Josh Against the Machine.

So it's been brought to my attention by some of my friends that I like to rant on about certain topics. My friend Mike calls this behavior "Josh Against the Machine". I've decided to take this behavior to the internet, and talk about something I find completely insane - the SUV.

The Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) was designed to be one of those rugged man-machines that can climb mountains and drive off-road (on a closed course by professional drivers, of course) across the plateaus in the American Southwest. Plus, they're great for soccer moms to get the best space in the mall parking lot (you've all seen that commercial, right? I love that one!) So also they're very useful driving on the freeways in LA.

I live about fifteen minutes from work, and to get there I have to take two freeways. That's just how life is out here, it really doesn't make much sense. Anyway, I do the commute everyday, and I'm fine with it. Well, until this week when I was almost run-over by a Cadillac sports utility vehicle. Now, I don't mean "the Cadillac of the sports utility vehicles" as I would call a very fancy sports utility vehicle, but an actual Cadillac sports utility vehicle.

The Cadillac Escalade is a honkin' big SUV. No, not "Escalate", as in "this whole SUV thing has escaleted into damn insanity!" but "Escalade", as in a new word that some marketing schmuck made up. Anyway, it's a honkin' big SUV. But it even looks bigger as it creeps over to merge on top of you on an on-ramp of the 101 freeway during morning rush hour. Thank goodness for his Power 4-Wheel Anti-Lock Brake System!! The electronically controlled anti-lock brakes with independent control of front wheels are especially useful maintaining steering control under slippery or wet road conditions. (You know, that's perfect for LA!) It's also useful during hard braking as to not crunch a little Saab 900S under it's big wheels (with gold plated hubcaps!)

However, if Mr. Smoking Joe-Gold-Watch-Man, (that's all that I could see up there through my sunroof, a cigaretted hand with a shiny gold watch), if Mr. Smoking Joe-Gold-Watch-Man WANTED to run me over, he could have turned on his Autotrac(TM) system. At the push of a button, this innovative feature allows the Escalade to automatically shift from conventional two-wheel rear-wheel drive to four-wheel drive when the going gets slippery. Or, once again, when you want to crunch a little Saab for breakfast.

But luckily tragedy was averted. I stopped and got out of his way (even though I had the right of way I wasn't going to argue with him!) and he accellerated away, expending more fuel on that one touch of the gas pedal than I did all last week. I must say, however, that if anyone sees a beige Cadillac Escalade in the LA area, watch out.

That's another thing about SUVs, they only make them in one color each. Escalade got uppity beige, the Isuzu Rodeo only comes in dark green, the Mitsubishi Montero is black, and then those little Rav4's are every rejected Crayola color ever thunk-up.

Eventually this whole SUV craze has to end. Where will it be? When the Ford Expedition is dwarfed like a Yugo is dwarfed by a Boeing 747? When people have to stop for gas five times to get to work? When people like me get runover more and more often? The Harvard School of Public Health has already predicted that in the year 2020 the third top cause of death and disablity will be traffic accidents. Currently it's not even in the top ten. You know, I'm not looking forward to my fifteen minute commute in twenty years. Unless, of course, I have my own Ford Expedition by then.

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Last Updated on: November 07, 1999

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