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