ookophiles, it’s nearly Christmas (or Xmas, which means, what, “Extreme Christmas”?) and you know what it’s time for again, don’t you? Yes, it’s time for putting antlers and even a red poofy nose on your FUV.
Okay, let’s look at this. I can’t take credit for coining the “FUV” phrase. It came from “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” on NPR. One of the guests slipped and said it and I made it my very own.
An FUV (i.e. an SUV) is an oversized car, sometimes riding high on a heavy chassis, a total Americanization/Consumerization of the standard automobile. And, as a cyclist commuter for a quarter century, there are a lot of things I don’t like about these barges.
First off, goddamn, do you not understand that we’re facing a species-ending crisis in the form of Global Warming? I just had a scuffle with someone on Facebook who couldn’t be bothered – she won’t be around to see it so why not burn all the carbon she can? That her children’s children might live in a Mad Max world – who cares? What a depressingly bleak and totally self-centered outlook that is.
Second, those bastards are big. They turn slow and take forever to bumble out of your way. Their elevated lights blind everyone driving at night. They make it impossible to see what’s going on ahead.
And with all that going on, their drivers tend to push aggressively in traffic. When my smaller car was in the shop, I had to rent a Tahoe. It turned me into a total tailgating asshole.
Lastly, and most importantly, they are engineered to kill you. When their ad copy informs you that you will be safer, it leaves out the bit that other families involved in your collisions will be less safe (i.e. they will be crushed). And that’s the implied safety feature – you sacrifice others for your own well-being. And if the mass doesn’t get you, the fact that they have high bumpers and large wheels means you might actually go under these monsters. But let’s not stop there – for people on foot, the hoods are high and blockish. On standard cars, you might go up on the hood (I have when a jackass hit little-ol’ pedestrian Me in a crosswalk). These brutes, if they hit you, will be like a massive hammer that will crush you from shins to shoulders, a giant’s massive mallet. And even if you survive that, you’ll not be on the hood but possibly thrown into traffic.
And so there you are. The FUV, a family vehicle for those who value their well-being over others while disregarding the planet-wide impact. So that you still have an option to carry a tuba and a half-dozen or more people once or twice in your car’s lifetime, you make an evil choice, a literal deal-with-the-Devil, to own one.
And now you want to toss Pagan symbols on it in celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace?
You might as well take a knights spiked iron gauntlet and drape mistletoe on it. Then you can give someone a real kiss for Christmas, a face-crushing, blood spraying punch in the face. And all you get are scuffed knuckles.
So, in conclusion, Merry Christmas, you bloated selfish bastards.