(A reworked MySpace blog post)
Automobiles? They're the American birthright, or so I'm told, but when it comes to cars I'm an aesthetic dyslexic, and damned proud of it.
Gaze upon the machine in as loving a fashion as you wish: Stylish, sleek, sexy, and reminiscent of a throbbing penis … whatever ... and pardon me while I suppress a yawn.
Cars are nothing more than a necessary evil, a conveyance I'm forced to utilize when the weather or my schedule precludes riding the bicycle to work, or during those sadly numerous times when I must reconcile myself to the sad fact that my fellow Americans have chosen to forego public transportation so they can live "free" (and die broke) fifty miles from the places they need to go each day.
And while I'm at it, stop making the remark, "Gee, Rog, you're lucky that you live so close to work and can ride your bike." Luck has nothing to do with it. Planning does, but listen, I know how much you need that exurban acreage to feel whole and be near your megachurch.
Having said all that, my wife needs transportation both to and for her job, and so just for the fun of it we test-drove a Smart Car on Wednesday evening. Speaking from the vantage point of 6' 4" and 250 lbs, it's a small car, indeed, but sufficiently roomy to accommodate me with space left over. Verily, the doors are the single largest part, and it really is a front without a back.
The drive went swimmingly until we were merging onto I-64 and came abreast of a predictably swinish semi rig that had ample space in the center lane to yield, and of course would not, and as we traversed the shoulder I was reminded of my friend Tim's observation: If you're in a Smart Car and involved in a high speed wreck, don't worry; modern forensics can be relied upon to make a positive identification of your remains.
I was also reminded of my hands-down favorite automobile of all time: East Germany's infamous and long deceased Trabant, that cuddly cute bundle of rough-hewn metal and socialist asbestos powered by the equivalent of a lawn mower engine, for which creative types could fashion replacement parts from discarded tin foil and baling twine.
The Trabant did far more to undermine the Iron Curtain than Ronald Reagan ever mustered. Lest we forget, Reagan asked Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, but it was opportunistic Ossies piloting their Trabants across the porous Hungarian border in the summer of 1989 that finally did the trick.
It was decided that there'll be no Smart Cars in the household, at least not yet; other expenditures are more vital. Still, for an aesthetic dyslexic, the Euro-styling strikes a definitive chord. If only our rapidly disappearing American currency could make the same claim.