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Rooney Tries To Get Things Straight

Instead, Things Get A Little Confused

A weekly commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney:

As you know, this isn't a talk show, but over the years, I have been able to get to several people ahead of Barbara Walters and Larry King. The first was a guard at a boat show.

Rooney: What union do you belong to?
Unidentified Guard: The 177.
Rooney: What is that?
Guard: It's a local 177.
Rooney: Local what?
Guard: Local 177. The name of the local is...
Rooney: A rug cutters union, what?
Guard: No, no. Offi--I should say security guard.
Rooney: Then what's the name of your union?
Guard: One seventy-seven, Court Street, Brooklyn.
Rooney: That's a number. What's the name of your union?
Guard: That's--that's what the name is. That's, 177. That's what it is.
Rooney: That's the only name?
Guard: That's the only name.
Rooney: It's not 177, Security Guard?
Guard: Lansdell, McRoberts. See, I'm working for McRoberts today.
Rooney: It's nothing like the Carpenters Union, 177?
Guard: No, no, no. This is the regular, that's what the name of the union is. That's the name.
Rooney: That's a number, that's not a name.
Guard: Well, I know. That's what they gave it. I'm sorry to say that but that's what they gave it.
Rooney: It's not security guards?
Guard: Yes. We work for McRoberts on this particular show. One seventy-seven affiliated more or less with other locals.
Rooney: Local what?
Guard: Other locals in the union.
Rooney: What union?
Guard: One seventy-seven. I'm still trying to convince you. You're...
Rooney: It doesn't have a name, it only has a number.
Guard: It just has a number. It's a shame. It really is a shame it only has a number.
Rooney: Yeah.

The numbers that manufacturers put on their automobiles are often puzzling. I talked to a car salesman who explained the whole thing.

Unidentified Salesman: You want to know why the Volvo calls this a 240-DL?
Rooney: Yeah.
Salesman: Well--and Volvo's makes it very simple. And what they do is this. It's a 240 series, but when you actually want to know the terminology for the car, Volvo's makes a 2000 series with their 200 line.
Rooney: Why not 239, though, why 240?
Salesman: OK. Because 240 denotes--this, first of all, denotes four-door, OK?
Rooney: And what's the two?
Salesman: Well, the two just means the 2000 series, OK.
Rooney: Why did, but it's only 240, that's not thousands.
Salesman: Right. It's not 2000...
Rooney: That's hundreds.
Salesman: It's hundreds, but it denotes the 200 series line of a car, OK?
Rooney: And what's the Oh for? Salesman: Two forty gives you a series.
Rooney: And what's the Oh for? The four is for cylinders.
Salesman: Right.
Rooney: What's the Oh for?
Salesman: Ohs just, Oh doesn't really designate anything, it, just 240 series. But in the actual terminology, when you're looking at a wagon, for example, on this Volvo, the actual terminology for this car is 245-DLA to really makes it confusing.
Rooney: Why don't they put 245-DLA on there?
Salesman: Well, they should, but they don't. Because it's easier for us to understand.
Rooney: And this two, that would mean two cylinders, would it not?
Salesman: No, no, not two cylinders. It just means the series 200. It's a 200 series.
Rooney: And the other was 2000.
Salesman: Well, it's--it's a 2000 series in Volvo. But they call it 200 series to make it easier for the dealer so when the car comes in.
Rooney: Two hundred would be easier than 2000?
Salesman: Well, as long as you're calling it 2000, you might as well just call it 200.

Maybe I should start a talk show. I have this feeling that the more important the guest, the duller the interview.

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