Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Definition of American -- Writer's Poke #430

 
People can drive whatever they want; I understand that. But why do so many people feel the need to drive oversized vehicles? If I’m correct, most people only need a small car for day-to-day trips. Small cars can be surprisingly roomy and comfortable for one or two people, too. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been sometimes tempted to buy a SUV; after all, I am an American. If I ever succumb to the temptation, though, I hope someone will quickly put me out of my misery.
I drive a dinky little VW Beetle; most Americans these days seem to drive SUVs, big trucks, and minivans. Americans like space and comfort, and it’s exhibited in the vehicles they drive. I watch the users of these vehicles, and most of the time, they seem to use their vehicles in the same exact way I use mine; that is, we’re all just driving from point A to point B. As far as I can tell, most of them aren’t transporting baseball teams to games; nor are they hauling new furniture home from the store; in other words, the extra space isn’t being utilized.
Parking lots, generally, are designed for cars. A small car like mine fits most spots just fine; the larger trucks and SUV take up the full space of a spot, which means when I am forced to park between two SUVs, I feel the squeeze. Not only is it difficult for me to get out of my car without dinging the giant next to me, but when it’s time for me to back out of my spot, I have to do so blindly; I’m rather amazed that someone hasn’t crashed into me…but I fear it’s just a matter of time.
What is the best definition of the term “American”?
"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That's not leadership. That's not going to happen." -- Barack Obama

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