Why is a Car?

car image

When we were kids, we were on vacation in Canada and  one day my sister, Jeanne asked,

“Does Pelee take garbage?”

We figured she wanted to know where the trash went while we were on vacation.

She also asked, “Why is a car?”

In  both cases her brother and 2 other sisters thought those were stupid questions.

However, Carl Sagan stated, “There are naive` questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question.”


Why do we press harder on the remote control when we know the batteries need replaced?

If you write a book about failure and it doesn’t sell, is that a success?

Another woman said, “If you ask a stupid question, it makes you look stupid for 5 minutes. But, if you don’t ask, you stay stupid for 50 years.”


By the way, why can’t a woman put on mascara with her mouth closed?

How do you remove a club soda stain?

In a “Dear Abby” column years ago, we read, “There is no such thing as a stupid question if it’s sincere. Better to ask and risk appearing stupid than to continue on your ignorant way and make stupid mistakes.”


Why does it take 15 minutes to cook minute rice?

How long do fish have to wit to swim after eating?

Colin Powell stated, “There’s no such thing as a stupid question, only a stupid answer.”


If you can be underwhelmed or overwhelmed, can you just be whelmed?

If you got into a cab and the cabbie drove backwards, would he end up owing you money?

The book, “Presentation Skills That Will Take You to the Top” says a question might be uninformed, tangential, or seemingly irrelevant, but whether the presenter perceives it  to be stupid or not, every audience member has every right to ask any sort of question.”


Why do toasters have a setting on them which burns bread beyond recognition and no one would ever want to eat it?

If you own some land, how far down does it go?

The article, “Ink Out Loud; There’s No Such Thing as a Stupid Question and Other Ailments Lavender Cures” claims there are 3 types of stupid questions.

Just three?

Why are they called “stairs” inside but “steps” outside?

Shouldn’t I be able to spell “creativity”  any way I want?

Type 1 stupid question;

Those that have already been answered but the “asker” wasn’t listening or paying attention.


So why do most cars have speedometers that go up to at least 130 miler per hour when we can’t legally drive that fast on any road?

When cheese gets its’ picture taken, what does it say?

Type 2 stupid question;

Questions that can be answered on one’s own with complete certainty.

How’s that?

How do the “Keep Off The Grass” signs get there?

If a cow laughs, should milk come out of its’ nose?

Type 3 stupid question;

Questions of which the answer should be painfully obvious to anyone with a pulse.

Are you sure?

If something “goes without saying”, why do people still say it?

If corn oil is made from corn and vegetable oil is made from veggies, should we be concerned about baby oil?

So, allow me to revisit my younger sister’s original question.

Why is a car?

The word “car” comes from the Latin word “carrus” which means 2 wheeled wagon.

Leonardo da Vinci invented the first car…on paper…in 1478.

1886 is considered the birth date of the modern auto but we didn’t have gas gauges until 1922.

We seem to think we need them to get places but 95% of a car’s lifetime is spent parked.

Sixty million cars are produced every year or about 115 every minute.

Sixteen percent of car owners NEVER wash them.

A typical car today has over 30,000 unique parts.

Ralph Teetor, who invented “cruise control in 1948 was blind.

The average fuel cost for today’s car is about 14 and 1/2 cents per mile.

We waste 3 billion gallons of gas each year idling in traffic and the typical American will spend 2 weeks of their  life stopped at red lights.

But, if you could drive straight up at 60 miles per hour, you could drive to the moon in less than a month.

The first speeding ticket in America was issued in 1902 after the violator was clocked at 45 miles per hour.

A Swedish man was clocked at 180 miles per hour and was fined over a million pounds because in his country, speeding fines are proportionate to to your earnings.

By the way, a modern Formula 1 race car can drive upside down in a tunnel at 120 miles per hour because they pull 3.5G’s when cornering.

The first known traffic crash in America was in 1891 in Ohio City, OH and there were only minor injuries.

But, you have a 1 in 5,000 chance of dying in a car crash which makes driving significantly more dangerous than flying.

So, if someone gets in your way, toot the horn.

Most cars beep in the key of “F”.

So, why is a car?

I have no idea.

But if it is or isn’t a stupid question, it is a conversation starter.


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