A Eulogy

My dear friend Kerry,

For a couple of years now, you and I have talked about the realizations I think are common to our age, those last days of the exuberant hope and fire that typify our lives well into our 20s. I want to tell you that I always had the feeling that every conversation that I had with you was somehow too short, that if only our lives were different, we would have had more time to talk or to finish the conversation we’d started. In many cases, you listened more than you talked, but those few important words that you uttered from time to time were small treasures that gave all of us around you insight into your true personality.

On many occasions I remarked to you that I could not fully accept the idea that someone could be alive and vibrant one minute, but the next minute, not. I remember that I talked about the sudden death of John Ritter, and we then talked about some of his work, including Sling Blade, and of course, Three’s Company. What would we have thought had we known then that your untimely death was looming and that you would become one of the group of people who’d died too soon? What would we have done? Would you have lived your life differently? Continue reading

Touchless Car Wash Isn’t

Bottom line: Touchless car wash scratches a car again.

For those of you unfamiliar with these places here in San Francisco–the idea is that you can get your car hand-washed in about ten minutes for $20 or so. Many people don’t use the mechanical car washes because they’ve been led to believe that the brushes on these machines will scratch the paint or will eventually wear down some of the coatings on various trim parts. The problem, of course, is that the human element of the hand-wash businesses comes into play, and at least some of the dozen or so hands that will touch your car do so perfunctorily. So Twilight Zone admonitions be damned, the machines here seem to have the upper hand–they do not succumb to indolence or apathy, as the towel-wielders at Touchless Car Wash seem to.

A scratch on a car is not as simple or small as it might seem. Continue reading