Thursday, September 21, 2006

Why not a Smart Car?

We’re not getting a SmartCar because we don’t drive enough to warrant an expensive car no matter how fuel efficient it is. That’s according to Lindi, also known as Miss Utterly Practical and Sensible from Minnesota.

Those little babies ain’t cheap. And it’s not as if they use no gas at all. They are gasoline fueled, they just use much, much less than a real car. Lindi says we already use much, much less than a real car by hardly ever driving the cars we have.

Paring down to one car between us is an obvious choice. But we can’t decide which car to pare down to. She votes for getting rid of my car and I vote for getting rid of hers. She’s winning though, because – you guessed it – her car is more practical. (It’s a hatchback so we can haul stuff in it.) We’ve considered selling both of them and getting something we both like. But the Smartcar is out because besides being expensive, it can’t haul anything and only seats two. A used Subaru station wagon would make more sense.

That’s all fine and good, but what about the cuteness factor? She’s not figuring that into the equation at all. I have my image to consider. What will the neighbors think? They’ll think we’re ordinary, mindless, gas guzzling, polluting consumers – like them. I want a car in the driveway that says, “Look at us. Aren’t we fabulous? Don’t you wish you were us? This little number is all we need in the world. Don’t you feel foolish tooling around in that monster of yours?”

Just one block down from us, the parked cars take up so much space that kids can’t play in the street. Our neighborhood has the most basketball hoops, but what’s the use if the big fat cars are in the way? Our block, actually, is the least parked-up block around here. Not very many cars are parked on the street, and the cars that are there aren’t that huge. On our block the kids can skateboard, play basketball, baseball, anything. When Lindi and I shrink down to one car it’ll free up the street even more because we’ll keep it in the driveway.

The Joneses across the street have one of those VW beetles. I don’t see how I can be happy unless we get something smaller than they have.


At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what's up with Oregonians not parking their vehicles in their garages?! That's another solution to cleaning up the streets.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger kate gawf said...

How do you figure that's an Oregonian thing? I think it's an American thing. People do park their cars in their garages. But because most households have two or three cars, they park the other cars in the driveway and the street.
Another answer: Many people use their garage (or one of their garages) to hold junk - junk that they would get rid of if they didn't have someplace to store it.
As for these particular Oregonians, our garage is a tiny unit at the back of the property line down a long narrow driveway. We made it into a gardening shed where we also keep our bikes and tools. We're taking out the old concrete and planting a garden in front of it. So there. A car doesn't need a shelter. A car IS a shelter. Do we really need to build a shelter for a shelter? Next they'll be selling us a shelter to keep our garage in to protect the garage that protects the paint that protects the car. You have to draw the line somewhere.

At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't everyone organize/toss their garage junk so that the garage could hold the car and the junk? Maybe I'm just expecting too much.

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Lani said...

Have you thought about getting a diesel car and using biodiesel? It won't help the space problem because the easiest diesel cars to find are large old Mercedes (or Volvos or VWs), but you will definitely be using less gasoline than your neighbors!


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