We are Forerunners. Guardians of all that exists. The roots of the Galaxy have grown deep under our careful tending. Where there is life, the wisdom of our countless generations has saturated the soil. Our strength is a luminous sun, towards which all intelligence blossoms... And the impervious shelter beneath which it has prospered.
Recently I was on a road trip with mia famiglia, driving around the beautiful New England countryside while enjoying the amazing summer weather we're getting up here in the northeast. The other day, I saw something that has to be absolute proof that the Lord exists, and that He watches TOP GEAR.
Now, before you read the rest of this, you need to know one rather important detail about our road trip.
When I booked the rental car, I originally asked for a standard SUV- i.e. something about the size and shape of a Ford Escape. We got one of those the last time we did one of these merry jaunts, and- for an American-made car- it really was quite good to drive. It was also about the right fit for four people with luggage driving 500 miles across the country.
However, when I went to the rental desk this time, some silly female had already given the standard SUV that I was supposed to rent to another customer. The only things they had left at the time were:
A big damn Ford pickup truck;
A REALLY big damn "premium SUV"- a Ford Expedition, I think
So we were stuck with something like 17 feet long and 6.5 feet high and just about as wide. It weighs- and I'm not joking about this- damn near 3 TONNES. Really only two people buy this kind of car: soccer mums, and people with severe Napoleon complexes.
Even more ridiculous yet, this thing is painted FBI-style (or Mafia-style, take your pick); it was matte-black with tinted rear windows, chromed wheels, and a grill polished to a brighter sheen than a bad rapper's teeth.
Hell, you could park the damn thing on the interstate, prop yourself up on the front seat with a hair-dryer in your hand, and pretend to be a traffic cop and watch how people react. We were thinking of doing that exact same thing, just for shits and giggles.
But the funniest part about this friggin' behemoth of a vehicle has got to be the big sticker that Ford slapped onto its arse claiming that it has an "EcoBoost" engine.
SERIOUSLY?!? The damn thing has a 3.5L 230hp V6 that revs up to 7,000rpm. It's got a 40g fuel tank and a fuel consumption rate that gets to maybe 19mpg highway and, at best, 15mpg city.
"EcoBoost", my ass. "EgoBoost" is more like it.
Now you may think that I'm having a bit of a downer on this ridiculously large and inefficient and cheaply put together American car. And, at first, I was; I found it too large to drive easily or comfortably, I really didn't like its looks, and I thought overall that it was pretty stupid.
But then I got out on the open road with it, and I quickly began to see why Americans love these things.
It's big, its comfortable, it's fairly quiet, it shrugs off all but the trickiest roads. It may lean over onto its door handles when it hits a sharp turn, thanks to its extremely high centre of gravity, and it may generally wallow like a boat, but it absolutely scares the shit out of any granola-muncher stupid enough to be driving slowly in the left lane.
(As a general rule, there are three groups of people that I genuinely do believe should be shot, for improvement of the species: Islamists, paedophiles, and slow drivers in the fast lane. Are you really going to disagree?)
With that background established, back to my story...
There we were, bumbling along the I-90 heading west, speculating on the best uses of the 4-wheel drive system in this giant freakin' tank of a vehicle that we were saddled with, when we realised that there were quite a few police cruisers littering the highway. Now, I am of course a totally law-abiding citizen (so to speak) when it comes to the subject of speed limits. It goes without saying that, when the speed limit on the highway says 65, I drive at 65.
Or, y'know... 65-ish.
In the process of studiously observing these speed limits, we noticed up ahead that a police cruiser had taken a rather keen interest in one of the cars in front of us. The cruiser proceeded to pull over the car in question, and we were able to drive past shortly afterwards to see who had just gotten nicked for speeding.
And it immediately became apparent that the guy who'd just gotten done for being a bit too eager with the throttle, was driving my least favourite milk-float of all time, a Toyota Prius.
I am not in the least bit ashamed to admit that I was very, very happy to see some tree-hugging dipshit getting pulled over in a Prius. There were, in fact, scenes in our gas-guzzling bulldozer of a car that would have done credit to a touchdown celebration in an NFL game.
That, my friends, was a good day, a big tick in my "life" box. We were driving, uh, fast (but legally) in the left lane of the highway in a giant tank of a car- and the tree-hugger got pulled over. That's what I call "poetic justice".
My friends, don't drive hybrids. Just don't. If you want to save money on fuel, buy a diesel. You might be driving on the fuel of Satan and covering everything you pass by with a thin layer of black soot, but at least you'll be honest with yourself about what you're doing. And you'll almost surely get better mileage too.
Why pay extra for a separate drive-train that uses a nickel-cadmium battery which is, in fact, manufactured using such horribly dirty methods that a Toyota Prius lasts one third as long as a Hummer but uses 50 percent MORE combined energy during its lifetime?
And now, having dispensed my Useful Consumer Advice for the day, I shall get back to laughing madly about the fact that some dipshit ecomentalist in a hybrid got pulled over, while the douchebag in the giant gas-guzzler drove on peacefully.