
Huskermania, something that might
be a bigger issue than a case of
apparent preferential treatment of
the son of a University of Nebraska
The sight of my friend being so
upset almost upset me. I know the
line of argument that it’s particu
larly hard “out there” for most
people, and only a chosen few have
it easy. But I decided not to fall into
that. There are much more harmful
things to society than the stealing
First of all, who did the thieves
actually hurt? What real harm was
done, anyway? If the thieves
pleaded the charge down, so what?
This wasn’t a rape. I think my
friend should choose his battles
carefully. The things that should
really make someone angry should
have the broadest of possible social
I agree that it looks bad for the
university. But how about the boy’s
father? What do you suppose he’s *
thinking? It looks even worse for
his family. If I were the son of a
prominent official, I’d be pretty
embarrassed. The last thing I’d
want attached to me woulobe the
stigma of being treated better than
others because of my father.
We’re not talking about the fate
of the world here. We’re talking T
Come on! Gee whiz, lighten up a
Shanks is a graduate student and Dally
getting to Johns
The man was so upset that his
voice quivered a bit.
“My name is John, and I’m
really sick and tired of people
referring to a bathroom as me.
You did it today.”
That was true. In a column
about the display advertising in
washrooms in Chicago’s main
sports stadium, I referred to them
as “the john.”
The caller named John angrily
continued: “Why didn’t you refer
to the washrooms as a mike?
Then you’d see how people
named John feel.”
I would have if mike were
used that way. But it isn’t.
“Then why don’t you say it’s
wrong to call a washroom a john
and that people named John are
Yes, I could do that, but I
doubt if that would change the
way millions of Americans talk.
Besides, I don’t think most
people named John are so easily
“I think you are wrong,” said
John, “and I hope you will think
about it. You have no way of
knowing how many people’s
feelings you hurt when you call a
toilet by our name.”
I promised him that I would
think about it, and I have. And
I’ve decided that this is another
case of people being overly
sensitive, which is an affliction
that races around faster than any
It you look in a dictionary,
you will see that there are several
ways that john can be used, some
unpleasant but others quite nice.
A john can be a prostitute’s
client. He also can be part of a
signature, as in “sign your John
The name john can also be
found in John Barleycorn, a
symbol of boozing; johnboat, a
fine little craft; John Doe, a
symbolic everyman; John Henry,
the legendary steel-driving folk
hero; johnny cake, a commeal
bread; Johnny on the spot, a
person who is on hand and ready
to help out in an emergency; and
Johnny Reb, a Confederate
Why isn’t there a George on
the spot? And couldn’t there
have been a steel-driving folk
hero named Bruce Henry? There
is no commeal bread named after
the Leroys, and drinking men
named Waldo might have been
pleased if there were a Waldo
To my surprise, the dictionary
also lists a johnny as “a short
sleeved, collarless gown that is
open in the back and is worn by
persons undergoing medical
examinations or treatment.”
If I were a John, I would be
troubled at having my name
connected with those stupid
gowns that leave one’s bare
bottom on view to the world.
But is that any worse than the
humiliation that must be felt by
anyone who bears the rock-solid
name of Joe?
Sure, there is the phrase “he is
a good Joe.” And World War II
gave us GI Joe.
That doesn’t make up for Joe
Blow, which can mean a big
talker or just a face in the crowd.
And then there is Joe Schmo,
described in my slang dictionary
as “an undistinguished and
unfortunate person,” and Joe
Sixpack, a beer-drinking, TV
watching, unwashed, unread
clunk of a guy.
When you look at the abuse
heaped on Joes, you realize that
Johns get off easy.
As tor Mike, which is short
for Michael, the most popular
name being given to the male
spawn of yuppies, the only other
use for it is as a short version of
I recently wrote about that
breed of TV reporters that cannot
ask a question while sitting down
or standing still but insist on
chasing a moving victim and
trying to stick a mike in that
Not one sensitive Mike called
and said: “My feelings are hurt,
as are other guys named Mike,
because you referred to us as
something that is stuck in a nose.
I have never been stuck in
anyone’s nose, and I don’t ever
intend to be. Before you are so
thoughtless again, think about
the millions of people you are
holding up to ridicule.”
No, even as a Mike, I will
continue to call a mike a mike.
And the next time some plain
jane almost chases me into the
john while sticking a mike in my
nose, I will tell her to put on a
johnny robe and stick the mike in
And that ends today’s sensi
© 1995 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
Powered by Open ONI