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Autoerotic III

Picking up from last week: Rims through Toys and a Modest Proposal.

RIMS. Okay, bling. I guess that, if humans can have “grilles,” cars can have the equivalent of oversized, garish jewelry. Regardless, what is the objective? Added in gross overproportion to a blockish, hulking SUV with low-profile tires, the impression is of a steroidal baby buggy. More amazing than amusing is seeing an $800 beater with wheels worth four times that much. Who’s impressed? Is anyone that dedicated to rolling flash going to put equal priority on groceries, shoes, and backpacks? “Oh, yeah; I’m gonna marry that boy; he can hock those rims when the babies come.” Help a brother out.

SUBWOOFERS. When I was matriculating in the late Sixties and majoring in Demonstrations Against Quagmire One, rumors were rife that the Department of Defense – unsatisfied by the results state and local police were having bringing us overmedicated peacemongers to heel with conventional tear and state of the art CS gas – was developing another method of crowd control. Allegedly, it involved the use of machines that emitted ultra-low sonic pulses which would cause our lower abdomens to shudder, thereby causing us to losing control over lower bowel functions. (What the fuzz would do with us after that, I couldn’t imagine; they probably didn’t have an exit strategy then, either. Talk about your slippery slopes…) Anyway, all that may account for my preternatural fear of vehicles displaying the same characteristics. I have to believe that the only thing worse than being beside an object that registers 5.2 on the Richter Scale and seems on the verge of shaking itself apart is being in it. What’s the operative stratagem? Mating magnet? If so, my informal research discloses that most of these rides are populated by only one sex – and he’s usually alone, wearing a XXXL “No Fat Chicks!” T-Shirt without the slightest hint of irony. Don’t misunderstand; when my hormones were generally unsupervised, partial hearing loss seemed like a reasonable price for getting laid. Thing was, the odds of intergender contact were infinitely better at, say, a Who concert, especially before Keith Moon checked out to trash that Big Hotel Suite in the Sky. (Planned Parenthood benefits were pure gold.) I’m desperate for an explanation here.

TOYS.” By which I mean, anything else with marginal utility that eats petroleum and shits greenhouse gases and hydrocarbons. (Commercial trackers and guides are off the hook. RV/motor homes and boats are on the line, but I’m giving them a pass because there’s at least some form of associated activity that’s beneficial, like sightseeing, family bonding, and water sports. And, now, Robin Williams.) We’re talking snowmobiles, jet skis, all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, gas-powered golf carts – all the way down to skateboards and Razors with two-stroke Weed Wacker engines on them. Pay attention to me: Making a loud blur of your mass while sitting on your ass or erect but immobile is not exercise. If you truly want to practice the primeval huntsman skills of your forebears, Porky, walk. Or climb, hike, or wade. Little too long range? Hire a guide, horse, or pilot. Gratuitous noise, habitat destruction, and pollution, all rolled into one, shouldn’t be anybody’s idea of a good time.

Having no illusions that rational confrontation will even get close to undoing decades of commercial media brainwashing, I have a modest piece of social engineering that I believe might help. It’s the concept of reverse incentives, applied to personal transportation consumption. Here’s how it works: you could still make choices totally devoid of benefit that actually cause harm or inconvenience but a price would be exacted. I’m still playing with a complete schedule, but here are some working examples:

 

You get the idea: poor personal choices, immediate, tangible, intensely personal consequences. Hormonally-driven decision = hormonally-based result. Consider the side benefits. Any eligible bachelor could determine instantly whether a candidate has invested more in her wheels’ appearance than hers. On the other hand, a husband hunter would be comfortable knowing that an average-looking dude behind the wheel of a Prius is physically qualified to produce offspring – whereas one who had made more than one marginal automotive choice presents no risk of reproduction. A non-cowgirl pickup owner and an after-market performance freak could have all the unprotected sex they could stand and – no adverse social consequences! Everybody wins! It’s a work in progress but I think I’m on the right track here. Call or write your friendly neighborhood legislator today.

One more thing. The automotive choices I’ve described here aren’t cheap. Have you priced a full set of 22s lately? I can’t help noticing that a lot of these rides have children inside – glued to their DVD screens and plugged into their headphone jacks to keep them from interrupting Mommy’s and Daddy’s important personal telephone calls. Are these cumulative purchases a life sentence in the hospitality and landscaping industries for the little nippers? Suggestion: roll some of that take-home pay into a college fund for Tod and Tifani; down the road you may not have to live in your rusted-out, internal combustion hulk of a condo, eating dry noodles and cat food. Sweet rims, though. Dude.

Next Week: Crazy Wheels — driving/riding/walking stupid.

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