Monday, August 08, 2005

Minivans of Death

(Portions of this post were motivated and inspired by both recent actions as well as by the article 'My Roving Barcolounger' by Michelle Cottle in Time magazine (08/01). Others were outright plagarized. I was far too traumatized to be completely creative.)

On my walk into work this morning I was almost plowed over by some jackass driving a minivan. I don't think this would have been a very dignified way to leave this life – run over by an unabashed suburban breeder. To date, I have been hoping to exit from this world as the result of being buried alive in an avalanche of naked Swedish supermodels…but giving the amount of minivans on the road these days, not to mention the influx of jagoffs who drive them, the chances of this actually happening are steadily declining.

Even more than minivans themselves, I hate the people who drive them. Their priorities in life are just all FUBAR *. This driver wasn’t even the remotest bit aware of my presence or proximity to his vehicle as he hurtled it down the street blindly; possibly due to the fact that he looked at the time like he was fidgeting with the controls inside his driver’s cockpit like a NASA Mission Control employee after freebasing an entire bushel of coffee beans. Looking back on it, I would have had more faith had a chimpanzee been at the wheel of the vehicle instead.

And who could ever really be surprised over this idiot’s driving since your basic minivans now on sale at the car lots come equipped with such interior luxuries as huge leather seats, lightning-quick seat warmers, individual climate control, DVD player, satellite radio, 10” hi-definition color television, five-CD changer, cell phone power cutlets, “conversation mirror” (to facilitate chats with backseat passengers), voice-activated navigation system and, of course, more beverage holders than you could shake a frozen Frappuccino at. Shit, throw in a wet bar and shower massage and I forsee a future where no one would ever have to leave their vehicles ever fucking again. If these minivans could somehow manage to make a nice raspberry torte and give blowjobs through some installed onboard ‘Suck-o-Matic’ device – I’d consider making one my wife!

But how safe is all this; particularly for us pedestrians?

I mean, who’s bright fucking idea was it to install a mirror whose sole purpose is to shift the driver’s gaze from where it should be – ON THE FUCKING ROAD! Who’s doing the actual driving with all this activity going on? Sure the DVD player probably helps take the edge off long road trips, but how many accidents could have been avoided if the driver hadn’t also been struggling to stay awake through the ending of Jody Foster’s ‘Contact’ at the time of impact? Sure the navigation system is pretty handy in that it can locate the five nearest Chinese restaurants from any point in the continental U.S. but it will also remind you of your noon dental appointment and that you still have to pick up the cats antifungal cream before the vet closed at six. Cool? Abso-fucking-lutely. But also utterly distracting from the task at hand – DRIVING!

I’m not surprised then that this middle-aged moolyak behind the wheel didn’t even see me, what with him yammering on the cell phone, checking his email, programming his onboard appointment log, channel-surfing for last nights hockey scores on the satellite radio; all the while trying to cook breakfast on the fold away hotplate in the dashboard. This idiot didn’t stand a chance of seeing me lumbering across his path like a bloated woodchuck since he was so busy pushing buttons like a lab rat on amphetamines.

Thank you luxury driving.

Considering that middle-aged parents have enough to deal with already so that they really have the attention span of a coma patient – why then are we designing their automobiles to have so many unnecessary bells and whistles that you literally have to be a military test pilot to operate? That’s like pouring water on a drowning man!

I think in the name of safety, all models of minivans and SUV’s should also come equipped with shackles on the steering wheel to lock down the driver’s hands in place in order to drive. I also wouldn’t be opposed to the idea of toothpicks to prop open their eye lids either. Christ, why stop there? Instead of seat warmers, there should just be electrodes to administer electric shocks directly to the driver’s genitals to help keep them awake and focused.

That'll learn 'um good.

Basically, minivans are becoming more like little mobile homes in themselves so that driving them affords you no more effort than merely operating your television remote from your barcolounger. I can understand the desire to be comfortable and relaxed while out running all the necessary errands that are commonly associated with maintaining a family in today’s fast-paced society, but if you think some idiot savant with a cell phone prevents a serious road hazard, just imagine how deadly he’d be while watching ‘Braveheart’ at the same time!

There has been ample evidence provided that the driving public already pays far too little attention to the road as it is. Driver distractions, such as ordinary low-tech basics as eating, chatting with passengers, and fiddling with the radio - account for nearly 80% of vehicular crack-ups. Even just recently, the ‘British Medical Journal’ added that even gabbing on a cell phone (even the hands-free variety) quadruples your risk of getting into an accident requiring the jaws-of-life and a free trip to the hospital.

Now given all this information supporting the easy distraction of automobile driver’s and the need for more focused attention – who designed these fucking modern death traps on wheels? Satan?

“Beelzebub has a minivan put aside for me, for me, for meeeeeee…”

So do I forgive this moronic driver this morning in his kitted out minivan?


* That means “Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition” just in case you’ve been living under a rock.


Blogger kimbabalu said...

Thank you for making my morning--
with this piece especially:

"If these minivans could somehow manage to make a nice raspberry torte and give blowjobs through some installed onboard ‘Suck-o-Matic’ device – I’d consider making one my wife!"

I'll support you if you start a campaign to ban all minivans.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Superhappyjen said...

My family once had a minivan but it didn't have any of the whistles. It was used and had previously hit a deer. It was stolen while we owned it but we got it back. The lock was never the same again. The badluck van.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Great piece, CTRM! I agree with you totally on everything except perhaps marrying the minivan. A little too high maintenance I would think...

3:31 PM  

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