Oct 192005
Authors: Johnathan Kastner

When I was told my car could no longer legally be on the road, I was faced with one of two choices: I could accept it with maturity and grace, and look for ways to solve the problem, and then fly home on my magical, hug-powered spaceship. Or, I could whine like an only child with a skinned knee.

I don't have a spaceship.

And now, thanks to the government's cruelly evil mandate, I don't have a car either. Really, this is all about how they're trampling my freedom of speech. I used my car for all sorts of free speeches, usually about other drivers. Things I can't share here 'cause the Man is trampling all over my right to spread obscenity in a public forum.

Well all right, the government didn't exactly take my car from me. They just told me it was a threat to the public and the planet. Something about four times the legal emission of carbon monoxide. But still! That's just my car expressing its freedom of speech!

And it turns out, the cost to fix my car is well over what the poor thing is worth. I find it pretty insulting that something that's just 20 years old and covered in the rust of wisdom, with over 200,000 miles worth of real-road experience can be sent to retirement, while a newer, higher paid model takes its place.

Okay, granted, I'm the one who fired my senior car in that metaphor. Hang on. Let me try a new metaphor that explains why I have a right to be angry.

See, it's like my car's a coloring book, and I'm like a cool rebel kid that's all like, "I'm not coloring in your lines, fascists!" And the government is like the mom that said my untalented drawing was polluting the fridge. Aww. That made me a little sad.

Since when does this country have environmental standards? Last I heard we were drilling for oil in the skulls of tiny dolphin babies. It turns out their love gland can be converted into sweet, sweet crude. I totally read that in a Newsweek. Edit – if I can't make an obvious lie like that, change it to: "a Newsweek I dreamed about."

How much do I really need a car? It's great if I need to get to class and the buses ditched me on purpose again. And with gas prices predicted to reach more than $60 a gallon (I read that in the Times), not having a car could save me enough to afford the tuition hikes.

Still, the poor thing had a good run. I just hope the government won't trample all over my right to freely express myself by burying my car at sea.

Johnathan Kastner is a senior English major. His column runs every Thursday in Verve. His interests include carpooling and selling rusting hunks of pollution as modern art.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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