Monday, November 20, 2006

Area cyclist shuns all but the most selective car use

This morning I drove my car. I’m sorry. I simply could not think of a way to execute this particular errand without it. I needed to get my mechanic to figure out what was wrong with it, and despite my environmental protestations he insisted that I bring the car with me when I came in.

As you might guess, I’m already acutely aware of the main problem with my car, which is that it is a car. I needed my mechanic to take it to a deeper level and consider the fact that the car is prone to complete engine cessation in the middle of tooling down a street. I can’t have that. When you’re driving a car there are usually other cars behind you whose drivers build up huge expectations about how your car is going to behave. You do something the slightest bit different and they bend you all out of shape about it.

Unlike certain lower life forms whose businesses I won’t mention, my mechanic did not charge me to tell me he had no idea why my car does that. I can go in for further testing when I’m able to leave the car for longer -- for which he probably won’t charge me either, he’s such an incredibly good guy. But will I do that? I don’t know. I’m thinking it could be a problem of a more metaphysical nature: The car, sensing my displeasure about consuming our most rapidly disappearing resource and polluting the environment, may simply be reflecting my own convictions back at me. Reminds me of those whales who beach themselves en masse as a way of screaming at us to quit polluting our home -- after which teams of scientists begin wracking their brains trying to determine the motive.

(What’s the big mystery? Can we just roll with the obvious? But no, instead millions of dollars are spent on research to show what is already crystal clear. Makes you wonder who’s spending that money on something that the rest of us can figure out in two seconds. Are they hoping the scientists will come up with a different reason? such as Not To Worry: Whales Not Mad at Us; Mass suicides among sea life found to be caused by Jonestown mentality seeping into oceans. Fish & wildlife counselors to be lowered into the sea…..)

I drove the car back home, stopping by the carwash to throw away yet another five dollars to wash this three-ton leaf-magnet I keep parked in front of my house.


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