We are confident of the receipt of a satisfactory response, from an obstetrician or a midwife, if inquiry were made as to the medical reason a newborn child, upon emergence from the womb, is, summarily, slapped on his bottom. Our surmise is that the dynamic practice encourages crying and the consequent, initiative, process of breathing air. By bright contrast, however, we have no conception, regarding the motivation of the prospective purchaser of an automobile, who, traditionally, kicks its tires. Nevertheless, we do have a proposed, albeit, fanciful, or symbolic, explanation for this usual, aggressive display of rubber tire terpsichory, which we undertake to reveal at a latter portion of this essay.
It might prove to be an interesting and creative challenge, to the essayist, to endeavor to press on with the previous comparative between the automobile, viz., an inorganic, mechanic contrivance, and the singularly, organic, sentient life of humankind, the latter’s creator and user.
The likelihood of a shocked response, to such a radical challenge, might be somewhat tempered, by reference to the analogous, functional similarities, appropriately attributed, to hospital care, and, as well, to the automobile repair center. For example, the medical transplant of organs (the furnishing of new catalog auto parts), the surgical repair or replacement of broken or non-functioning limbs, (mechanical repairs and replacement), transfusion, dialysis, the medically, therapeutic, draining of fluids (change of oil, lubricants), and the repair of a flat tire (podiatric services). [We would request the reader’s kind tolerance of our contextual effort to construe a literary and fanciful, anthropomorphic, analogy of the attributes of man and automobile.]
When a newborn baby has arrived at the family venue, there then begins a non-stop ritual of its constant cleaning, powdering, oiling, bathing, wiping down, and nurturing. Relatives, neighbors and close friends are invited to admire the newly arrived addition to the family, in his luxurious digs, the lavishly furnished baby room, decorated to proudly, showcase and admire the newly arrived, miracle child. Thereafter, the baby is the recipient of constant, royal inspection and treatment, any new pimple or minor scratch receiving the degree of attendance and care, equivalent, in intensity and dedication, to a broadcasted, code blue, regarding a hospital patient, precariously, assigned to intensive care supervision.
The new car owner, after the exercise of extreme caution, and with the utmost of fiduciary care, pilots his new, immaculately shining, baby blue car into his house-adjoining garage. Before summoning his family members to partake of his indescribable joy, he turns off the engine and gratefully, sits for a few minutes to survey the ambient wonder of his newly acquired, automotive, Valhalla. In short order, and with a joyous shout, calls the family to see the new mechanical member of the household and to go for a short, but, exuberant drive.
It is only a matter of less than two decades, before the previous, pristine, mechanical wonder fades (in interest and appearance), and declines in family importance and efficiency, to the mundane status of a pragmatic necessary contributing but little, yet often, requiring expensive repair. This predictable, bleak future, is a possible, impetus, as above, for the new car, tire kick.
In those comparative years, the new human addition to the family has exponentially increased in size, functionality, reason and ability to communicate. Simultaneous with the slow, but steady decline in appearance of the once beatified, jalopy, by contrast, the human addition to the household has made great strides in his appearance, personal education and mature perception. By the time the family jalopy was surrendered to a used parts vendor, the family child had succeeded in being awarded a PhD. and enjoyed the academic position of assistant professor of fluid mechanics at Stanford University.
One can, with equal (and non-fanciful or allegorical) effect, easily discern the contrast between the lives of those valuable, American Citizens who by dedication to learning, strive towards wisdom and mature perception, with those hordes of jalopy-like citizens seemingly, content to merely, age and rust, without aspiration for personal growth and mature understanding.