I like to laugh at the bumper stickers I see on Hummers. Often they have a Bush sticker or some other symbol of Republican high life, like the little symbol many country clubs and yacht clubs give to their members. The Hummer I saw today had an “I’m proud of my Eagle Scout” bumper sticker. Isn’t it a tad humorous to brag about pride in your progeny when your vehicle emits massive amounts of environment destroying toxins that taint the earth your child will inherit ?
I saw this Hummer or H2 …as the back tire proclaimed, while I was sitting in my car in front of the ocean reading the Sunday papers. I heard a loud roar of an engine and looked to my left. A massive Hummer had parked next to me with its engine running. The people inside the Hummer were chatting and looking out at the ocean. I noticed that the Hummer’s tires were higher than the car doors of my Honda Civic. As I sat there glancing at the hulking mass of steel, the monstrous gas guzzler was polluting the lovely spring air with its engine revving. I rolled up my windows and rolled my eyes.
I had the thought, jeez even “Arnold” Governor of California, recently said he was giving up his Hummer to protect the environment. Let’s hope that California trend makes it to the East Coast rapidly. It seems astonishing in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, that Americans are still driving massive vehicles that just prolong our dependence on foreign oil.
Is there any reason for a normal citizen to drive a massive Army like vehicle ? If we are ever attacked again will it be the Hummers who will be leading the evacuation, or will they be abandoned in favor of smaller vehicles that will travel further on less gas ?
Aren’t the days when George Bush, Sr. used to jokingly call Al Gore “Ozone Man” long gone? Don’t all Americans need to pay attention to our country’s fuel consumption?
As I looked at the vehicle I wondered what deep seated need driving such a hulking, massive vehicle met. Are issues of safety or ego at play when a Hummer is purchased? Today, SUVs rule the roads. I often feel intimidated by the sheer hulking size of the massive vehicle next to me as I am driving. I find it ironic that I can always tell when a family event day is occurring in town. On these days the lake in the center of town is ringed with the huge SUVs families favor. Why do the folks bringing new life into the world seem so intent on polluting the world environment their children will live in with their huge vehicles ?
I wonder how the drivers of the adorable Mini Cooper or the small hybrids must feel when next to a Hummer on the road ? Fear must visit them occasionally. I know I felt it one day when a large SUV with out of state plates didn’t notice the stop sign as they headed away from the beach and almost plowed into me. As I was wildly swerving to avoid the hulking gray vehicle barreling through the stop sign into my lane like a killer whale about to run over my car I could see the expressions of alarm on the faces of the passengers in the car. I know if I am ever hit by an SUV while driving my little Civic the injuries I may suffer will probably be severe. Such is life in “Hummer Nation”
It seems ironic that America has so quickly forgotten the gas crisis of the 1970s. We seem oblivious to the reality that our nation could be shut down very quickly if we don’t have enough fuel. We are a nation of rampant highways and citizens with abundant wanderlust. I myself enjoy the feel of the open road. When I used to travel for business I loved the feeling of hopping into a rental car and exploring a new state. I have fond memories of drives through the open land of Texas, of zooming over bridges in California, of watching the miles flash by as I explored the vast open land of Arizona. I loved it back in the day when once you entered the car you were free from the outside world. I love the feel of open windows, loud music, and a fun car to command on a road trip back when cell phones weren’t yet in wide use and I knew once I was in the car I could enjoy a bit of time without interruption from the outside world.
Like most Americans I love cars and the freedom they symbolize.
I was only around 10 during the early 70s so it seemed fun when my Mom and I hopped into her little Pinto and enjoyed chatting and laughing as we waited in line for gas. We wouldn’t have had such a good time if we had known the Pinto cars had a design defect that caused it to explode into a fireball upon impact near the gas tank. Ford knew about the defect and did not alert the public. We could have been incinerated at any moment; That’s probably what will happen in today’s world too if I get hit by a Hummer.
I wonder how long it will take for the SUV and Hummer to seem as “au courant” as the dinosaur if a gas shortage rocks America ? Do you laugh when you see a Hummer on the road ? Do you roll your eyes? I do. And the Hummer drivers probably laugh at my little car too. We are a nation of extremes. We are big car and little cars. We are red state and blue state. We are hybrid and Hummer. We are Michael Moore and George W. Bush. . We aren’t particularly cohesive as a nation right now; all one has to do to understand that is look at any road in America. Do you see a Hummer? Do you see a hybrid ? Which vehicle causes YOU to roll your eyes ???