this morning

Seven cars idling.

I’d like to tell you it’s a line from a new xmas carol I’m writing but there were in fact seven cars idling on my walk this morning while drivers were inside…their houses, presumably waiting until… until what?? Until their cars got to the boiling point? Just how hot does someone need an interior to be before they slip their tender selves into it?

A pitiful sight. And the smell was worse.

I mentioned this briefly the other day but I’ll say it again… this is what makes me really hope that oil prices get raised to ridiculous levels because it seems that money, not common sense, is the best motivator. [I’m thinking of the ruse used by grocery stores for a while—that quarter we got back if we returned our shopping carts to the right place rather than leave them strewn about the parking lot. Because it seems we’re an untidy bag of bones unless we’re paid/bribed to be otherwise.]

So much to be proud of.

But here’s the kicker. When I see one of the idlers come out of his house and get into his car I notice that on this chilly morning he’s wearing a light jacket that isn’t even done up. Then again, why bother? He’d only break into an uncomfy sweat if he wore a buttoned up winter coat inside a car that had been sizzling for ten minutes.

I was tempted to write a note in chalk on his driveway after he left, maybe offer coat buttoning lessons, introduce him to the concept of hats [easily taken off when things get toasty, the way they do as you motor along]. Heck, for the sake of less filth being spewed into the atmosphere, I’d even go so far as to lend him a pair of gloves.

“P.S.”  I might add. “The next time an entire eco-system is drenched in oil spill, or even just a part thereof, wings and gills gummed up until there’s nothing to do but suffocate, and your children are crying over pictures of greasy little ducklings from the back seat of your over-heated, over-sized ‘vehicle’… all you are allowed to to say to them is— So what? Doesn’t affect us.”

Car%20Fumes

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10 thoughts on “this morning

        1. Oh wow. That brings me back. Embroidered jeans, guazy Indian blouses and hirachis. Remember hirachis?

          There was quite a lot ahead of its time… once upon a time… (:

  1. In Nashville, there is a city ordinance prohibiting warming up one’s car while not in it. Perhaps more municipalities need one … though I’m not sure it is/would be enforced. Some people just won’t see reason.

    1. Your comment inspired me to call our Town ByLaw office. Seems we do have a bylaw stating that idling is verbotten under a myriad of circumstances, including no one being in the car. But how to enforce this? I’m all for employing a flotilla of cars that drive around various neighbourhoods on chilly mornings with fat ‘ticket books’ just itching to be filled out! I might even be tempted to apply for the job. (;

  2. Hi — loved your “seven cars” piece — and, oddly, I was thinking such similar thoughts earlier today on my walk; a car idling away in a driveway and the bad me was tempted (well let’s call it the fictional me) was tempted to jump in the car and drive it a little way up the street just to give them a scare. Then…the consequences of course, the police, the jail cell, the criminal record…! Good story, but sadly one I’ll never write (or live).
    Thanks!

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