(Tom Jirik wrote columns in several newspapers in Iowa from the late 1980’s to the mid 1990’s. This column originally appeared in the The Boone Today)
I drive an old Ford pickup with a touchy choke and bad springs. The engine’s O.K. and there’s only a little bit of rust on the body. It’s good, dependable transportation.
My wife drives a little Mercury. It’s not nearly as old as the Ford. It has more than 80,000 miles on it and is starting to get a little rough around the edges. But it, too, is good dependable transportation.
What do you drive? If you’re like most of us, your car or truck isn’t anything out of the ordinary. It probably runs O.K. most of the time. You can brag a little if it starts reliably in the winter. It may or may not have good tires, bad springs or a touch choke. I’ll bet it’s just good dependable transportation.
But secretly you envy the person who drives a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Mercedes. Only in our wildest dreams do you ever think of owning a Rolls Royce.
In that secret fantasy of yours you are speeding down a twisting mountain road. The top is down. The wind and the scenery slip by in an exhilarating rush. Your high-performance automobile hugs the road. Its big engine pulls you and your dream car effortlessly up the slopes and around the turns.
Then in this fantasy, the road straightens and levels out. Now you make your dream car really unwind. You guide the gearshifts smoothly through its notches. The speedometer edges higher and higher. You wave gleefully as you pass those poor folks in their run-of- the mill Fords, Chevys and Dodges.
Alas, it is just a fantasy. Your reverie is broken by the harsh bleating of car horns behind you. The stoplight has turned green during your daydream. Sigh. You and your dependable transportation are back to reality.
But for those of you who drive “dependable transportation” take heart.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave us something to cheer about this week. The EPA released its list of the top 10 gas-guzzlers this week and guess who made the list?
A Lamborghini was number one. Ha. I’m sure glad I didn’t buy one of those. There was a Rolls Royce on the list too. You and I are fortunate not to own one of those gas hogs. There was a Ferrari or two on the list too. It would be very, very environmentally irresponsible to own a Ferrari. I certainly wouldn’t want to be environmentally irresponsible. Would you?
Find yourself a copy of that list and study it. Go ahead and gloat if you want. It’ll make you fell a little better about driving your “dependable transportation.”
And when you’re done gloating, please observe a moment of silence for the poor saps who actually own one of these fuel-hungry luxury cars.
And if you own one of those cars, then I’m sure I speak for the rest of us when I say,” We feel so, so bad for you.”