I’ve been the proud owner of three cars in my life. Before those, I drove two of my parents cars. All of those cars have been fairly small vehicles. I like small cars. I like the fact that, in a small car, you can turn on a dime. I’ve never owned a car that I wasn’t able to comfortably turn around on a neighborhood side street without the need for a 3-point turn.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve driven larger vehicles before. In Dad’s later years, he had a Taurus wagon. Most people would look at those things and think they’re not a big deal. To me, it was like driving a bus. Mom currently has a Subaru Forrester. I know it’s not the largest of SUVs on the road, but it’s still considered an SUV. With that car, though, my problem isn’t the size…
Mom let me drive the Forrester (which she has yet to name, BTW) on a recent road trip to Nashville. I say “let”… it was more like, she asked me to drive because she was tired and wanted to take a napping shift. So I drove. Like I said, my problem with the Forrester isn’t the size. It’s the tricked out bells and whistles that came with the thing. It’s got one of those cameras in the back that shows you what’s behind you when you’re backing up. That’s so disorienting to me. If my neck still works, I’d just rather turn and look behind me. I could see the rear camera coming in handy for Batman, who generally can’t turn his head because of the rigid design of his costume.
Then there’s my problem with the thing’s cruise control. Every other car I’ve driven, you set the cruise control on whatever speed you desire and you’re responsible for hitting the brake should the need arise. Not my mother’s car. The thing has sensors that detect cars that are ahead of you and slows down to match their speed automatically. I really don’t like this. Because it automatically slows you down when it detects something that’s 100 yards ahead of you. I know, it’s a safety thing. If you have a football field between you, there’s less of a chance you’ll rear-end them when the continue to slow down. But I would much rather continue going my desired speed until I’ve crawled directly up the tail pipe of the driver in front of me so that I can subtly encourage them to get back into the right hand lane. That is my right as an American. The Subaru Forrester takes that right away from me.
But I digress. I prefer the smaller cars. Always have. Probably always will.
So I was super excited when I got a message from the Children’s Ministry Director asking me to pick up some plywood signs and bring them in the associate pastor’s pick up truck to our closing activities for the summer camp we were wrapping up. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to help out by getting those signs and transporting them. I really do enjoy doing the kind of work that is helpful to others. I just wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of driving someone else’s truck, especially when that person was out of town.
But I drove it. I got it to the location where the signs were needed. And, after the evening was over, I brought the signs back to the office, where I would also be leaving the truck. The problem came when I attempted to back the truck into a parking space so that I could conveniently unload the large plywood signs.
In my first attempt, I managed to back the truck straight back to where I was perpendicular to the sidewalk. Just the way I wanted to be. But I was between two spaces. Huge pet peeve of mine. So we got the signs unloaded and I resolved to try again. I pulled forward, adjusted the wheel a bit, then backed up again. This time, I was between the lines, but I was at a slight angle. It bothered me, but I kind of wanted to let it go because I was tired and wanted to go home. Thankfully, there was someone else there who is used to larger vehicles and volunteered to fix it since it was obviously bothering me.
You know what else is nice about small cars? Gas mileage. An argument that I feel trumps all the others.