HAVE SAINT, WILL TRAVEL

There is always an extremist to run something into the ground. That fellow who roars through the village in a yellow hard-top convertible used to have six racoon tails streaking behind. That was four cars ago. Next his aerial wobbled under two fake TV antennae, then it was three confederate and two pirate flags. Now he still has a doll with blinking eyes in the rear window, but the cluster of baby shoes is gone from the rear view mirror and the dash ledge is populated with saints.

Not one saint, you understand. That would not be unusual. There is some talk in Detroit of developing a dashboard image as optional equipment. But this character has his ledge crowded with a whole company of saints. I haven’t identified them individually from the fleeting glimpses that are possible. I think there are more than twelve, though they may be the Apostles with some supplementation. They all seem to be plastic, have long robes, and face to the rear. Perhaps they are all replicas of St. Christopher, installed on the assumption that a proper image-horsepower ratio should be maintained.

The first manufacturer to develop a forward looking saint for hood ornamentation should earn the blessings of the whole auto industry. These plastic dash figures go back to plaster-of-paris originals of the last century. They are not designed for the current sport car. A figure in golden aluminum alloy, the motif taken from contemporary ecclesiastical art, but with a horizontal movement.… This would catch the eye of our convertible friend (and thousands like him, well-known to motivational research analysts); he would promptly buy the new Christopher Cruiser and get it off to a jet start all over our area. Later, of course, as they became ...

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