Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Would You Call It . . . Autobation?

     We had a couple of young males staying at the house with us over Christmas vacation, and I have to say, it was extremely discouraging to observe them salivating and drooling over TV shows like "Top Gear" that celebrate sports cars and fast rides. Not to mention playing aggressive video games like "Need for Speed -- Hot Pursuit."
Does a sports car make you hot?

     In their view, high speed is really hot. A big powerful motor under the hood is sexy. A car brand that sounds animalistic and aggressive engenders heavy breathing. The boys get flushed in the face when they see a Jaguar (which averages 18 mpg), or a Mustang (19 mpg). And they get positively orgasmic when they encounter something foreign and exotic, like a Ferrari (12 mpg) or Maserati (15 mpg).

     In other words, they're just like I was when I was in my 20s. But have we learned nothing?

     How are we going to solve the global warming problem, and our addiction to foreign oil, as long as our young men think it's really hot to drive 90 m.p.h. in cars that get less than 20 miles to a gallon of gas?

How about a big car?
     There should instead be a TV program that glorifies hypermiling -- the art of getting as many miles to the gallon as possible. A lot of it involves driving with simple common sense. Hypermilers always go the speed limit, or less. They don't rush up to red lights then jam on the brakes. Instead, they scope out the horizon for traffic lights and time their arrival to when they're green, often coasting the last quarter mile or so. They never step on the gas for jack rabbit starts; and you won't find them weaving in and out of traffic -- they're trundling along in the right lane at 50 m.p.h.

     Hypermilers, for the most part, are very safe drivers. Sometimes they can be annoying. But whatever they are, they are not considered hot.

    But to change behavior, first we have to change values. We need to teach our sons that it's not sexy to drive a fast car. It does not enhance your manhood to have a throbbing, pulsating motor rumbling under your hood. Or to pilot a car that's half as big as a house. A real man is, instead, the kind of responsible driver who gets 30 mpg. The higher your mpg, the sexier you are!.
The sexy Ford Fusion

     Women have a responsibility as well. We must teach our daughters not to eye the guy in the red sports car, giving him flirtatious flips of their hair. They shouldn't be ooohing and aaahing over a guy's big, powerful SUV. And women can no longer covet an SUV for themselves -- like the Suburban (15 mpg) or the Armada (14 mpg) -- because they think it's a safer way to drive around town with their precious kids. It's just as safe, if not safer, to ferry the kids in a Honda Accord (27 mpg) or a Ford Fusion (38 mpg). Both have achieved 5-star safety ratings.
The even sexier Prius

         And that guy in the Prius (50 mpg)? Is he
      obeying the speed limit? Going 55 mph in the
      right hand lane? Omg! Is he a hypermiler?
      Yowza . . . he's a hot one!


Douglas said...

Hypermilers sound like those people who causally approach the light in the left lane making it impossible for me to get into the left turn lane in time to trigger the left turn light. Or do a rolling blockade across three lanes of traffic at 5-10 miles per hour UNDER the speed limit and creating frustration (which leads to Road Rage) in the drivers behind them. Don't get me wrong, I am all for high mileage cars. I have spent my adult life driving them. I just think it is more efficient and less aggravating to cruise at the speed limit than it is to slow down 5 blocks from a traffic light. I could be wrong.

Dick Klade said...

Try telling those teeny boppers that the consoles in hot sports cars interfere with interactions of the close variety between male drivers and female passengers. That might get their attention.

schmidleysscribblins.wordpress.com said...

Boys with their toys and some girls too. I will never understand it, or cars for that matter. I am really Retro in that area

Kay Dennison said...

I always liked cars but I am glad I'm over the need for speed. Somehow I would not be comfortable with what my friends called 'hot babe (like I ever was one) wheels' -- my 383 four-barrel 1968 Plymouth Fury III convertible that could pass anything except a gas station. My favorite car was probably my Triumph GT-6+ who was great fun and got great mileage but broke a lot. Now I drive Miss Ruby --a 2000 Pontiac Sunfire -- and she's a little old lady who is incredibly reliable for her advanced years and gets great mileage. She and I are a great team.

Sightings said...

Well, this post was intended to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek, so I hope it came across that way. But I do stand by my basic premise, that it's sexier to drive a car that gets 30 mpg than it is to drive a car that get 15 mpg.

Btw, thanks for the advice Dick, but I say (more tongue-in-cheek) if I could get some action in my 1963 VW Beetle, then they can maneuver around a Prius or a Ford Fusion!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

My boys are into Top Gear also. For me, just another show where I can read my book as they gather. Good luck changing that inherent love for motors. I guess all those years of driving a minivan with three boys hanging out the windows killed any hope of me picking up men in my car.

Enjoyed the post.