There's no argument this Father's Day

By Jeffrey Fazio
DriveTime Columnist

Holidays have different meanings for everyone and each family has their own traditions for celebrating them. These precious days, so conspicuous on our calendars, mark a time for families to come together, to share and to love. For my family, it's also a time to argue.

It's not as bad as that may have sounded. You see, it is probably more appropriate to call it a post-dinner debate, not an argument. It's one of the main events of the day. It's a source of sharing, not angst.

The same topics have been disputed for years without a glimmer of hope of a resolution. In fact, the longer they go on, the more entrenched each side has become almost to the point of absurdity. At times, the actual debating is seemingly more import ant than the specific topic being discussed.

My stepfather, Robert Simon, has argued about gun control with his brother Jerry after holiday dinners forever (maybe longer). When they tire of that subject, they find infinite possibilities within the realm of politics to disagree on. There is no hatred in these exchanges. This is, after all, just one of their ways of sharing their brotherly love.

Throughout these debates I generally sit on the sideline and play the role of a sadistic referee, a devil's advocate of sorts. My real interest lies in keeping the debate going by randomly switching sides and interjecting humor whenever it is most inappropriate.

Okay, it's the sixth paragraph of my DriveTime column and you are probably starting to wonder, "Where's the car talk?" Well here it comes.

My stepfather and I have our own subject to debate -- cars. Although we are both "car guys," we have significantly different opinions on what makes a great car. Over the last 15 years, he has presented some amazing points, while I have done my best to correct them.

When I was a teenager, these arguments first began with which was more worthwhile: the power of a Ford Mustang or the handling of a Toyota MR2. As I entered my 20s, these exchanges grew into which was a more attractive car, the Eagle Talon or the Toyota MR2. I was certain that him switching cars to debate me with while I stayed loyal to the MR2 was evidence that I was winning.

By my mid-20s we were debating the merits of racing an all-wheel-drive Talon in the rain versus rear-wheel-drive MR2 in the dry. Two years ago I turned 30 and our quarrels have since been over which car, the Talon or the MR2, has the greater power potential. This column will finally lay all of these debates to rest.

There will be no more arguing from me ... at least for the next 24 hours. I am ready to settle the debate and forfeit my stance ... for today only. I hereby declare that Robert Simon's Eagle Talon is more powerful than my Toyota MR2 ... in his mind. I fully concede that if tested, it would out-brake and out-handle my car ... I'm sure some part of it would brake and his hatchback offers an extra handle. It probably goes without saying, but I will for completeness sake, that his pride-and-joy is also infinitely more attractive than mine ... through his eyes and that's all that matters. In short, his Talon is far superior in every respect to my MR2 ... I can't believe I actually typed that.

Happy Father's Day, Pop.