Gloat? Who, me?
A couple of weeks ago I was walking Rocket, our Malamute dog, which is pretty much what I do every day after I get home from my slave shift at the cube farm. Looking both ways at the four-way stop at corner of the suburban block on which we live, I confirmed the way was clear and stepped into the intersection.
Immediately a HUGE SUV jolted to a stop inches from me and the dog. Where did it come from? Who knows! Where do any of them come from? I stopped too, right there in the middle of the street, and stared right into the dull, dead eyes of a well-dressed young woman talking on a cell phone. She barely registered the fact that she had nearly killed me and my dog, and continued to talk on her cell phone as if nothing had even happened.
Then I said a really bad word that described her and her mother in an unflattering, even vulgar way. (I’m not from around here.)
We finished crossing the street and she continued on in her mammoth vehicle, never so much as dropping a participle much less her phone.
I admit it: I’m a class bigot.
I grew up on the wrong side of a rough, rust-belt factory town, fought my way through college twice against the advice of pretty much everyone in my life, and somehow ended up in suburbia just last year. My boyfriend and I were looking for a house in the country up in Michigan. He grew up in Michigan and works here too, but we soon found we could not afford the country life we wanted. Then this ramshackle house on the edge of what I’ve come to refer to as ‘White People Land’ came open on a wooded acre.
We jumped on it. We love it. The house and the acre, that is.
So now, here we are living in this little old house on a great big lot, surrounded by great big new houses on little tiny lots. They have mini-mansions and SUVs and professional landscapes, we have a 1981 Ford pickup and an apple tree and a dog.They hate us. We hate them. But for most of the year they can’t see us for all the trees growing along our property line and we can’t see them either. It’s an uneasy peace, but I guess American life in general is an uneasy peace. We didn’t move in to make trouble.
It was the only house we could afford that came with land.
They hate that too.
I’m thinking of getting some chickens just to piss them all off some more. We already have 50 wood pallets and a tractor sitting out back, which offends the Great White Ones pretty effectively, (Bill is building a shed out of salvaged wood), but I want goats too. Maybe a burro…anything good and stinky.
But I’m getting off topic.(Sort of.) Back to the SUV issue…
Don’t Throw It Out, Recycle!
A recent NPR guest was listing all the different things that SUVs can be used for now that they are unaffordable to drive. It was pretty funny, and I got to thinking, what a great book title that would be:
100 Tips for Recycling Your Useless SUV!
If you go to www.lifetips.com and register as a writer for them, you can submit book proposals so long as they involve the words ‘100 Tips for…’ as part of the title. They will then market your book at Amazon.com and pay you $2 for every copy you sell. I’m thinking, that’s not bad, especially if you enlist your friends to spend an evening quaffing pints of whatever and thinking up the 100 things for you.
In fact, that could be tip #1:
1) Invite your friends over for a ‘how to recycle your SUV’ party. The friend who thinks up the fewest tips has to take over the payments on your SUV. You get rid of your SUV. Your friends have a great time at your party. You reap all the book profits. You retire early and drive a Tesla!
See how easy and fun green living can be? Once you get the hang of it, the possibilities are endless.
Here are a few other ideas (to get you started if you want to write the book):
2) Apply for a performance grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. From what I understand, you should be able to get quite a nice chunk of change for something like this, especially if it involves pee. Pay off your SUV with the NEA grant money, then stuff it full of foam peanuts and set in ablaze in front of the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit while cute young women in “Hello Kitty” outfits from Japan dance around it and roast marshmallows. Make sure you film your performance piece so you can post it on You Tube and reap the residuals. For the finale, have the laid-off third shift at the Ford plant put out the fire by peeing on it. Retire early on all the money and publicity. Drive a Tesla!
3) Park your SUV by Lake Michigan, build a deck around it, and rent it out at $1500 a week as a summer cabin. Not only is this going to pay off your loan real fast, if it works out for you, you can buy up all your friends’ useless SUVs and make a whole franchise out of it. God, you could make so much money off of people from Chicago each summer that you could actually retire early. Seriously, you could. You could drive a Tesla!
4) Drive your SUV to New Orleans, donate it for temporary housing. It’s only been three years since George W. Bush promised to rebuild New Orleans “better than before” and heal racisim in the United States, so understandably it’s still a work in progress. The FEMA trailers are filling up with mold and formaldehyde gas, and before Dubya got even half a chance to heal racism, some upstart black guy started running for President. So FEMA can use some help at this point, and your SUV could be just the ticket. Take the charitable tax write-off, and if your lender gives you any crap about the balance left on your loan, call your local TV station and make sure the camera crew understands that what really bothers you is how little your bank cares about hurricane victims. Chances are they’ll give you money, and guess what? You could take that money and retire early, and, that’s right, drive a Tesla!
5) Give it away this December at your office’s ‘Secret Santa’ gift exchange. Come on, you know that somewhere in that sea of cublicles lurks the bastard who re-gifted you that Rube Goldberg hard-boiled egg peeler that takes up an entire cabinet shelf in your kitchen. Don’t you think that fool deserves the keys to your gas-swilling, money-sucking status symbol? Of course he does! If people in your office recognize your vehicle, you may have to shove this task off on your spouse. But think how much better off you’ll be financially once that monstrosity (the car, not your wife) is gone! You could, well, I’m not going to tell you what you could do with all that extra money. I can’t do everything for you, you know. Take some inititiative for Chrissakes!
Jesus, haven’t I helped you out enough already? I mean YOU’RE the one with all the money and the big stupid car, right?!
A Final Appeal for Help
I confess I don’t have time to write this book. But I know that someone does, and not only that, if enough people leave ideas for how to recycle a useless SUV right here right now, all that person will really have to do is copy and paste and then rake in the cash. Why even bother with MLM or affiliate marketing with a gift horse like that staring you in the mouth. (Wait… no, never mind. Close enough.)
So I invite you all to leave your ideas as comments.
When the book is done, email me.
I’ll buy the first copy.
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