The S-Class? Try the Mercedes-Benz Oligarch-Class
Only millionaires and billionaires would drive something that massages your tuchas.
At first, I must say, I do not understand the premise of this, uh, exercise. I am not really familiar with the Mercedes-Benz automobile and, in fact, for many years I denied the existence of cars costing more than four figures, because that is house money. The last time I spent ten grand... I didn't. All my savings are invested in a small, hemp-growing co-op outside of Burlington. Last December, the farm issued a wholly unprecedented dividend, and I rolled those ten dollar bills into a wick, made candles and burned them in my fair-trade menorah. This car is one hundred thousand dollars? That's a lot of wicks.
As I have said many times, I am not familiar with the, uh...(turns to aid, whispering)...Mercedes S-Class. I drive a small Chevrolet. It is one of the smallest Chevys they make. Very simple. I did not order the engine and I found the original bodywork, in red, to be ostentatious. My children, of which there are several, have objected, saying things like, “You can’t just ride a pair of bare axles like some ersatz, socialist Fred Flintstone” or “Even the Vermont DMV won’t register that” or “We’re not picking you up from the station again.” My Chevrolet is quite modest. It is a car for working people, though it does not always, I find, work.
I do not believe this, uh, Mercedes car is for me. This car is not for the millions of working people working longer hours for less pay. This car is for the one percent of the one percent of the one percent. The oligarchy-class, champagne-swilling, caviar-drooling millionaires and billionaires. Me? I don’t need my buttocks cooled by a Mercedes. I have Vermont’s crisp mountain air for those purposes. And the leather. Do I look like someone who loves leather? Perforate it, heat it, wrap it around foam-rubber—I don’t care. My heart, and the entirety of my strangely vigorous body, will remain committed to polyester. Specifically, to this navy polyester suit, which I bought, on sale, at JC Penney’s, in 1996.
A Mercedes! This is a car of Goldman Sachs; this is a limousine of the leisure class. Me? I am not a titan of industry. In fact, my suit aside, I am rarely a participant in industry. For example, my wife, Jane, is right now chopping the wood we use to heat the disused sugaring hut we call home. (Thank you, Jane! I'll get the next load.) Yes, I may happen to share a hairstyle with Warren Buffett but make no mistake: my bald pate is an homage to Eugene V. Debs, one of our country’s socialist heroes and the subject of the largest photo on my vision board. To be clear: I am balding for economic justice.
I am told this car is very powerful. The paper I hold in my hand says this car has 449 horsepower. That is abominable. That is preposterous. It is an unprecedented number of horses for one car—not that there’s anything wrong with horses. In fact, in the 1980 Burlington Mayoral election, I carried 80 percent of the horse vote. Loyal, supportive constituents, those. However, such a quantity of horses in a single automobile speaks only to the concentration of wealth in the hands of our nation’s millionaihes and billionaihes. While this Mercedes cruises at triple-digit speeds, the American middle class is driving a Pinto in the breakdown lane. As this inky limousine zooms across the Interstates built with taxpayer money, working people are standing on the median, raising a forlorn thumb in the classic hobo salute. Does this luxury automobile stop? No. No, it does not.
In conclusion, I have to go. This car is ridiculous. Chrome makes me itch.
*Ben Keeshin, staff writer