"The following may interest you as it did me," writes Calvin T. Klopp.

"For every other year of the last 35 years, I have attended a very excellent surgical meeting at the Homestead in Warm Springs, Va., during the first week in December. I have previously always driven my own car, equipped with snow tires. About 50 per cent of the time, the snow tires have been helpful.

"This year I did not wish to drive my own car as I have retired and will live in Florida, and did not wish to by snow tires which, hopeful, I would not use again. So I tried to rent a car here, a car equipped with snow tires because I would be driving into potential snowfall areas.

"I was unable to locate a single rental car equipped with snow tires - not Hertz, not Avis, not National, not Sears or any other. They all agreed I might need snow tires, but told me the 'national policy' for rental cars in this area is no snow tires. We're too far south!!!

"I asked, 'If I were caught in a snow in the Virginia or West Virginia mountains and didn't have snow tires, would I not be in trouble?' They said, 'Yes, but we have a policy.'

"This type of operation I do not understand."

The only part of it that I understand, doctor, is the effectiveness of responding to logical appeals with the line, "I didn't say it makes sense; it's just our policy." This disarms the complainant at once, and stops all arguments. What else is there to say to a man who concedes that you're right - even though being right isn't going to do you a particle of good?

You don't have to go up in the mountains to find snow, you know. I can't remember a single winter right here in Washington that we didn't have at least one fairly decent snow. And there have been years in which we have had so much snow that we could have considered renaming Our Town "Buffalo South." What are rental car customers supposed to do when they can't even get their rental cars out of the garage without risking a ticket?

Incidentally, car renters, keep in mind that tickets for violations of the snow regulations or other traffic laws are issued to the driver, not to the owner of the vehicle. Sorry about that, but it's our policy.