Economy: Lost in the crevice or a recovery indicator

Something has to be done. There’s a flaw that has to be dealt with. I don’t understand why this aggravating failure has continued for so long. Why do we put up with it? It seems so easy to fix; to change the policy, the design. Has no one lodged a complaint? Well, I’m mad enough to call them on the problem.

I suppose you’ve heard by now, thank God, the election is over, whose won and the candidates making an issue of  the auto industry are nil. In the midst of the whole he said, she said mess, no one contacted me about what I think is a serious problem that should be addressed in Detroit, Akron, Cleveland and wherever else cars are made.

It’s the arrangement of the bucket seats and the compartment that is located between them. Man, you can hide a lot of junk in that compartment, especially when you’ve invited someone to ride with you. Quick – stash that coffee cup, junk food bag and old bank deposit slips.

But here’s the problem, there’s also another place in your car where things go to get lost forever, like a black hole or a customer service call. It’s that little crevice between the seats and the storage compartment. When something slips down in there, it’s impossible to retrieve, like that great, great-uncle lost on Ancestry.com.

Even if you lose the slip of paper or piece of mail saying you just won $5,000 a month for life from Publisher’s Clearing House into the great abyse, you just can’t get it back. You try to squeeze your hand down between your nylon seats and the plastic stash box and can’t reach it. You bend your arm, like a contortionist almost touching it from in front of the seat (don’t try this with the motor running, who knows what your elbow might press against). No luck.

Then it’s out of the car, into the back seat straining your aching back muscles, and snaking your hand up along the seat track, scissoring your fingers around a piece of paper thinking how sticky it is, then realizing as you pull it out, it’s a popsicle wrapper that one of your grandkids lost in there. Now your fingers are sticky, so you think “ah, that will do it, my envelope will stick to my fingers and I’ll drag it right outa there.”

Finally you get it, along with a few peanuts and some fuzzy stuff from your carpet that the vacuum at Flagstop never grabbed. Hallelujah, the envelope is yours. Is it a bill or a verification of a new job? Felt kinda thick coming out of there. As you turn the envelope, you realize what it is – ValPack. Well there’s another piece for the recycle bin. Fifteen minutes of frustration, a rug-burned elbow and a strained back for an advertisement.

The only solace to take out of your little adventure is the ValPack felt sort of thick and when a business begins once again to invest in advertising their business, it means the economy is beginning a comeback. Yahoo.

I once spoke with Allen Carmody, director of budget and management for Chesterfield County and I told him that I thought advertising sales were an indicator of how the economy was doing.

He said, “Oh, you’re a leading indicator. I’ll have to check with you from time to time to quiz you on your predictions,” he said, with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek.
Many businesses stop their advertising as soon as the economy gets bad. Not a good idea but some think it is.

But it is true, as you see more fliers, more newspaper ads, more TV commercials, think about it – it means that businesses have come out of their shell, quit hunkering down to wait out the economic storm and are beginning to promote their business once again.

Customers begin to arrive again and that light that seemed to be at the end of a tunnel, so dim that the glow was like a star in some distant galaxy, is brighter and begins to brighten so much that at some point it will become so brilliant, like the light that enlightened George Malley (John Travolta) in the movie Phenomenon.

We’re not quite there yet, but it is coming and it will be coming no matter who’s in charge. It’s a naturally occurring “phenomenon.” We’re just too young to have seen what a cyclical economic downturn is like. So it’s time to mount that horse again and get that ad in the Village News, after all, the Village News is easy to retrieve from the crevice between your seat and storage compartment.    

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