I excelled at math in school. At some point in college, I saw no point in learning advanced calculus and tired of doing homework each day. Other subjects permitted procrastination, but not math.
Unfortunately, I have forgotten most, if not all, the lessons learned in school and have no use in daily life for anything beyond simple calculations. Because of that, I do not know the sum of two times worthless (2 X worthless = ?).
This thought came to mind the other day, while traveling north from Italy. I passed a car and noted its make and registration: Saab with Belgian plates.
Belgium is the kind of country, which no one--other than ex-patriot citizens--would miss, if it floated off into the Atlantic Ocean. Belgians would continue to do whatever Belgians do.
The same is true of Saab cars. Who would miss the brand, besides people needing to buy replacement parts for a car for which they cannot recall the purchase rationalization. I had a friend in school, whose doctor father owned a Saab sports car. At the time (long, long ago), that car was semi-cool (perhaps because it was from Europe, where blonds were alleged to be hot). Unlike with Ikea, Saab failed to capture the imagination and/or hard-earned money of enough foreigners.
Of course, many nations and many brands could be added to the above formula...and I would still not know the answer.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.