Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed Out

Big truck, big man

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Up to now, there were only three things keeping me from livin’ the dream big. One was that I’m not really comfortable driving big trucks or big cars. They’re hard to park and you can barely tell when you’ve run over someone. And I’ve always had a bias for smaller, more intimate cars, sports cars. I guess I could live the dream by buying the new Bugatti Veyron Volkswagen is making. Sixteen cylinder engine, 1001 horsepower, zero-to-sixty in 2.5 seconds, and an engine capable of sucking so much gas so fast you can actually see the gas gauge dropping in real time. Hell, who hasn’t found themselves in a situation where you needed to get to sixty in under three seconds? But there is that million-two price tag to contend with. Big truck’s a lot cheaper than that.

The second reason is I have a bias for simpler experiences. I’d rather have four cylinders to look after, smaller tires to buy and a less intimate relationship with my local gas station. I like the solitude of the backcountry and really prefer to hear snow falling and skis swishing across the landscape than the banshee wail of a steroidal two-stroke. And other than chronic constipation, I can’t think of many things less appealing than dragging a fifth-wheel around. With professional help I may be able to overcome these biases… but I have a bias against professional help and self-help books.

The final hurdle may well be the simplest to overcome. There’s always been this nagging conscience thing, this almost indescribable barrier to wastefulness and conspicuous consumption, a fear of contributing more heavily than I already do to the whole global warming thing.

But two things have helped me get over that last barrier. One is I’m getting old. I’m pretty certain I’m now old enough to really not give a damn. Hell, I’m so old it’d take a major catastrophe for my part of the world to run out of fresh air, fresh water and enough to eat before I die of more natural causes. And since I haven’t bred, what do I care if your kids choke to death on bad air, die a hideous death from skin cancer or drown when rising oceans flood the coastal cities of the world? Dude, it’s my right to suck gas like there’s no tomorrow; bugger you.

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