/Let there be white

Let there be white

By Jim Poling Sr. 
plan this week was to write a column about the SNC-Lavalin political
madness whipped up by the muddled minds of the nation’s political elite.
change; this one because my mind refused to waste one more millisecond
reading or hearing about political incompetency and corruption.
SNC-Lavalin scandal, which could have been avoided with some honest
moral leadership, continues while the critical problems of climate
change, the opioid epidemic, the growing poor-rich chasm are lost in a
fog of political war. It’s like kids screaming at each other over a
broken toy instead of working together to fix it.
So I decided to write about my new car instead of the SNC-Lavalin mess.
months ago my wife and I agreed it would make sense to trade our aging
car and 11-year-old pickup truck for one new vehicle. 
is a nice car. Smooth, frisky and smells good inside. The only
complaint is that all the bells, buzzers, blinking lights and
computerized thingies are almost as annoying as the politicians arguing
whether corporate criminal acts should be ignored in the interest of
saving jobs. 
What is strange about our new car is its colour. It is white. 
Many years ago I vowed never to drive a white car. It was a vow developed from a childhood trauma.
trauma occurred the day my father came home with our very first family
vehicle. It was a brand new boxy 1956 Chevy with pimple tail lights, and
should have been the envy of a neighbourhood of rusting, slouch-back
1940s models.
It wasn’t. It was totally white and without an inch of chrome to give it some personality.
The neighbourhood kids were on to it immediately. Their taunts were devastating.
“Hey, there’s an ambulance at Poling’s house!”
“No, it’s theirs. His old man bought an ambulance.”
The adults were not any kinder. 
“Did it come with a siren?” the next door neighbour asked.
“How much would it cost for a rooftop red light option?” asked another.
jokes shouted across the lawns and the whispers and smirks at his
workplace parking lot were too much for Dad. One day he brought the
Chevy back to Port Arthur Motors where he had bought it. It came back
the next day with a painted blue roof. No longer could it be called The
those memories washed over me as I drove our new, white car from the
dealership. Would friends and neighbours start calling it The
after a couple of days on the road I realized that I was not alone in
having a white car. Many of the vehicles around me, even trucks, were
research uncovered a startling fact: In recent years white has become
the most popular colour for new vehicles. Every second car now imported
from Asia is white. Worldwide, 37 per cent of all new vehicles in 2016
were painted white.
instead of being laughed at and called The Ambulance my new car is lost
in a sea of white cars out there on the streets and highways.
reason for the trend to white vehicles is that some people consider
them safer. Surveys show that black vehicles are 12 per cent more likely
to be involved in an accident than white. Grey vehicles are 11 per cent
more likely, and silver 10 per cent.
are disadvantages to having a white vehicle. It is difficult to find in
parking lots where the majority of vehicles seem to be white.
there were times this past winter at the lake when I thought our car
had been stolen. I would get up in the morning, look out to the parking
spot and could not see it. It was indistinguishable in the fresh-fallen
my car’s colour is not simply white. No car colour these days has a
name that is plain or simple. Blues, for instance, are no longer simply
blues. Your new blue vehicle might be listed as Estoril, Indigo, Blu
Nettuno or some other florid appellation dreamed up by marketing ninjas.
my new car is not a plain and simple white. It is Blizzard, which
likely is why I had so much trouble finding it during the winter.