I'll tan your hide!

While recently driving across the state, I heard a commercial on the radio proclaiming the attributes of a 2013 MKX Lincoln crossover, and it distracted me so much that I had to openly question it here. You see, the commercial described the interior of this really fun and fancy luxurious Ford by saying that it possessed: "Organically tanned Bridge of Weir leather-interior that is sourced from Scotland."

 

Organically tanned leather?

 

 Sourced from Scotland?

 

 Oh, yeah, and the colors included: hazelnut, light dune, Prussian burl and brown swirl walnut. Whatever happened to auburn, beige, buff and mahogany?  That list of fancy colors reminds me of the scent descriptions used in wine magazines for the fine wines:  Deep scents of violets, aromatic herbs, bittersweet chocolate and espresso bean in a delicious spicy black pepper edge.

 

A lush core of deep blueberry is dramatically layered with rich, blackberry notes ending in a long creamy silk finish. I'd love to meet the person who can really taste all of those flavors in a sip of wine. It makes me wonder how they would describe a good chunk of Kielbasa. 

 

From this list, the question in my mind was:  "To whom was this commercial directed?" It could not possibly be meant for members of PETA – who would never consider a leather interior. Because it's a hybrid (which tends to mean that it runs on gas and incredibly expensive batteries), it may have some appeal to eco-conscious people who feel compelled to spend an extra $10K on batteries – batteries that probably caused more pollution while being mined or manufactured than the car could ever have produced in the typical lifetime of its fossil burning existence.

 

According to writer John Fuller in his article Do Hybrid Cars Cause Pollution, "Nickel is less toxic than lead, but it's not without its own problems – it's potentially carcinogenic and the mining process is considered hazardous. Since they're the least toxic, many consider lithium-ion batteries to be the next step for hybrid car batteries. In fact, car companies are investing millions of dollars in research for a working hybrid car battery that uses the same kind of power currently found in laptops and MP3 players."

 

The new Tesla sports car must have had it right with its 6,831 lithium-powered Energy Storage System lithium ion powered batteries. That's a lot of zip in boot-up alone! With 6,831 computer batteries under the hood or in the trunk, where do you put the cables for a jump start?

 

It also seemed likely that this upholstery description was intended for wealthy people of Scottish heritage like Andrew Carnegie, but he's dead. You see, organically tanned leather sourced from Bridge of Weir, Scotland, United Kingdom is supposed to be very impressive because, not unlike the leather salons around the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence, Bridge of Weir has long been recognized for its automobile leather manufacturing. In fact, they started back in 1905, but since they export to more than 60 countries, you have to wonder just how special that leather might be?  Remember "Fine Corinthian Leather?" "Da Plane. Da Plane!"

 

OK, could it have been written to entice those individuals who are now completely convinced that the only way to consume, utilize or be involved with anything is if it is organic? For example, organically grown celery or organically grown free-range chicken?

 

While visiting my grandparents 55 summers ago, I had accidentally tanned my white high top tennis shoes organically, but the tanning substance used to accomplish this feat of turning tennies from white to brown did not make my mom happy. I had been running through a field where cows grazed and subsequently disposed of their digested food when it happened. (That's a whole other pollution story.) The description could have read, "Cow-pie-tanned high tops, sourced from Nicky's grandparents' farm." Not sure if I'd like to explore the scents here, though?

 

(Nick Jacobs, Windber, international director for SunStone Consulting, LLC is the author of the blog Healinghospitals.com.)

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