Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Why my Minivan is better than your Monster SUV

Warning - Rant.

Yesterday I was nearly run off the road by a very large, very black Suburban SUV. The woman, who was too busy talking on the phone to realize that she had cut me off, forcing me to ride the curb for 10 seconds, is a mom at my youngest kid's school. Miss Ihavemoremoneythanyoucoulddreamabout Shithead has two kids that go to there. Yes, 2 kids. Not, 4 or 6. Just 2. Why does she need a huge ass Suburban to lug around 2 kids? Because she is an asshole.

When I was younger, the thought of driving a minivan seemed incredibly uncool. No way I'm driving a minivan, is what I would say. But after having kids, I fell in love with the Honda Odyssey. Yes a minivan with sliding doors and back seats that fold completely flat and that isn't hideously ugly. Convenience and safety. Plus I get 25 miles to the gallon on the highway and my engine is smart enough to shut off some of its cylinders for fuel efficiency when cruising. I couldn't ask for anything more. But in my neck of the woods, there are still alot of people out here who think minivans terribly uncool and wouldn't be caught dead in one. That's fine, I respect this. Except when they then feel they must buy a monster SUV.

Don't get me wrong, I like SUV's. They are fun and sporty and guzzle alot of gas. They are cool and sleek and guzzle alot of gas. What is there not to love, right? But monster SUV's? If you live in an urban area, why do you need a Suburban? Seriously, if you are not hauling bales of hay and livestock through four wheeling territory, what possible need is there for a huge ass, gas guzzling monster SUV? When I pull up to the gas station after a Suburban or Expedition drives away, and I see $90 rung up on the meter, I just about fall over laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. But then when I think about how much gas those monster SUVs are using up, causing the price of gas to rise for the rest of us, it's not so funny.

Let me clarify that I am not aiming this post at all Suburban, Expedition, Escalade, Tahoe, etc. drivers. Some of you have legitimate business and family reasons for driving a 10 mile to the gallon, gas hogging environmental hazard that are too heavy for most of our residential roads, causing more and more frequent road damage that all of us taxpayers must bear the burden for. Hey if you have an important reason that overrides these issues, then I won't blame you. Except if you drive a Hummer, cause if you are driving a 10,000 lb Hummer around residential areas just for the hell of it, then you are a prick. But most Hummer drivers know this already about themselves so this should come as no surprise.

However, those monster SUV drivers out there who think they look so cool in your huge ass SUV, a word of advice. It is a good idea to learn how to drive a big car first. When I was first learning how to drive, my parents got me a big old chevy caprice. The thing was huge, I hated it, but because of that car, I can drive anything big without any hesitation. My parallel parking is a thing of 3 point beauty. But from what I have seen, most others learn to drive in small cars and bring their small car mentality to their new big cars. And then what happens? Sucky bad drivers.
Maybe there should be a separate drivers' license exam for the monster SUV's. After all, they are for all purposes a truck. There is a practical element to this idea, after all these huge vehicles all weigh in at over 3 tons (6,000 pounds!!) while most cars and minivans weigh in between 2,000 and 4,000 pounds. That means you've got some real bad drivers out there driving vehicles that weigh one or two tons more than the average car or minivan. Talk about not liking those statistics. And let's face it, we have all seen the bad drivers out there. The ones that drive in both lanes of traffic because they can't judge how big their cars are. The ones that drift into your lane. The ones that park over two spaces. The ones that park 5 feet from the curb and out into the traffic lane. We all have stories. We all despise them.

Like Miss Ifyouarenotatmysociallevelnevertalktome Dumbass who is about 5 feet tall and looks like an elaborately dressed Prada munchkin behind the wheel of her truck. If you aren't 6 feet tall, you have got to be part monkey to get in and out of those things. And if you are wearing a skirt? I see London, I see France, I can see your underpants. And Miss Iworkoutwithapersonaltrainereveryday Monkeybutt thinks she is one hot mama and likes to wear really low low rider pants. In fact, I have seen the crack of her ass one too many times. But I seriously hate the fact that I gotta be on the streets at the same time that she is. The woman is a menace. She drives real fast, breaks really suddenly so that you hear and smell rubber burning. Her poor kids must suffer from chronic whip lash. She drives with the mentality that because she is in a big car, you need to watch her. I can't even count the number of times she has caused another car to spin out in an attempt to avoid hitting her.

