Sacred Disorder | Cliff Bostock's blog – 'Finally, I came to regard as sacred the disorder of my mind' (Rimbaud)

Tires: an emblem of self esteem and regard for your family

I’ve never cared anything about cars, with the exception of the vintage MGBs I’ve driven now and then. I’d happily live in a city where I didn’t have to own one.

My disregard for the appearance of my ride, a ridiculously gas-hungry Jeep Grand Cherokee, is shocking to friends who treat their expensive vehicles like direct expressions of their self-esteem. If they acquire a new one, they’re always shocked that I have no idea they’ve spent a zillion dollars on it. (So they tell me.)

I had to buy tires for my car this week. It’s amazing to me how much a damn tire costs. Of course, there’s a range of prices but even a tire is loaded with all sorts of hidden meanings, apparently.

When I called Midtown Tire, I was immediately quoted a price that was well over $200 a tire. I said that I wasn’t willing to pay that much.

“Alright, we have some less expensive,” the guy on the phone said. “But let me ask you a question, Mr…..Um…What’s your name?”

“Bostock,” I said.

“Okay, Mr. Bostock, let me ask you this. Do you care about the safety of your family?”

I couldn’t believe my ears. “That’s not an issue for me,” I said.

“Well,” he said, “let me ask you another question, Mr. Bostock.”


“Do you care about the quality of your ride? Let me tell you that if you buy these less expensive tires, you’re going to feel like you’ve gone from driving a Mercedes to a jalopy. I’m sure you don’t want that.”

At that point, I hung up without saying good-bye and determined to buy the tires at a shop in Grant Park near our house, where the salesman asked me point-blank, “Do you want an expensive tire or a cheap tire.” I told him cheap sounded good and he said, “Of course it does.” The work was done in barely an hour.

My self-esteem is so low.

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