Monday, July 18, 2011

Whoever said size doesn't matter... lied! (Part 2)

When I'm driving my Civic, I feel like Toad from Mario Kart.  Everyone else is driving normal sized vehicles and I'm driving this little go-kart from a Nintendo game.  And not only that, while I'm driving I keep looking around waiting for someone to hit me with a banana or something.   As a matter of fact, because of the Mario Kart mentality, I come to a complete stop when I see a turtle crossing the road.  The people behind me tend to think I'm this UAH (Uber-Animal-Humanitarian - if that's possible).  But really, I've seen what happens when Toad runs into a turtle shell... and it ain't pretty.

I'm sure the car isn't all bad.  I'm just used to driving bigger vehicles.  I'm used to driving BIGGER vehicles with BIGGER engines.  When you think of bigger engines you think of horsepower.  I'm not even sure if mine has ponypower.  It DOES have a blistering 0 - 60 miles per hour time.  I can go from 0 - 60 mph in about 4.7... days.  I think that lands me on the speed chart somewhere between a scooter and old school pair of L.A. Gear sneakers.  (Don't laugh at the L.A. Gear.  I used to run pretty fast in those!)

It does have a little bit of passing speed.  But that comes at a price.  When I'm on the interstate and I try to pass someone the car literally take a minute or two to negotiate the requested course of action.

Me: (Pressing the gas pedal because I'm merging onto the interstate)
Car: Really?
Me: Yes.  Right now please.
Car: (Deep breath) Are you serious?
Me: Yes.
Car: What's wrong with going 45mph?  A lot of respectable people never went over 45.
Me: Name one.  Never mind that! You are the car.  When I press the gas pedal you should do as I say!
Car: How's that working for ya?
Me: Grrrrr!!!!
Car: Ok. Fine!  Whatever. (Continues to the desired speed while taking a small break at 55 to make sure the desired speed is in the best interest of all parties involved.)

All of that and I'm not really a speed demon.  But I do like a healthy number of horses in my stable.  I went from having 300 horsepower to about 140.  That's 160 horses!  When you consider the cost of the average horse ($1500 - $15000 - I would get one for around $10000 because that's how I stroll!) then you can see how my investment has really taken a nosedive.  160 horses at $10000 per horse... That's means I will have lost $1.6 million throughout the life of this car going from the Expedition to the Civic.  (You can try to look farther into this but the math is sound!  Ask anyone.  I do realize with the gas savings between the two means I come out about even but lets not look at that very minor, almost non-existent detail.)

I guess the real problem with all of this is that I just feel so small next to the other vehicles on the road.  My Oompa Loompa Mobile can't weigh much more than a fat chihuahua.  To be honest, I get nervous when I even pass dogs on the street.  I was going to work one day and a dog on the side of the road was having one of those sneezing fits (which I used to find hilarious until this) and he blew my car to another state.  Needless to say, I was late for work.  But they understood when I told them what happened.  To recap, I was in Tennessee... the dog sneezed... I ended up in Atlanta.  Not a good morning.  (And for those who don't believe me you can follow that story on a very reputable website... MY BLOG!)

There is also a directly proportional relationship between the size of the car and the size of the horn.  I think this is the single-most annoying thing to me.  The horn is so wimpy.  You can barely hear the horn over the engine.  Someone can cut me off on the road and I can't do anything to alert them of what happened.  No matter how mad I am and how hard I press the horn all I can give them is a little... beep.   Sadly, the sound in your head when reading the word beep is 17 times louder than the actual sound of my horn.  And THIS is the horn that's connected to my alarm.  THIS is the horn that is supposed to alert the world when someone is trying to steal my car.  THIS is my first line of defense.  THIS is also the alarm that if I'm more than 10 ft away from the car and a housefly goes by when it starts "blaring".... I cant even hear it.  And that's weird because it registers a strong .0000017 on the Richter scale.  The only reason I set the dumb thing is to see the lights flash when I do so.  (It's sad... but true.)

