*A note from the author: Well, now I’ve gone and done it. I wrote this piece a few days ago, and was tinkering with it, when Amy Keroes, editor of Mommy Track’d, asked what my new topic was going to be. “Well, it’s a rant,” I said. Rather smugly, I’m sure. “About SUVs, and some other stuff.” And then she said, oh good, it would fit right in with Risa Green’s piece. Had I read Risa Green’s piece? No, I hadn’t, and I suddenly wondered whether mine would be too much like hers. But I was on my way out the door, and didn’t have time to check.
When I returned late last night I popped open Mommy Track’d so I could read Risa’s column, and well, I would say that our topics are in fact, polar opposites. (Little global warming joke, there. Haha!) A very good, honest piece, by the way. But now I am in a bind. Because now my column sounds like a horrible diatribe against Risa Green. Which it was not intended to be! Oh, shit. I really don’t want to start a Mommy Track’d feud, everyone here is so nice. Risa is nice. But, well, I’ve written the damn thing. And I do stand behind my words. And I don’t know if it would have been worse posting this simultaneously with Risa’s piece, or better now, when I can pathetically backpedal and desperately explain myself. But here’s the piece, the way I wrote it. Before I read Risa’s peon to her SUV. It’s a Mommy Track’d Smackdown! Even Betsy, the Mommy Track'd cartoonist is in on the action. Check out her Eco-Comic in Funny Papers.
I don’t want to get all holier-than-thou on you, but honestly, I am just continually astounded by those denizens of this fair city (and others like it across the country, also small towns, suburbs, hamlets) who continue to drive untenably large, gas-guzzling SUV-type passenger cars. People who lumber around town in outsized military vehicles more suited to a harsh desert terrain than crowded streets; vehicles that get about six miles to the gallon in the city; sturdy all-terrain vehicles that have possibly never seen a mountain road; vehicles I cannot believe are not an embarrassment to drive.
I know many SUV drivers who are suitably embarrassed to have bought one in the first place, and can’t wait to get rid of theirs-- and of course, many drivers are not in a financial position to just pop off and trade in for a new Prius. But I am surprised at how many brand-spanking-new road hogs I am seeing on the street these days. New, as in just bought. Just bought, after the Al Gore movie, after floods, hurricanes, droughts, and every obvious consequence of human-caused climate change short of raining toads. Seriously, are these people living in a cave?