Limbo World

Have any of you experienced the feeling that you’re dreaming and yet you are aware of your actual surroundings? That happens to me more than I’d like including this morning. The “dream” was that, somehow, I was teaching History at my high school. I decided to begin the semester by telling the story of someone who had been one of my history teachers while in high school. However, I was aware that I was dreaming; the “dream” didn’t immerse me as most dreams do.

Anyway…limbo also refers to my current state of affairs where I am unemployed, unappreciated and disconnected.


Today is the birthday of someone with whom I was good friends in junior high and high school. The fact that his birthday was just before January 1 meant that he was exempt from registering for the draft when it was re-instated under President Carter. I, however, had to register. When confirmation of my registration arrived at my house, my mother was convinced that I had actually been drafted. In one of the saddest experiences of my life, it took me at least an hour to convince her that I had not been drafted; all the while she was crying uncontrollably. Maybe that’s where my animus for President Carter began…



2017 Alpine A110 Premiere Edition 4K Wallpaper | HD Car Wallpapers | ID ...


That is a picture of the new Alpine A110. Alpine is really Renault; the Alpine is a name with much meaning in French car history.


The new Alpine A110 is a small car with a 95-inch wheelbase (I think that’s equivalent to 2,420 mm) and a length of 165 inches. Given its size and aluminum construction throughout the A110 weighs just a hair under 2,400 pounds, which is very light.

The car is powered by a 1.8 liter, double overhead cam 16-valve inline 4-cylinder engine that produces 250 HP/236 LB-FT of torque. The engine is mounted behind the passenger compartment. The transmission is a 7-speed automatic. Supposedly the A110 can accelerate from 0-60 MPH in under 4.5 seconds.

Of course this car is not available for sale in the US. This Automobile Magazine article by Jamie Kitman was very positive about the car.

Why does a demand for cars like this exist elsewhere in the world, but seemingly not here? (Yes, I know this car might not conform to US regulations. That doesn’t invalidate the point I am about to make.) From a “ranking” of the most obese countries in world:

1 Nauru 61.0
2 Cook Islands 55.9
3 Palau 55.3
4 Marshall Islands 52.9
5 Tuvalu 51.6
6 Niue 50.0
7 Tonga 48.2
8 Samoa 47.3
9 Kiribati 46.0
10 Micronesia 45.8
11 Kuwait 37.9
12 United States of America 36.2
13 Jordan 35.5
14 Saudi Arabia 35.4
15 Qatar 35.1
16 Libya 32.5
17 Turkey 32.1
18 Egypt 32.0
19 Lebanon 32.0
20 United Arab Emirates 31.7

The 36.2 next to the US means that, according to the sources used here, 36.2 percent of the US adult population is obese, which is worse than overweight. Notice that no European countries are on this list. If this were an SAT question, it would be: “Which one of these countries seemingly doesn’t belong?” This list is composed of nothing but Pacific island micro-states and Arab countries except for the US. Maybe that makes this list less than completely credible. Other sources have slightly different lists/order of countries, but the US always ranks very “high” in obesity. Obesity kills people, but it is also killing the CAR as we have known it in the US. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.





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6 thoughts on “Limbo World

  1. You’re such a tease… nice looking car with impressive power to weight and then you tell us it’s unavailable in the US…


    1. Does that make me a car tease? Happy New Year to you, sir.

      Doesn’t the fact that this type of car is vanishing before our eyes in the US make you want to scream?! I posted a comment on Car and Driver that they should change their name to SUV, Pickup Truck and Driver because almost all of the vehicles they review are SUVs and pickup trucks.



  2. Well, I appreciate you and your posts. They are always interesting. And, while European countries are not on the list…many are headed that way…trust me, I go to Europe 3-4 a year and I have seen the trend over the past 15 years


    1. Thanks, Carlos. Happy New Year to you and your family.

      I believe your observations about Europe, but on average their citizens are not as obese as US citizens. By the way, what do you think of the new Alpine?


      1. Renault is not for me. We owned a number of them growing up. I remember when the Renault 25 came out – it talked to you and that was impressive in the 80’s. Looks good but I would buy something else.


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