Thursday, January 17, 2002


...act one can commit against ones neighbors, in a big city dependent on the automobile for moving people around (like Houston, Los Angeles, and everywhere else that grew up after cars were invented) is to drive a truck -- sometimes euphemistically referred to as a sports utility vehicle or SUV -- as ones car. Now, I'm not complaining about those that need a truck as part of their job... movers, repairmen, and the like. Nor am I going "green". I could care less about gas consumption or smog. I'm talking about space. As in it's in short supply on the roads and in the parking lots, and all of you that drive trucks instead of cars are taking up too much. I can't see to pass you. Even if I could see, there's no room to move my standard size car past you as you take up a lane and a half. You're spilling over the yellow stripes on either side of your parking place, leaving enough room for me to park next to you, if I don't mind exiting and reentering my car by the sunroof. Yes, this includes car-pooling soccer moms; figure out another way to move your brood and all their stuff. Yes, this includes people who drive a truck for "safety". Whose safety? Certainly not mine, as that 300 pound razor-edged cow catcher on the front of your truck sits high enough to decapitate me if we collide. This especially includes those that drive trucks because they can ride high and see better. You want a view, climb a mountain.

I like cars, especially fast, or at least nimble, cars. I like to think that I drive with an awareness that the roads are crowded, and that we do our neighbors a favor by nimbly moving about our business, staying out of others' way as much as possible. A truck user, on the other hand, knows at least subconsciously that he places his own convenience ahead of his fellows' everytime he pulls his behemoth onto a public street. It's about damn time that that knowledge became a source of embarrassment.

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