Forrest Gump once said "Life is like a box of chocolates." For GM these days, it's kind of like a Hollywood tragedy, too.
The dilemma facing the king of all automakers is almost like a re-make of the classic film "Sophie's Choice," in which a mother is faced with the haunting prospect of determining which of her two children will live and which will die.
Only this time, it's GM's choice.
Bob Lutz defined the problem when he conceded the automaker might need to eliminate one of its brands if sales don't improve. He didn't specify a brand, but the choice is between Buick and Pontiac.
It was a stunningly frank remark that surprised just about everyone inside General Motors and out.
Some outsiders believe the choice already has been made and this is just the automaker's way of easing into it.
Others say Lutz and the rest of the North American Strategy Board have set up a competition among GM's brands to spur them on to bigger and better sales efforts as they try to avoid the corporate equivalent of Freddie Krueger, the murdering ghoul from the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies.
Like Freddie, who kills again and again in sequel after sequel, it wouldn't be the first time GM has whacked a brand.
Everybody knows about the bitter, bloody demise of Oldsmobile. But don't forget the old Oakland Motor Car Co., which more or less morphed into Pontiac Motor Division.
And of course who can forget Archie and Edith Bunker from TV's "All in the Family" sitting at a piano and singing the praises of their old LaSalle, the sub brand of Cadillac that died in its youth.
Today, thousands of people who work for the divisions, their suppliers and dealerships are fretting. They fear the worst. These are tough times and GM management must make tough decisions for the good of the whole enterprise.
Wasn't it Spock who said, in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?
GM's brass should remember the old Crusader's admonition to those seeking to drink from the Holy Grail in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade."
You may e-mail Edward Lapham at