So yesterday, I came to the 4 way stop near my kid's school before SUV mom. But as I proceeded to cross into the intersection, Miss IfIwasn'tsorichI'dbetrailertrash Asshole gunned a left turn and cut in front of me, causing me to ride the curb. I leaned on my horn, but the Odyssey has a very wimpy horn. It's more like a Meep Meep Meeeeeeeeeeeep. Like I sat on a sesame street muppet. Not very intimidating. And Miss Mynailsaresomuchmoreimportantthanyourlife Dipshit just drove away at like 60 miles an hour on a residential street. However, she was going into the school parking lot, just like me. And when I arrived, I had the pleasure of watching her park her car in front of the orange cones that mean no parking, and run her two kids in while I pulled into a spot muttering like a schizophrenic. Youngest tried to ask me what a plucking itch was but I gave her a piece of gum to distract her.

As I fumed walking into the school, out walks Miss Myboobscostmorethanyourhouse Asswipe. I stop right in front of her, holding Youngest's little hand, I smile real big and I say very loudly in a really friendly voice, "Hey! Thanks ever so much for running me off the road back at that four way stop! I absolutely love the way you whipped out in front of me even though you came to the 4 way intersection after me! And boy what an absolute adrenaline rush for me, trying to regain control of my car and not crash into the front of someone's house. THAT WAS SO MUCH FUN!" I am practically shouting into her face as she edges past me and breaks into a run. "Oh come on! Where you going? That was so much fun? Let's do it again! But next time, I'll run you off the road, ok? OKAY?"

Miss IamsomuchbetterthanyouIpeeDomPerignon Bimbette can't run away fast enough and I am not doing much better judging from the funny looks the other parents are giving me as they walk in and out of the school. And at that very moment, I had an epiphany. Man, I don't belong at this pre-school. There are way too many pretentious posers here. I am beer in champagne land. I am a 1979 Chevy Caprice in the land of brand new Mercedes and Range Rovers. I am a hot dog in a lobster world. I am too loud, too in your face. I drive a minivan, worry about the environment and want my kids to be good people. They drive luxury SUVS, screw the environment and want their kids to know they will always be better than everyone else. I don't like them. They don't like me. I have no friends here and that is just fine with me. I have nothing in common with these people. And I just don't care. Life is too short to worry about what other people think. And if you mess with me, I will call you out. I might do it in an unexpected way (I try not to scream obscenities in front of the kids), but I will eventually let you know exactly what I think.


Anonymous said...

Wow! I am so glad you got that out of your system and I got to snort water out of my nose while reading. I'm sure I'll offend plenty of people by saying this since every other car on the road seems to be a ginormous SUV, but I think people who drive them are obnoxious too and as for people who drive Hummers? Well, they are obnoxious douche bags. It's a peeve of mine too because it's just a horrible and very visible example of how f!@#^&d up our priorities and our values have become in our consumer driven culture. People who really need vehicles that size -- FARMERS -- have real trucks. The only reason to drive something so unsafe and so impractical and so bad for the environment is to impress the other jackasses who are impressed by that kind of thing. Maybe my peeve is really about the amount of money people are willing to go into hock for in order to drive such an impractical vehicle. OK, I'll stop now -- see what you did?

Anonymous said...

Some of my best friends drive SUVs. I try not to hold it against them.

There seems to be a rule around here that the smaller your kids, the bigger your car. This makes seeing what's going on in traffic very tricky for those of us with a regular sedan.

We are looking at cars at the moment, because we have a dog that I would like to keep in a separate section in the back of the car. I'd at least like a wagon, I'm toying with the thought of a minivan, but DH likes to point out that we only have two kids. Hey, they have friends. I did have a dream a couple of weeks ago that I was test-driving a SUV, and that I liked it. Please, please, somebody stop me...

Anonymous said...

WOOT!WOOT! [I stand on the side and cheer like all the other paper-factory workers did at the end of An Officer And A Gentleman] "Way to go Ello!"
As you say they are practical vehicles, that should be driven by practical people for practical reasons! I live in the country and the people round here need their utility vehicles. So as far as I'm concerned that's fine. But I used to live in a very posh town and the number of people who drove 4WD's badly was phenomenal. You didn't mention bull bars. Pet hate of mine. Why a footballers wife need to have a hunting accessory on the front of the car she can't park is a total mystery unless of course she just wants to really make sure the kid she hits is really dead and not just severely injured!

My friend takes photos of badly parked cars and posts them on her blog under the title "Parks like an asshole". If you live in the Seattle area beware.

I love your blog!

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I found you via Lisa and I've been reading your posts. I hope that is ok (c: I love it! Too true! I've said the exact same thing about the dirty bastards who drive around like they have God in their engines in a school zone. I went to so far as to say there should be a secondary highway just for them. Let them kill themselves and stay the hell away from everyone else who has a brain. (c:

Anyway-thanks for the laughs! (c:

Anonymous said...

