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by Dear Jon
July 29, 2003

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Sort 227_Dear Jon-A Premium Sort. ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon...
FYI... Insurance is not rated by a cars color. So Rich Guy will not get a break for getting a silver car, although, silver is a nice color. He will not get charged more for having a red car.


Insurance Agent

Dear Gent,

Thank you for writing. I now know that I have a wider readership, since I cannot think of any friends or family who sell insurance. Therefore, as I am interested in your repeat business and hoping that you will refer your friends my way, I am treating your letter with what I call “preferred” courtesy, extended only to professionals such as yourself with established credit. The “preferred courtesy plan” puts you at the top of the sort, as you can see, and spares you Dear Jon’s typical withering sarcasm.

I always source all of my material with references pulled from my memory which I never have the time to look up. Several years ago somebody somewhere made the statement that drivers of red cars tend toward higher risk assessments and therefore tend to pay higher insurance. I do not recall the study associating the color itself with higher premiums. As an advice columnist, however, what I am hoping to do is steer people away from the “red car” lifestyle and toward the more sensible “silver car” lifestyle.


Dear Jon,

I have a CD player in my car, and a CD carrying case of about 20 CDs that I usually listen to while driving. Occasionally I get bored and pull one of my CDs to replace it with another. Problem is, I usually find I want to listen to the CD after I pull it. Is this some kind of separation anxiety?

Attached at the headphones

Dear Ched,

No. Your problem is a short attention span, which is why you need the distraction of fiddling around with CD cases while you are driving. (Note: This is probably not an activity that you want to admit to your insurance agent.) I could give you advice about what to do to increase your attention span, but you have probably already quit reading and are trying to find “Ask Amy” online.

You might want to consider asking Dr. Spin: “If you could only ever have 20 cds in the car with you, which 20 cds would those be?” I would suggest a mix of orchestral music and classic rock. Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Tchaikowski, and Creedence Clearwater Revival are staples. I also like to keep my “30 Bluegrass Hits” with me in the car. There is something about driving in the open country that makes Bluegrass appropriate.

Have you ever wondered why cars switched over from tape players to cd players, rather than including both? What’s up with that?

And what’s up with that whole recall of Governor Gray Davis? Are that many voters in California willing to say, “We’re both stupid and fickle”? Not that the rest of the country is surprised.

If our Homeland Security Alert status is “yellow,” does that mean that we are surprised if we are attacked in our own borders? If the status is orange, does that mean that we are surprised if we are not attacked?

When George Bush said “Bring it on” did he really think that angry Arab Jihadists would desert Iraq in fear? Of course, now that the Hussein boys are dead, maybe the Fedayeen will desert Iraq after all.

Arab restaurants in Chicago serve up great fare, if you’re ever in the city. We even have Bosnian and Iranian cuisine.

Did you know that “Iranian” and “Aryan” come from the same root? We think we understand race and ethnicity when we really don’t have a clue, do we. If you are “Caucasian,” have you ever tried to look up the location of the “Caucasus?” Right where the Chechnyan rebels with Al Qaeda support are fighting against Russia.

I once saw a fight in a bar, between a drunk guy and a pool shark. The only thing the drunk guy did that was dumber than betting on pool was picking a fight. Actually I didn’t see the fight. I kept my eyes glued on the television. You don’t want to make eye-contact with guys getting into fights in bars.

Television is just getting worse and worse. Have people forgotten that having sex should be more fun than talking about it or watching it all the time? Some people claim that the good television is better than ever, but it seems to be the Emmy winners that show Dennis Franz getting naked.

Now the tabloids are all over Jennifer Lopez for getting studio help on some of her attributes, in terms of air-brushing. What is so shocking? The whole economy is based on image. Psychological distinctions between “virtual” and “reality” are gone, so why shouldn’t a pop diva get air-brushed? Somebody should air-brush Dennis Franz.

I say we boycott the visual media for a year, but that would threaten “Program Notes” on our very own Partial Observer. I’ll make it a boycott of one, because I’d rather just go for a drive and listen to music.

So anyway, that’s my advice.


Dear Jon,

Can you please explain to me how the "War on Terrorism" which has led us to fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq is now leading us to Africa? And is Bush just using a RISK™ board to govern his foreign policy?

Lost on Foreign Policy

Dear Lost,

Clearly President Bush and the foreign policy team are following the objectives of international diplomacy to make the world a safer place. As any student of RISK™ knows, if the goal had been global domination, we would have sent all our forces and taken over Australia first.

I just played a great game called RISK 2210™. It combines nuclear and conventional weapons and divides the Moon up into military zones. Earth to Moon attacks can go both ways, which is neat. It is a great game because I won. The key to winning RISK 2210™, I believe, is taking the Moon. Think of the Moon like Australia.

But the point is not that I am trying to sell RISK™. The point is, as America flounders toward some kind of global policy, we have abandoned our Lunar policy. I know that I’ve already mentioned Michael Thomson’s article on Moon settlement, but it just happens to be pertinent again. The nations of the East are going to flank us by occupying the Moon. It’s all their on the RISK 2210™ board. Maybe Bush SHOULD start using a RISK™ board for his policy.

Thought for the Day: Those TM thingy’s are dang annoying.

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