I’ve been seeing quite a number of smart cars on the roads lately.  What makes sense in the cramped streets of urban Italy looks completely out of place in suburban America.

I went to an Irish pub the other night with a friend of mine.  I don’t know the name, but while we were driving, we were immediately drawn to the neon “Pub Open” sign.  We scooted to the back of the restaurant towards the bar area and were welcomed with a small live Irish band and a barkeep who was old, kind, and infinitely knowledgeable.  There were a few televisions around, so we caught a bit of the presidential debate.  This debate was echoed by one between my friend and a gentleman sitting next to him at the bar.

The gentleman ended up complementing me, continuously asking if my friend and I were dating. We said “no, no” a few times and the stranger remarked that he could tell I was going to be my friend’s redeemer. I can be a lot of things: a confidante, a teammate, a makeshift tennis player…. Redeemer is not on that list.

At any rate, I reveled in the pub debates, the live music, and the constant stream of men and women who entered, drank, paid, and left. Knowing that this establishment exists almost makes my little corner of Virginia seem Euro-urban.

Maybe smart cars aren’t so out of place after all.


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