Just as I don't want to know exactly what's in a hot dog, I didn't like reading the other day that there's a possibility Hershey may be taking over Cadbury. I don't know what's in Cadbury chocolate or Hershey bars, and I don't care because I trust them to put good ingredients in their candy.

I don't want the details of what's in a candy bar. The ingredients of some things are best left secret. I often eat a Hershey bar, even though I don't necessarily think Hershey bars are the best chocolate or even better than Cadbury's. Every candy store in America sells Hershey bars. The name has become part of our language. "Hershey Cake," "Hershey Stick," "Hershey Nibble," "Hershey Sweet" wouldn't have done it.

I know little or nothing about big business (or even about business that isn't very big), so I have no idea why Hershey would want to buy Cadbury, but I hope they're both happy about it. I really doubt that they are, though. It's as if Ford were buying Chevrolet, Saks were buying Bloomingdale's, or NBC were buying CBS. It might be good business to take over a thriving company, but many people in the company being bought don't like the idea.

The image and price of things in general has a lot to do with our opinion of them. It seems wrong, but almost always the things that cost the most are considered to be the best (including chocolate). The shoes I'm wearing are better and cost more than other shoes I looked at that were cheaper. The coffee I'm drinking, as I write, tastes the best because it's the most expensive.

I've never had one, but I think that Cadillacs are better than Fords because they are more expensive. Maybe I should save my money and see. I've owned several Fords and eight or 10 other cars in my lifetime. I've never owned a Porsche, an Audi, or a dozen other brands of cars.

A lot of families have two cars because a car has become vital to American life, and one doesn't seem to be enough for a family of two or more. I like the car I drive regularly, but I also own a great little sports car that I don't drive often and I've owned it for 30 years. It would blow the doors off the car I drive every day.

You can't go far without a car, and it's hard to think what people did before cars were invented. You can be sure they did less. There's just so far a horse can take a person. There are a great many places you can never go to if you don't own a car. A 5-minute drive is a half-hour walk. I've worn out the heels of more shoes driving than walking.

Just for fun, I've tried to make a list of the cars my mother and father or some of their friends owned when I was growing up. Here's the list, although I'm sure I've missed one or two cars: Packard, Reo, Durant, Hupmobile, Studebaker, Arrow, Chandler, Cleveland, Christie, Essex, Hudson, Lafayette, Marmon, Nash, Overland, Peerless, Singer, Reo, Star, Stutz, Terraplane, Whippet, Willys Knight.

The cars I liked best that we owned were the Packard and the Hupmobile. I suppose some of the cars we have on our roads today will be forgotten in 20 years.

I now drive a car known only by its three initials.

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