Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Two New Subies: A Story of Colorado

Two shiny new Subaru Outbacks rolled off the assembly line and onto a lot in the Denver Metro area. They sat patiently, waiting for the perfect owners to find them. The kind of owners who would plaster them with "Coexist" and "Obama '12" bumper stickers; the kind who would drive not a whit over 35 mph and would eventually convert them to bio-diesel or hybrid fuel. Oh, for the day when that would happen! How marvelous life would be!

But as is so often the case in life, their dreams came only sort of true. They were bought by the right sort of people (a grey-ponytailed professor of Keynesian economics and a working mom who made her kids only organic food and never visited McDonald's). They were plastered with the right sort of stickers ("Support Public Education!" "Feed The Poor!" "Coexist"). They went to the right sort of places (Democratic political rallies; global warming seminars; Ann Coulter eggings).

Of course, there were always those days when SuperMom was in kind of a hurry, and would push her poor little Subie to ridiculous, mind-numbing speeds of 45 MPH - or higher! And sometimes, Grey Ponytail would be angry about what those Bush-loving, Limbaugh-listening wingnuts were trying to do to the country, and he'd yell at other motorists, occasionally even blowing the horn!

The Subies bore this unbecoming, un-Coloradan behavior with grace. What else were they to do? Yes, of course it was dangerous to go so fast. Dangerous to be so angry. But they were only cars: they couldn't force their owners to be anything they weren't. If they thought about it, all the organic grocery stores and farmers' markets and rallies really made up for it.

Until that day, that fateful, horrible day, when SuperMom was in a hurry, and Grey Ponytail was angry, and they found themselves on the same road at the same time, hurtling toward disaster.

Grey Ponytail listened to Air America and smacked his steering wheel and ranted about tax cuts as the sun slanted in through his passenger-side windows. He was on his way to the Aurora arts district on this fine, lovely morning, planning to swing by the Fox theatre and buy his season tickets. Very important to support the arts, you know. He observed the de facto speed limit, and kept himself even a little under. No one needed to go faster than 30 MPH, really. Everyone should leave enough time to get where they needed to go at that speed, and if they didn't, they should suffer the consequences of being late.

SuperMom was late to drop of kid 1 at daycare, and kid 2 at the public school across town - you know, the better public school. Thank God Colorado was an open-enrollment state: she might have had to pay for private school! Sure, she could afford it - why else would she work? - but then she wouldn't be able to tell everyone how committed to state-funded schooling she was. Her friends wouldn't approve.

She sped along, easily outmaneuvering the other traffic, until she hit Havana north of First Avenue. The street was down to two lanes in each direction. In front of her, a low-rider doing 32. To her right, another Outback doing 30. She didn't want to anger the low-rider - who needs to get shot at 8 in the morning? But she couldn't quite get around the other Subie, either. She waited, getting as close to the low-rider bumper as she dared, until she could cut off the other Outback, and then made the lane change.

10 seconds...20...30! Yes! She was in the clear, she'd made the change! Just another couple of feet over the line, and -


Grey Ponytail had taken this moment to speed up to 32, not wanting to allow a gap in the traffic pack. That wasn't the Colorado way. He slammed into SuperMom's bumper.

And that was how both little Subies - put upon, maltreated, abused - ended up on the back of a tow truck I saw the other day.

Or at least, that's how it happened in my mind.


Gimme some eggs for my bacon!