the war against SUVs
the war against SUVs
A flyer was left on the windshield of my car yesterday while I was in the supermarket. It said, in part: Thank you for ruining the environment. Your gas-guzzling SUV is destroying our air. It went on for a few more sentences, in big bold font, basically implying that I should be shot on site.
I looked around the parking lot and spotted three teenage boys darting in and out of the cars with stacks of the green flyers in their hands. They were pinning them under the windshield of every SUV they could find which, admittedly, is an awful lot in any Long Island parking lot.
I know I am looked upon with scorn by many people. I've read the editorials. I've heard the debates. SUVs and their owners are the enemy to many people. And you know what? I don't care.
Before I owned my Ford Explorer, I owned a Cadillac. I get much better gas mileage with the SUV then I ever did with that boat on wheels. I don't see environment-minded activists slapping bumper stickers on Cadillacs. There's more to this than gas mileage. I have had people complain to me that I bought the Explorer as some kind of suburban status symbol. Right. A 97 model of a car does not a status symbol make.
I chose an SUV for many reasons. It makes it easier to lug around baseball equipment and skates and helmets and bicycles and the neighbor's kids. I can grocery shop without crushing half of my cereal boxes in the trunk of a car. And who do you call when you need to pick up furniture from Ikea or your sister needs help moving? That's right. Call the person with the roomy SUV. We're good enough for that, right?
I chose an SUV for self preservation also. I see how you people drive. You weave in and out of lanes in your little Toyotas or Hondas, never using your turn signals. You creep up my ass when I'm slowing down in a school zone and you blow by me on the wrong side of the road if I dare make a full stop at a stop sign. You fly by intersections without yielding and come around corners without looking first.
I'm not afraid of you anymore. Not like when I had my Caddy or Mustang and I would cower in fear at you speed demons and rule breakers. Nope. I'm bigger than you. You come around that corner by my house without looking one day and I'm in your way, you're the one who is going to end up packed like a sardine in a crushed tin box. The way you drive your little economy car is one of the reasons I bought the SUV you hate so much. And let's face it. I'm not even the biggest fish in the pond anymore. Why waste time on my little Explorer when there are Excursions and Navigators who make my truck look like a matchbox car?
So I'm still sitting in my car, watching these kids play hunt the SUV, and one of them runs past me. I yell "hey!" out the window and the kid stops in his tracks. He looks at me defiantly, Marlboro dangling out of his mouth, as I hold up the flyer he left in my windshield earlier. I look him in the eye.
"Do you realize how many acres of rainforest had to be destroyed so you can make these flyers? And put that cigarette out. You're polluting my air."
I left him standing there with a blank look on his face as I pulled away in my SUV, a week's worth of groceries and various sports equipment all fit snugly in the back.