1. I love your Iamsomuchbetter... lines. Genius.
2. I cheered when you called the bitch out.
3. Hope someone tickets and fines the bitch. She's a menace.
4. My hero drives an SUV. Maybe I should change that and have him drive a Hummer.

Anonymous said...

1) Sorry you had to go through that BUT I freaking LOVE your rants. Made my morning!

2) Hummers--SOOOO true.

3) I picture you going Pucca on her I LOL about how awful it is that you have to view her asscrack ever.

4) I hope, hope, hope the other parents/families at that school aren't all so self-absorbed and out-of-touch as they appear. It doesn't bode well for future generations.

Anonymous said...

You go, Ello! ;*) I love that and agree whole-heartedly. That is soooo true. We have all those huge cars here, but what's funny, we also have tractors on the road, so those gas guzzlers, better beware. :*)

Anonymous said...

You were too nice, Ello. ;)

Yes, yes, yes on the Hummer people. I never thought about their level of self-awareness, but you're probably right. I'm sure they're quite proud of themselves.

And don't fool yourself. You are the bubbly of the blogosphere, my dear. :)

Anonymous said...

Other than the horrible gas milage (which is a huge deal), the only real difference between an SUV and minivan is marketing. So all these people that drive these huge SUVs to make themselves feel better need to know that they are really just driving a minivan with a different wrapper.

I agree with so much of your post. Nice job!


Anonymous said...

Ell, two words: YOU ROCK.

My stepson goes to a "rich" school and he told us last night that since he goes to this rich school and his friends' parents buy their kids cars (and these are not banged up, used cars, but brand new sports cars) that we should also buy him his car. I laughed hysterically.

Anonymous said...

I sympathize with you right down the line. I see these kind of SUV's all the time on my commute.

And my son's first junior high was just like this. Rich people and rich kids who looked down upon everyone who didn't have what they had. My son was half embarrassed to be taken to school in a chevy station wagon. So one day I took him to school on my bike, and showed them after I dropped him off that my 6,000 dollar Honda would blow all their mercedes away. It was fun to see their snotty little mouths drop open as I showed them what real acceleration is like.

Anonymous said...

Ditto the Hummer types. They are the worst!

Ello: With the price of gas only getting worse, it won't be long before those rich bitches are driving Mini Coopers, and their Escalades will be rotting in their garages because they can't sell them either.

Just read about Da Man's cooking "disaster" - how about dinner in a swanky restaurant to every week for a year to make up for it? Did you ever get that big diamond? Maybe now's a good time to lay some Irish guilt on him.

I'll check back Friday to see what hilarity ensues.

Anonymous said...

Ello, this is absolutely priceless. The minute I read your rant warning, I thought, "Oh boy," and you didn't let me down.

Those titles you gave her? Bernita is right: these are sheer genius. My husband had to tell me to shut up FOUR times, and he finally just gave up and took his newspaper into another room.

I agree so much with you that I don't even know where to start. We always buy little cars, and we always try to get the most energy efficient ones possible. When we lived in Japan, I was always amused to find trendy mamas in their big-ass SUVs. But when they used them to race down the road our kids took to school (no sidewalks, bikes and cars and pedestrians all using the same space) I started bringing my camera too. I never took a key to anyone's paint job, but I was sorely tempted on at least ten occasions.

Beautiful writing. Beautiful ranting.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ello, Coming out of lurkdom to first, share my love of the Odyssey, and second, to sympathize with you. I know exactly what you're going through (why the hell do people in suburban southern Florida need such big-ass SUVs and why don't they learn to drive them?). I'm glad you told her off; I wish I had the guts to do the same to some of the snotty moms at my kids' schools. Great blog and thanks for the laugh.

Anonymous said...


I've got to tell you that Lisa just read me your rant;.. and;.aside from REALLY laughing my ass off;..I think that I'm in love with you. Just told Lisa THAT,..and SHE had a good laugh.

You've expressed my feelings to a "T"!

Personally, what I do when cut off by a 'rich bitch', or dickhead businessman with his conservatively cropped haircut glued to his cellphone, or young, spoiled girl in her brand-new Honda Accord, (which mommy and daddy just bought for her just because she is "special");...I use MY cell phone to report their license number, make and color of their vehicle, and EXACT location, to the police, and tell them that there is an extremely drunk and dangerous driver that just ran me off the road.

IF we should happen to arrive, by some coincidence, at the same location ;.. I have absolutely NO problem keying BOTH sides of their Hummer, Lexus SUV, etc. :)
Believe it or not, most people consider me a very nice, generous person; yet we ALL have our breaking points.
BRAVO to you for such an elegant rant:) Cheers, -Scott

Anonymous said...

