Thursday, June 10, 2004

New neighbors

In this age of rather sterile "who the heck lives next door to me?", I've taken to identifying inhabitants in my complex with the vehicles and/or pets they own. For instance, I was quite familiar with the big beautiful dog who lived across the way until recently, but never saw his (her?) owner ever. And now, a Hummer has moved into our complex.

The Hummer is all black, and is huge; I imagine someone of my size would need a ladder to get into it -- the size you find on a fire-truck will probably do the trick. It literally takes up two spots on the first floor of the garage; while the owner is inconsiderate enough to drive a tank in the face of rising gas prices, I do have to give him (her?) props for a) parking on the ground floor so the weight of the Black Beast doesn't crush all the cars on lower levels and b) for parking next to the often stinky dumpster since no one else wants to park there.

Still, I can't help but wonder what possibly must be going on in the owner's mind that he (she?) feels the need to drive around the city in a hummer? Granted, this isn't Mr. Rogers' neighborhood by any stretch of the imagination, but I didn't think it was so bad that even going to Target these days required such armament! Every time I drive past that vehicle (we-HICK-cahl in the military) on my way to work, I wonder what exactly does the owner do in his (her?) spare time that necessitates a hummer? Since it's hopefully not to make trips to Target, I'm forced to concoct romantical adventures of the swashbucking and bodice-ripping variety -- though with more leather and steel than your standard romance novel allows for.

One option is that Hummer!Owner is searching out various potholes, traffic jams, and closed intersections. In cases like this, it makes total sense that this person needs a Hummer -- intersections are quite frequently closed here for traffic, usually at major highway interchanges -- and driving over the cars in your way would be a good way to get out of such a pickle; in fact, it's probably something the emergency service workers ought to try. I know I'd feel a lot safer if I was being driven to the hospital in a tank rather than a tin can. Probably get there faster too.

The other option is that Hummer!Owner is interested in covert operations, though how you can be stealthy sneaky in a hummer is beyond my comprehension. I suspect if indeed Hummer!Owner is in covert operations, he (she) works at night. I deduce this because the hummer is black, not camuflauge, in color, and beyond that, we don't have much in the way of trees in this part of the world -- well, except where the rich people live, but that's another story entirely. So if you're going to be sneaky, I'm not sure the Hummer is the way to go, but it's one explanation -- the armor is certainly there.

Plus, the Hummer is always there when I leave for work around 8:50 am, so this also leads me to believe that either a) Hummer!Owner sleeps in because he (she) has been saving our city from either Those Who Walk In the Dark or Potholes/Traffic James, or b) Hummer!Owner is completely depressed by rising gasoline prices and realizes that he (she) has to take out a small loan every time he (she?) wants to drive the tank around.

Your thoughts on why people would drive a Hummer are greatly appreciated. And if you tell me to go to Target or Wal-Mart, I'm going to hurt you. Anyone who has the money to spend on a gas guzzling Hummer really ought to be shopping at say, Tiffany's or Saks Fifth Avenue. I'm just sayin'.

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