Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Manly men (and women)

We're still digging out from the three feet of snow here in the Hub of the Universe. Yesterday, with the snow flying horizontally, I decided to encase myself in puffy clothing and take a walk around the 'hood, because I was bouncing off the walls. The main streets had been plowed, kinda, pushing up six foot dikes along the sidewalks, but there were six inches of snow in the streets anyway. All of the businesses were closed, but incredibly, there was a pile of Boston Sunday Globes poking out of a snow drift in front of the CVS. I nicked one. A few fellow intrepid adventurers were also out walking around, in the street of course, you needed cross country skis for the sidewalks.

There was an occasional police car fishtailing around in the snow, ambulances going by transporting snow shovelers with heart attacks no doubt. And uh -- quite a few of my neighbors driving up and down Centre St. in gigantic, honking SUVs. Where were they going? Nowhere, of course, because there wasn't a business open anywhere in Boston, there weren't even any church services (it was about 1:00 pm anyway), and these folks obviously weren't on their way to their jobs as emergency room physicians because a) they were going the wrong way and b) the shifts change at 8:00, 4:00 and midnight.

No, these people were out in the middle of the worst blizzard in history in order to justify to themselves spending $60,000 on a vehicle that weights 7,200 pounds, with 345 horsepower, that gets 13 miles per gallon even though, unlike the people in the ads, they are never going to have their car blown out of a volcano and they are never going to use it to climb Pike's Peak. All year long they drive on nice, paved roads to the grocery store, Muffy's flute lessons, and the hairdresser. But now, for the first time since they bought the Escalade, they can drive around being a menace to society while their neighbor with the Camry can't, or at least prefers not to.

And by the way, 4 wheel drive doesn't prevent it from skidding, and doesn't help it stop. Some of these idiots ended up buried in snow banks and had to be towed out. But thank God President Bush has our boys over in Iraq defending the oil supply so they can keep putting gas in these useless monstrosities.

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