As I pulled into the bank’s parking lot, a piece of cardboard caught my eye: “Stranded / anything helps.” I wondered what had become of the author. Had be really been stranded? Had anyone helped? And had he lost the sign — or had he thrown it away? I paused to take a photo because, well, these little moments interest me. But as I was fiddling with my camera a Mercedes drove over the sign. Anything helps …
Maybe the sign belonged to a banker, stranded far away in a corporate team-building art class, desperate to find their way back to the safe number-driven shores of ‘bank world’. Like that Disney film with the pets – Homeward Bound.
It’s funny seeing a smart Mercedes as a symbol of wealth and aspiration – in Morocco I remember seeing the antique variety of Mercedes everywhere, as the standard taxi-cab. It represents ‘sturdy workhorse’ and ‘easy to fix’, not ‘look at me’ shiny show-off machine. The government is actively trying to get them off the road with their ‘cash for clunkers’ programme. http://bit.ly/1F5aLGN.
All best wishes
I love the little story you’ve spun about the banker stranded in a corporate team-building class. That’s wonderful!
And how interesting that the Mercedes brand suggests something so different to you than it does here in the States! I suppose we do have some old clunky Benzes about … but mostly they’re an ostentatious display of wealth here. I didn’t articulate it very well in my post, but there really was something interesting to me about the idea of two such different worlds colliding. But now I’m getting into socioeconomics — and the growing gulf between the rich and the poor — and that’s a whole other blog post! 😉
In any case, thank you (as always) for your thought-provoking comment.
Perfectly articulated – by your picture and your words.
You don’t see so many Mercedes here in Brighton. Money and cars send out a different message here – Rolls Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin or Jaguar= old money, Lamborghini or Ferrari = footballers, lottery winners or new money.
How funny that you can guess the origin of the money by looking at the choice of cars! You are a wonderfully astute (and quite witty) observer, Elaine.
I’m not sure it’s a transferable skill! It’s one of those class assumptions British people make without thinking. It’s a visual code built up from illustrations in books we’ve read all our lives (the inspiration for Mr Toad in Wind in the Willows drove a Rolls-Royce). Lady Penelope in Thunderbirds drives a modified version of a Rolls but James Bond drives an Aston Martin.
Is there a car in the US that would be chosen to represent old money? Or is that not a concept that exists there? I suppose I mean, what car would you expect a Roosevelt or a Vanderbilt to drive in a biographical film?
It reminds me of that old Eddie Murphy film, ‘Trading Places’. Well observed.
As for cars: my close observations of well-bred British landowners would suggest that, being vieux pauvre, as opposed to nouveau riche, they drive anything as long as it is (a) 4-wheel drive and (b) second hand. 😉