Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Unjustified Superiority

Riding my bike to work this morning, I noticed the loud, stinking, exhaust belching infernal combustion machines more than I usually do. There was not more traffic, but for some reason, their 50 mph intrusions in and out of my proximity made more of an impression than usual. I was not bothered so much as I was feeling superior and high on my tree huggin , be kind to the planet , save a whale high horse. I watched them whiz past and I smirked.

"Losers, all of you. Sitting there encased behind metal and glass traveling faster than you really need to. What's the fucking hurry anyway? Drive too fast just to be on time at a place you most likely hate a good portion of the time. I don't get it."

The negativity just rolled naturally from my mind. So I went with it.

"Mobile temperature controlled enviroments moving through but not part of the natural flow of the day. You probably all own ATVs, RVs, and a Suzuki. A boat larger than my house sits right next to your 3 car garage. Your idea of grilling is that 6 burner gas fired beauty with 1000 sq inches of grill and two burners on the side for heating up canned beans and corn on the cob. If it doesn't use a key and go vroom, you have no use for it. Your idea of camping is hauling the RV with the mopeds lashed down on back to Jellystone campground and plugging into the internet, the power net, and the cable net. Fishing to you is a 20 foot Bass boat with 200 horses purring under your butt as your scream down the lake to that favorite spot to suck down beers and wet your lines while you wet your whistle. Hunting from the cab of your truck makes sense to you. A hike to you is when you have to park in the fifth or sixth row at the mall. "

I spent well over half my commute digging deep for every obnoxious value judgement I could come up with. It started out as just something to do while spinning the pedals. It soon turned ugly when I really got into it. This holier than thou attitude I sported this AM was an abberation. I am usually a go with the flow, mind my own business, live and let live kinda guy. Besides, I had no right to the high horse I was on. I only commute by bike a few days a week. Every other day you will find me sitting behind metal and glass traveling fast like the rest of them.

So I sat down tonight to glean some insight and make sense out of this contradiction I have inside me. When I think about it, there is no contradiction. I have never been particularily fond of cars. I did lust after a few when I was young, but it did not last. I did not even own a car until I was well into my 20's. I much preferred bumming rides from friends or riding my bike.

I now own vehicles. I drive them on a regular basis. I dutifully maintain them like any tool should be maintained. I like using them up instead of trading up. For me, watching 200,000 miles tick off on the odometer gives me more satisfaction than having the latest fuel infected turbo charged waste of technology. Cars are a necessity not a pleasure. Although I will admit to some guilty pleasure when cruising a tightly curved country road with new 10 ply sneakers on the truck.