AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: Ford F150: Vehicle of Evil DATE: 2/15/2005 09:59:00 AM ----- BODY:
Remember when only freight trains had cow-catchers on the front?
I got to thinking about my issues with SUVs and gigantic pickup trucks this morning, specifically as they relate to a post by Acidman from a little while ago, in which he raises a good, if belligerent, point:
I don't respect anybody who wants to twist his panties and tell me how I may or may not spend MY OWN GODDAM MONEY. This is the United States of America, Bub. I can buy any kind of car I want and I don't need YOUR permission or approval first. In fact, I might buy one just to chap your ass. You've got a real problem with envy, don't you? This guy probably voted for Ralph Nader.
See, this all occurred to me after a Ford F150 pickup truck nearly killed me this morning for the second time in a little over a year. Every morning I get onto the highway on the Lowell Connector, an abominable stretch of road that is obviously the work of Satan's own engineering department. In every direction from this slapdash junction between Rtes 495 and 3, those merging onto the connecting road find themselves, without fail, at the furthest point away from the highway they want to connect to. So, I needed to get from the Connector to 3 South. I was in the rightmost lane; Rte 3's merge was about a half mile, tops, away on the left. Meanwhile, the exits for Rtes 495 N, S, and Rte 3 N were between me and it. So since anyone getting onto the Connector wanting Rte 495 was probably coming from all the way over on the left, and needed to get almost all the way over on the right for 495 S, the two of us were on a collision course to begin with. Getting through the Connector is everyday Russian Roulette. Which I don't suppose is the fault of the man in the red Ford F150 pickup truck. He didn't make the roads. But what I fail to understand is, when I got onto the highway with a healthy distance between me and him, and attempted to get onto his left-hand side even as he attempted to get onto my right hand side, why did he speed up? It would have been a perfectly simple maneuver. He taps his brakes, swings around behind me, I go toward Rte 3, he goes toward Rte 495, I forget about him soon after and don't get flamed on my blog for ending up linking to Acidman again. But, no. He couldn't do that, you see, because that would have meant he needed to be behind me. And being behind other people is not the sort of thing the drivers of red Ford F150 pickups do. So he gave it the gun, and shaved a little paint off my front bumper screaming in front of me. It was clear that he was perfectly willing to hit me if necessary. Why should he care? His car will crush mine like a bug. Who gives a shit if I die in my cheap little Toyota? It's every man for himself out here, I guess. But the thing is--does it have to be that way? I'm sure there are drivers of red Ford F150 pickup trucks that are perfect gentlemen and women, that conduct themselves well on the roadways, that are courteous and careful of their fellow motorists. It's just that I have yet to encounter one. Okay, but I said, Acidman's got a point. In general, my philosophy on life is to live and let live, and I can't help but agree with him, at least in the abstract. So. You want to slap an American flag sticker on an SUV while we mine Arab countries for oil? Go right ahead. You want to drive like you own the road in a vehicle just this side of an 18 wheeler cab in size and pollution output? Guess you've got the right. You want to start what a very good book I once read calls "an arms race on the highway"? It's not the "land of the free*" for nothing, I guess. But when you attempt to run me over on a regular basis, don't expect me to be happy about, or accepting of, your decisions. _____________________________________________ *sometimes, depending on circumstances