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Cars

  • It is bad form to stand up in the car, to sing or shout, or to be in any way boisterous. Automobile parties often speed along country roads shouting at the top of their voices for no other reason than to attract attention — to be noticed. The very first rule of good conduct tells us that this is utterly ill-bred.

  • People on horses look better than they are. People in cars look worse than they are.

  • ... the car, by bisecting the human outline, diminishes it, producing a race of half-people in a motion not of their own making

  • ... a car is just a moving, giant handbag! You never have actually to carry groceries, or dry cleaning, or anything! You can have five pairs of shoes with you at all times!

  • 'Tis but a Toy on which one spends a Pile. / And Brags about it for a Little While; / Ambition rises — and the Foolish Man / Sighs, and prepares to buy Another Style.

  • What! Out of Oil, Nothing to invoke / A Powerful Something, born of Fire and Smoke! / An Unremitting Pleasure, if it goes; / An Everlasting Worriment, if broke.

  • I sometimes think that every Shining Star / Is but the Tail Lamp of a Motor Car; / Which leap'd from Earth in its mad Ecstasy, / And into Space went Speeding Fast and Far.

  • ... the superhighway is our true sacrificial altar.

  • I bought Henry a beautiful Daimler coupé, the first new car we have ever had, a tender antelope of a car.

  • My experience of men in cars has always been that if you don't want them to do something, they will. It is when they are behind a wheel that they most fear the control of women and children.

  • ... half a dozen cars nuzzled the low buildings like pigs around a sow.

  • Traveling by motor is just one situation after another. ... No matter what happens, don't scream; a scream at the wrong moment has often been known to cause a stall.

  • We have drive-in banks / And drive-in marketplaces, / But what we need more of / Is drive-in parking spaces.

  • One time I was working a nightclub and had to park far away. I'm walking to the club past a garage door with one of those signs. 'Don't Even Think About Parking Here.' Like people aren't tense enough about the parking thing. Someone has to put up a smartass sign, 'Don't Even Think About Parking Here.' I tell you what. I stood there and thought about it. I did. I threw some pebbles up there to get their attention. 'Look. I'm thinking about it. Go ahead, call the cops and see if I care. I'll tell them I'm thinking about something else.'

  • I am of the belief that if you're going to hit a vehicle, you should select one with someone inside. When you smack an empty, parked car, you pretty much rule out the chance the other person may have been at fault.

  • Everybody I know grows claws and fur behind the wheel. ... it is only here, in your very own castle of rubber and steel, that you can for a short but blissful time throw off the cloak of civilization and be the raging Hun you always wanted to be.

  • What if we fail to stop the erosion of cities by automobiles? ... In that case America will hardly need to ponder a mystery that has troubled men for millennia. What is the purpose of life? For us, the answer will be clear, established and for all practical purposes indisputable. The purpose of life is to produce and consume automobiles.

  • The car key law: This law states very clearly that you need to have five sets of car keys. Yet many of you try to get by with only two and suffer the consequences. When, for example, your spouse loses his or her car keys you must immediately scramble and start looking for them until they are found, or you will end up in a big fight. You'll both get criticized for things that have nothing to do with lost car keys.

  • A car is a lot more than transportation. It's an investment, an office, a locker, a weapon.

  • Men ruin cars. That's one of the things every woman knows.

  • ... you could see the roads crisscrossing over the fields. When cars went by, far away, the beams were so bright they seemed to be ropes of light pulling the cars behind.

  • And like an unfaithful mate, once a car has let you down you never sort of trust it again.

  • Racing is a calling, a passion.

  • I'm not just buying a car — I'm buying a lifestyle!

  • [On teaching children how to cross the street:] Damn the lights. Watch the cars. The lights ain't never killed nobody.

    • Moms Mabley,
    • "Behind the Laughter of Jackie (Moms) Mabley," in Ebony ()
  • I hate driving a beat-up car because it always looks like you're leaving the scene of an accident.

    • Diane Nichols,
    • in Mary Unterbrink, Funny Women: American Comediennes, 1860-1985 ()
  • Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams.

  • The automobile reaches to the heart of the American self-image in the way the horse once did in the West.