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My last piece on the sources and uses of profanity singled out a BMW driver for some abuse. Well, he almost killed me, so I think some abuse is justified. I was expecting someone to accuse me in the comment thread of hating BMW drivers. I was ready with a disclaimer, but nobody gave me the opportunity to use it. So here is my defense, which I hope you will find entertaining.

My wife’s car is a BMW. A very old one, but you wouldn’t guess its age if you saw it, because it looks like brand new. It’s a ’98 528i purchased new in October of 1997. The car has a name: Flo-Jo…named after the famous Olympic athlete who went by that nickname, Florence Griffith Joyner. She died tragically at 38 of an epileptic seizure. Suzanne named her car in honor of Flo-Jo because, as she says, “She’s black, she’s beautiful, and she goes like stink.”

Our Flo-Jo will be twenty years old in October of this year. She just turned 100K miles recently. My wife doesn’t drive much. She is a travel agent, now semi-retired, specializing in Africa. She has been there more than thirty times. Sometimes, during her extended trips, I took Flo-Jo out for a little exercise, just to keep her in shape. She looks and drives like new, due to over-the-top fanatical maintenance. That car has always gotten better service than I do. Since I acquired a Honda Fit EV as my daily driver, Flo-Jo has become our long trip car, and I worry about her age. I have offered to replace her (the car, not my wife) many times, but Suzanne won’t hear of it. Flo-Jo is a member of the family.

So…believe me, I do not have a thing against BMW’s or BMW drivers!


Bert Bigelow graduated from the University of Michigan engineering school, and then pursued a career in software design.  He has always enjoyed writing, and since retirement, has produced short essays on many subjects.  His main interests are in the areas of politics and religion, and the intersection of the two.  Many of his writings are posted on his web site,  You can contact him at