It has been a few weeks so I'm really trying to come to terms with this.  I can even see a really great positive.  My job is between 37 and 45 miles away (depending on which way I go) and I'm getting between 34 and 37.5 miles per gallon.  So I would say that's pretty good and, really, it's the main reason I even got the car.  (Especially since I was getting 16 before.)  I guess the main problem I'm having with all of this is that It's hard to come to terms with  the fact that on the road I used to be the pigeon (the BMOC) and now I'm just the statue under the pigeon.  (You can figure that out for yourself.)  It happens.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Whoever said size doesn't matter... lied! (Part 1)

Men... We have been told a bunch of mess since we were little.  We were told that it doesn't matter if you win or lose but how you play the game.  (Although that's true to a certain point, it has its limitations.  Like say... the lottery. Or... like the Super Bowl. Or, even a game of chicken.  You can play those games as well as you want but it's really important thing is that you actually win!)  We were also told that if you keep making that face it will stick that way. NOT TRUE! (At least I hope this one is not true.  I have at least one child who makes some... interesting faces.  I will leave it at that.)  We were also told that money doesn't grow on trees.  (The government dispells this myth every single day.  After hearing about the budget I'm 100% certain that there is a money tree somewhere!  I just need to find me some money seeds!)  But I'm not here to talk about any of those.  I'm here to talk about the BIGGEST myth of all.  The myth that size doesn't matter.  (Some of you are ready to stop reading my blog here.  And some of you are anxiously waiting to read on.  One of these 2 groups is really going to be disappointed.  But you will need to read on to figure out which one that is.)

I don't even know why we (men) fool ourselves.  Even the ancients knew the importance of size.  Imagine how the storied history of Egypt would have been altered had the GREAT Pyramid was just been average or small.  We would never even have heard of it.  What about the EMPIRE State Building?  It once stood as the TALLEST building in the world.  That record lasted for 40 years.  But the title couldn't last forever.  Our infatuation with size doomed this marvel of American ingenuity into a mere footnote in the annals of record breaking building heights. And lets not forget about the Titanic.  Would there have been countless movies, books and deep sea excursions if the ship had been named the Dinky (maybe) or the Pee Wee (probably not) or the Scrubby (not sure about that one)?  I mean, the smaller the ship the less of a chance you would even hear about its tragic end.  (The only exception to this one would be the S.S. Minnow. (Bonus points if you know about that famous ship wreck without doing a search.))  So, with size being such a very important part of everything else, why not this?

After much research on the subject of size I have found out that the average is 6.  8 is pretty big.  10 is just HUGE.  And there are those very, very rare occasions when you find a 12 (or higher, Yikes!).  And, unfortunately, for every 8, 10 and 12... you find a teeny, tiny little 4.  And this brings me to the crux of my story.  I didn't want to admit this because I'm a little ashamed.  This is much worse than admitting my fear of horses.  (I'm only telling my blogger family about this so let's keep between us OK? Thanks.)  But, believe it or not, I'm a 4!  And, the only thing worse than being a 4 your whole life is going from being an 8 down to being a 4.  (That really stinks.)  But there's even something worse that that... I'm a 4 and my wife is an 8!  How in the world did THAT happen?

I'll tell ya how that happened!  I went from driving a Ford Expedition (BIG powerful V8) to driving a Ford Explorer (respectable V6) down to driving a Honda Civic (a freakin' 4 cylinder baby car)!  And now my wife is driving the Expedition.  Some things I pass off as the universe righting itself and some things are just plain wrong.  Writing this has upset me to the point that I'm going to split this up into 2 parts.  (Ironically, 2 parts is what you could split my wife's engine into and each part would still be bigger than mine.) So I will see you all in the next part.

(To be continued...)

P.S.  Make sure no one tells Spuds about this.  I'm sure he will have some words to say after the ribbing I gave (and still give) him about driving a minivan.