Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Confessions of Saint Allen, No. 3

I drive a gas-guzzling SUV. I suppose if Al Gore were to measure my carbon footprint, I'd become a whole segment for his next movie. As it is, I'm afraid I'll soon be required to submit to the new Cap-and-Trade program before they'll allow me to keep driving it.

For my confession is to be complete, I need to let you know that I have gone deeper in enviro sin than you may have imagined from the paragraph above. You see, the SUV I drive is not even a modern one with gobs of government-mandated pollution controls stuck all over it. The awful truth--and I can't hide the fact--is that it has no pollution controls on it whatsoever (There--I've said it). That's because it's a 1968 Chevy Suburban. The good ol' 3-door model. This thing has enough metal in it to make half-a-dozen Honda Civics. It gets about nine miles to a gallon. In a few years, when New York is fourteen feet under water, I know that I will personally be responsible for an inch or two of it.

Why am I so blase' about killing the planet? Well, it all goes back to Y2K. Remember? The computer glitch that was going to bring the gears of modernity to a sudden infrastructure-crashing, business-confounding stop at the rollover into the new century? That's why I drive my planet-destroying vehicle. The genesis of my fall from harmony with the planet goes back to early 1999. That's when I began noticing this '68 Suburban parked here and there downtown.

Being the prudent person I am, I saw it as the perfect worst-case-scenario vehicle to get us (me and my wife) through the wilderness years following civilization's post-Y2K collapse. So one day I left a little note under the wiper asking the owner to call me if he ever decided to sell it. He called me that evening. Next thing you know, bodda-bing-bodda-boom, I'd bought us our Y2K back up plan. This baby would be just the ticket to ride out the coming social upheaval. "Heck," I thought, "this thing is so spacious inside, why there'd be room for our three cats, a good stock of Friskies Special Diet cat food, their litter box, thirty or forty gallons of water, and a good portion of our book collection." I calculated that there'd even be room enough for a small fridge to boot. Then of course we'd need to invest in a diesel generator. Excellent thinking!

Well, you may have noticed that the social collapse following Y2K was somewhat less than total. Therefore we never did have to head for the hills and make the 'burb our back country survival headquarters. We grew to like the old Suburban so much we decided to keep her, notwithstanding the way it would warm the globe in the ensuing years. We still take her out to the back country, but now it is only for a week-end of camping.

There you have it. Another from-the-heart confession by the guy you don't want to spar with in traffic--especially if you're in a Prius.