Sdtrk: ‘To Alison’ by Ecstasy of St.Theresa
You know what I like doing? Getting into the left-hand lane in front of an SUV and driving slowly. The feckers deserve it, frankly.
I’ve never liked sport utility vehicles. They’re overly large, horribly inefficient with fuel, and 95% of them are just plain ugly (with the exception of the Aztek and the H2O, both of which somewhat resemble vehicles that SHADO would’ve used). However, it’s recently struck home with me why so many people feel compelled to purchase the damned things. I was showing my friend Mari some pictures of the various pre-2000 Mini Coopers, and she was astonished at how small it was. ‘How could you drive something that small?’ she asked. ‘I’d be afraid that I’d get crushed under somebody’s tires!’ However, that whole mindset really came screeching to my attention when I happened to catch something on a local newscast recently:
You’ve seen the ads where Casino Windsor is giving away three smart cars, but did you catch that tiny print? Right at the bottom, the ad says “not street viable in U.S.A.”
The smart car, sold in Canada, has a small diesel engine and a little motor that does not meet U.S. emissions regulations, and U.S. Customs won’t let it in the country.
In Detroit, there are signs advertising the promotion, but if you win, you won’t be able to drive your prize in the United States. Casino Windsor said despite all the advertising, the rules are clear.
If an American customer wins the car, he or she has an alternative to take $14,000 in Canadian money instead.
There were plans to import the cars at one time, but right now, the plans are on hold.
Now, I’m seeing the sentence ‘The smart car, sold in Canada, has a small diesel engine and a little motor that does not meet U.S. emissions regulations’, and reading it as ‘The smart car is not vast and heavy enough to compete with our ridiculously large vehicles, and as we don’t really want people to be flattened like pancakes by an Escalade, the US cannot allow it on the roads’. They could’ve added ‘Three days’ worth of fuel for an SUV would keep a smart car running for three months,’ but that wouldn’t be entirely professional.
It’s really struck me why most Americans just don’t buy smaller vehicles. They want something larger that they’ll feel ‘safe’ in. You’ve got some tosspot going, ‘Well, if I don’t drive something that takes up one and a half parking spaces, I won’t feel safe from someone else driving an SUV.’ So that tosspot buys an SUV, wherein someone else says, ‘Well, if he has a huge vehicle, I want something equally huge, otherwise I’ll get crushed under his wheels’. So that person buys an SUV. And so on, and so on. It’s the Arms Race, only on four wheels.
As far as I’m concerned, the argument ‘what if you need to haul around a family, or a lot of people?’ no longer applies. Go buy a station wagon. Remember those? They looked rather like long cars — I know it seems fantastical, but it’s true, they once existed, you can see them on Google. Besides, I’m fairly certain that most people who own SUVs probably don’t have more than five people in their family, anyway.
I suppose you could reason that I wrote this post due to the fact that I was shagged off that Smart cars aren’t street legal in the United states. But it just goes to show what kind of mentality we have driving round on the roads today. I guess people really dig having to spend $40 – $50 to fill their fuel tank each week. Reason no.478 to move to Toronto: Smart cars are legal.
If I had that kind of crazy disposable income, however, I’d rather buy a pre-BMW Mini, or a Fiat 500. I’d love to drive a smart car, but even I think they’re too small to own