It's interesting because I have pondered it quite a bit--is it that buying the SUV makes them an asshole, or do they just appeal to assholes? Chicken-and-egg type of debate I suppose. People like this make me feel so bad about being a human being, and make me understand why foreigners hate Americans. This cracked me up (and it looks like quite a few others!) so at least something good came of it all! :-)

Anonymous said...

Ello, about your epiphany... If you don't belong there -- and who would really want to? --, do your children?!

I SO miss good, decent values. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

Gimme an E!
gimme an L!
gimme an L!
gimme an O!

I'm behind you 100%!

What always bugged me is why does anyone think they need an SUV when they live so close to a city? We have a pickup truck out of necessity. When we drive to our cabin we have to get up a mile long, unpaved, mountainside driveway. And, most of the roads in the surrounding "neighborhood" are unpaved. Around home, we only use our car. Jason uses the truck to drive a few miles each day to the train station, so that I'll have the car for errands.

Thanks for sharing your rants! You go girl! And keep on truckin'... er, minivanin'...?!

Anonymous said...


Wow! Just climbed back into the chair. What a hilarious rant! And so true.

My wife's ex has one of those Lincoln behemoths...his current wife rarely rides in it and they have no kids at their house. He currently lives in Arlington, VA...soon to move to McLean. Maybe he's run you off the road once or twice too.

He is a totally self-absorbed shit-head...choice of vehicle is people's exhibit #1.

Methinks in most cases, driving a behemoth SUV is prima facia evidence of self-absorbed shit-headism.

I have a truck...for hauling horses and their stuff, or mulch, or yard stuff or lumber. Otherwise it stays parked. My normal day-to-day vehicle is a wee Nissan Versa.

Wife drives a Toyota RAV4, more for the surety of getting to the hospital when the weather is iffy, but it averages 26mpg and up to 32mpg on the highway.

Anonymous said...

***Steps warily away from Ello.

Anonymous said...

paca??? Does someone we know own a big honkin' Hummer for off-roading up volcanoes?

Anonymous said...

*hides behind paca

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone and thanks so much for all of your comments. For some reason where I live we have way too many luxury SUVs and monster SUVs on the road and alot of the drivers just act like they own the road. It drives me freaking bonkers! I told my sister what I did and how people reacted and she said that it was because I am such a New Yorker. Well I take this as a compliment!

And a big wave of hello and a big grin from me to all my new blogging friends! Please pop by anytime! I am happy to see you all!


Anonymous said...

You rule.

*adulates you*

Anonymous said...

I've just been back to read this again with my youngest. She isn't always an easy kid to amuse, but she cracked up at 'plucking itch' and giggled her way through the rest. But I didn't just show her this to amuse her: I showed her this so she could see what a good role model was.

Anonymous said...

I am torn between laugh and applause!
These big cars are rather a sight over here, but the mentality already exists.

And I got the pun about 'plucking itch', too :)

Anonymous said...

Who cares if you're beer in champagne land? The bitch needed a talking to! Glad to hear she ran her chicken legs off, too. I grew up in champagne land. Those people need to get OFF MY PLANET!

Anonymous said...

""Hey! Thanks ever so much for running me off the road back at that four way stop! I absolutely love the way you whipped out in front of me even though you came to the 4 way intersection after me! And boy what an absolute adrenaline rush for me, trying to regain control of my car and not crash into the front of someone's house. THAT WAS SO MUCH FUN!" I am practically shouting into her face as she edges past me and breaks into a run. "Oh come on! Where you going? That was so much fun? Let's do it again! But next time, I'll run you off the road, ok? OKAY?"

YOU ARE MY HERO.... I swear, Ello, that's flippin hysterical!!! And I have some of those near me - You can take the girl outta the neighborhood but you can't take the neighborhood out of the girl - and I like it that way. I like beer better than Champagne, I like to laugh, and I prefer converse to designer shoes what make my feetsies hurt...

As a side note, my hubby drives an expedition... (wanna kill him?) however, we had a business that went under and instead of selling the truck he took it and we sold his old car for to make one less car payment... he'll drive it until the wheels finally fall off and then he'll get something new (on the plus, those trucks are made to last a lot of miles).

Anonymous said...


I must agree with Mary--your post here is pricless as are your swift, no-holds-barred conclusions. I also loved the Iam lines, particularly the one about elimination, pretty funny stuff, I can't help but laugh at that.

BTW, re:Charles's comment--Would there be anything cooler than being dropped off at school on a motorcycle?

Timmy Radloff said...

People have different preferences. When purchasing a car, especially for first timers, it is important to determine what your purpose is for buying. Is it for the family or for personal use only?

-Timmy Radloff

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