Saturday, August 05, 2006

my rant about the stupid big truck

Momma recently had a mishap while driving home after a long and very late night at work. Our poor Honda suffered the physical damage while Momma got all kinds of freaked out by the incident.

We have a Honda that is about ten years old and just now approaching 100,000 miles. I love our Honda. I will profess to wishing our lovely Honda had another pair of cylinders, a little more get in her get up and go. Know what I'm sayin? But that's beside the point. Of all the cars I've ever had, this one is my absolute favorite.

Well, our poor ol' Honda is at the repair shop. The rental agency gave me my choice between the Chevy Aveo and a Nissan Frontier. I chose the damn truck. My moral sensitivities could have screamed louder for the gas sipper from Chevy, but my personal feelings of coolness nudged me harder to the big red truck.

I'm only slightly torn by the "guy big truck" thing. This truck is a boy child dream come true. It sits just high enough, looks just bad enough, is a lovely shade of red. Aesthetically speaking, from a certain point of view, this truck is pretty cool.

And I don't think I'm especially anal. Let's get that out of the way. But this truck outright sucks several ways and some ways twice. First, this truck is a rolling blind spot. On some right hand turns, the passenger door mirror completely blocks the street you are turning onto, an especially sensitive issue in my often hilly home. Driving home today in a thunderstorm, the tires were throwing sheets of water across the windshield, huge blinding sheets of water that should have gone on someone else's windshield driving next to me. It drinks gas like it was the '80's and nobody cares. I've fallen asleep in church pews that were more comfortable than the seats, though there is a very well placed left side foot rest. I feel like a huge tool driving this truck around town.

Before this rant turns into a discussion of my disdain for most suv's and large trucks, I'll have to remind myself that this is all about the one of these things with which I'm now familiar. I really hate this truck more each time I drive it. It does give one a sense of power, of being above those others. It's a generally loathsome feeling that my choice of a car unnecessarily large is somehow indicative of my greater value and worth, you know, just in case, like, we're ever in an accident. But that's not what this rant is about.

Seatbelt laws are a tool of the auto and petrochemical companies. By insisting that families should all wear seatbelts, they've forced people to buy larger and larger cars. I come from a large family. I know how many people can fit into a Volkswagen Beetle (not the new ones actually) or a Ford Pinto wagon. Even if seatbelts do save lives, cars that didn't get into accidents would save more lives. Where's my flying robot car already? It's 2006 already, and my choice in a rental is a gas guzzling piece of bling with eight cupholders for five passengers, or I can pick Detroit's idea of economy, a turd colored Festiva wannabe.

Here I end my rant. When American car makers get serious about making cars that both don't suck and get truly decent gas mileage then . . . I don't know. I just know that America and economy always means suck. There ought to be a way for products from the US to not suck. Of course, chances are my Japanese car was made in the US to some extent, so now I don't know what to think. I do know that when I saw the Aveo that I thought I was going to have to rent, I actually got a little bit sad. Then when I saw shiny red truck, I wasn't so sad. I could be less shallow, but the Aveo didn't have to suck.