Sunday, February 05, 2006


Defensive Driving

I am going to have a lot to say about driving, traffic, and related topics which have led me to unintentionally teach my daughter dozens of words which I now need to convince her not to repeat in front of her mother, teachers, Child Welfare agents, etc. As an easy starting point, I will start small, with the vehicle itself.

I was driving around in my Ford Entropy today, enjoying the only 11 minutes of sunshine expected this week, with a neat little buzz on from the Green Mountain Hazelnut flavored coffee (caution: may actually taste a little like coffee), hangover-free (come to think of it, no alcohol at all on a Friday night - I'm getting old!), after an extra few nights off of work so I wasn't half-bleary - all in all, the kind of satisfied, contented, zennish moment that always comes before some kind of catastrophe, and found myself stopped at a stop sign, waiting to turn left. Now, I freely admit that I had signaled for the left turn before even stopping, and was continuing to do so, which is not only illegal and unethical in Massachusetts, but also incredibly rude, but it is a surprisingly hard habit to break, having grown up and learned to drive elsewhere, so it is likely my own fault that a jolt of ultrafast karma smacked me upside the head. As I sat there, waiting for an opportunity to turn from Dinky St. onto State Rd., a little sedan came up next to me to turn right. I'm not sure what type of car it was, exactly, because they don't put the model name on top where I could have seen it. Maybe it was a Toyota Conceita, or a Hyundai Cheapata or something. They're all pretty much the same, with a four-cylinder half-engine, a horn that can barely squeak out "excuse me," and bumpers at about the level of the bottom of the Ford Entropy's hubcaps.
Anyway, the driver was to my right, and thought maybe he could turn, but he couldn't see around my SUV. No visibility whatsoever, except for a great view of the side of my truck. As I looked down into his car, I saw that there were children in the back. What is with that? It occurred to me that this is totally legal, but it baffles me. It is obvious that this man hates his children and wants them to die, or he wouldn't be driving them around in a car which doesn't allow him to see the road and which is essentially all crumple zone. Basic physics tells us that if this man and I are involved in a collision at anything over 2 mph, he and his children will die and likely only be identifiable by trace DNA evidence, while I will need a few minor paint touchups to the SUV. With all of the people in this country claiming to care about children and blah blah blah, it is still legal to drive them around in a Yugo. This is disgusting. More disgusting is the insistence people have on calling these vehicles "passenger cars." Oh, please. When you cram cattle into 3 cubic feet of space, and they can't move or breathe or avoid each other's perspiration, that is not a "passenger train," and these cars are not suitable for carrying anything but a deck of cards or a box of matches, even in the front. A minivan is for carrying passengers. A pickup with a crew cab is for carrying passengers. My wife's Ford Endanger, another fine SUV, carries passengers quite nicely, and child seats actually fit in the back, unlike in my cousin's Honda Entitle. A rule of thumb: if your child is small enough to sit comfortably in the back seat of a "passenger" car, he or she will only be safe in a child seat which does not fit there.
Now, it is bad enough that passenger cars are unsafe by nature, and probably cause tons of accidents because the drivers are too low to see, but they add insult to injury by being unpatriotic. Take the Mazda 666, for example (I know, I know, but this is a blog, not War and Stinking Peace, we'll have to address that another time). It gets, like, I don't know, probably 40 miles per gallon on its 4-cylinder modified lawnmower engine. I don't care how many yellow ribbons you stick on there, how many Murrican flags and "Support my troops" bumper stickers and whatnot you display, you are the worst kind of antipatriotic pig. Here we are, in the middle of a war which has shed the blood of thousands of this country's brave young men and women, has turned half the world against us, and has left the middle east (as impossible as it may seem) even more politically flammable than usual, all to safeguard the monopoly of American oil interests and freedom for all, and here's this jerk saying, "Oh, no thanks, no gasoline for me, I'm just using my little passenger car one last time to go buy recycled bicycle parts and solar panels and a windmill generator. I love terrorists." People died for your gasoline. Use it, or I swear I will burn down your house with it, pig!
Man, now I'm all wound up. I'm going to drive down the block to the mini-mart to buy some beer.
And I promise to put up some pictures soon.

Your humblest and most devoted servant,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?