Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Repossession obsession....

I observe with mild interest and amusement as a number of men manhandle a locked Ford Expedition into a parking space just behind the building I work in. Checking the time I figured they spent more than half an hour jacking, tugging and pushing at the shiny mass of metal, with their strains finally coming to an end with the large SUV being coaxed into one of the parking spaces.

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Querying one of the security personnel, I was told the the vehicle was forcibly repossessed after the owner failed to make the payments on the vehicle. Apparently the owner wasn't happy about his SUV being repossessed, so he neglected to unlock the doors, much less give them the keys.

As if it really mattered whether he gave them the keys or not.

It's a tad ironic, don't you think?

A towering 4x4 such as a Ford Expedition, in the vast majority of cases, is really nothing more than extravagant status symbol, an expression of affluence, an utter display of the triumph of decadence over practicality. Weighing in at over 6,800 kg, or approximately 15,000 lbs, it weighs about the same as six or seven subcompacts. Being approximately 2 m wide, more than 5 m long at about 2 m tall, it's probably bigger than the tin shacks of a lot of destitute and impoverished Filipinos. With a massive 5.4 liter V8, it devours fuel faster than Homer Simpson at an all-you-can-eat fish restaurant, not to mention the fact that compared to most vehicles it probably belches out tons more greenhouse gases. If you think global warming is a myth, then this is the car for you! Further contributing to the irony is that most owners will probably never even drive their Expeditions off-road.

So who would ever buy a vehicle like a Ford Expedition?

Why, only the ridiculously rich of course. No one without oodles of cash should even consider buying one of these babies.

Which leads us back to the situation at hand.

In front of me stands a repossessed Ford Expedition.

It doesn't seem quite right.

Status symbols come naturally if you can afford them. A lot of wealthy people I know even deliberately shun status symbols, preferring the anonymity of being just like everyone else, possibly for their own protection as well.

Unfortunately, some people can't wait. There are people who waste no time or money in projecting themselves as more than what they really are. In this case, that they are more wealthy than they really are. That's why they buy status symbols...even if they can't afford them.

And sadly, the poor slob who owns (owned?) this SUV apparently falls among the latter.

Moral of the story? Don't pretend to be something or someone you're not. Never buy something you can't afford. And never, ever buy a luxury SUV if you can't make the payments.





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