I see the car “ornament” on the left all too often. I strongly dislike these; to me, they epitomize vulgarity. How many of the ones on the right would we have to have before someone put a stop to it?
It’s a symptom of the bizarre idea we have that we are our cars. We think if we have a sportscar, we should change lanes more often, that a cheap car should be honked at sooner than a rich car, and the reason why the driver of this vehicle is probably an a-hole who wears a baseball cap backwards.
If I were queen of the world, I would place severe height and weight restrictions on non-commercial trucks and trailers. People with a gazillion kids would get exemptions for a van. People with three or fewer kids would have to make do with a station wagon. Guys who don’t haul anything more than their own fat behind don’t need a vehicle so high that I can’t see around them to make a right turn (and WHY do they always have to creep halfway across the crosswalk?)
Some of you may complain. I’m not singling you out; hey, some of my best friends drive SUVs. But getting a car that’s higher so that you can see more is like standing up at a concert–you see better, but you make everyone else’s view worse.
So if I were queen of the world, SUVs and half ton pickups would go. You could whine all you wanted about that camping trip you were gonna take, and how you need the SUV for your job, but if you don’t got dirt under your nails, forget it. You get to drive a Honda sedan.
I didn’t say I would be a benevolent despot.
I don’t know the cure for the “I am what I drive” mentality. Malcolm Gladwell has a brilliant article on how large vehicles can warp your view of yourself and the world, but he doesn’t offer suggestions as to how to fix it. And as the tasteless testicles prove, some people will never, ever, let go of the idea that bigger cars are manly, powerful, and all-around better, and that if you drive a smaller vehicle you’re just a girly-girl.