Doctor Cars


After my weekly Weight Watchers meeting, Daniel and I decided to go to McDonald’s for dinner.  Daniel stopped for a moment to pick up a free car magazine from a stack in between the two sets of doors.  He found a table and I ordered the meal.  Daniel was drooling when I walked back with the tray, but it was more from the cars for sale rather than anything in the bag.  I asked him which car he liked.  That turned out to be a mistake; I should have asked which one he didn’t like.  He rattled off model after model.

“I really like the doctor cars,” he added.  I paused from my fries.

“Doctor cars?”  I asked, “You mean ambulances?”  Daniel shook his head.

“They have all kinds of doctor cars in here,” he said.  “They go all the way back to the 1950’s.”  He thought for a minute.

“I think they used them to drive doctors around.”  That might have been true.  I grew up in the seventies and eighties.  House calls were something from late night movies on television.  Daniel consulted his magazine again.

“There is a 1950 Ford Hardtop for sale,” he said.  “It’s a real bargain for $12,990.  It held four doctors.”  Wait a minute.  Daniel flipped the magazine around on the table, so I could read the ad.

“‘DR’ stands for ‘door’, not ‘doctor’,” I said.  “It’s a car with four doors.”  Daniel looked surprised and looked back at the ad.

“But ‘DR’ stands for doctor in my books!” he complained.  I could understand the confusion and explained the concept of context.  If he saw a ‘Dr.’ on a sign by a hospital, it probably meant ‘doctor’.  If he saw ‘Dr.’ in a car magazine, it probably meant ‘door’.  Daniel argued a hospital might have doors too and I conceded the point.

20882“Sometimes you’re just going to have make your best guess,” I said.  Daniel frowned.  He likes his cheeseburgers with no pickles and his world in order.  He pushed the car magazine away, disgusted.

“Who would pay $12,990 for a car like that?  It just has four doors and nothing else?” he asked.  “What a rip off!”

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