Apr 242006
Authors: Tyler Wittman

I was watching the most pathetic hockey game Saturday between the mighty Dallas Stars and the pathetic, lame Colorado Avalanche when I saw a rather odd commercial. The commercial was for the new Dodge Ram 1500 series, with a HEMI! Imagine that. An overzealous Dodge Ram enthusiast jumps aboard an 18-wheeler that’s carrying the new truck and continues to lustfully foam at the mouth over the new truck.

I’m wondering where this guy lives and what kind of job he has. Moreover, I’m wondering why the heck he wants a truck that gets 11 miles per gallon. Has this guy seen gas prices lately? In order to drive one of those trucks you need copious amounts of cash or a very strict budget that funnels half of your paycheck toward gas.

I just surmised that he was an idiot; that’s the only way I could understand this man’s insane craving for this truck. As for me, I’d salivate at the prospect of a hybrid. Sure I’d be getting smoked on the road, but I’d have tons more cash in my pocket.

What’s really puzzling me about life in America these days is that American motor companies, like Dodge, are pumping out ever more thirsty SUVs and trucks every year in the face of escalating gas prices that might be close to $4 per gallon by the end of the summer. Dodge would put a HEMI in a baby carriage if you let them. I can imagine the commercials for that, only the HEMI enthusiast gets arrested by the police for getting a little too creepy around the baby’s carriage. So what gives? American motor companies are in bed with Middle Eastern oil companies and it’s costing Americans some serious money.

Hey, if you don’t mind driving a gas-guzzling Ram, then more power to you. Especially if you need to drive a truck because of your profession, in which case I understand your dilemma. However, Mrs. Mom from the suburbs doesn’t need a Ford Behemoth XXL with a 20-inch lift to take the kids to school and go to Pilates. I might be wrong, but I don’t think the grocery store parking lot is going to throw something at any vehicle that requires a “Trail Rated” Jeep. Nor does anyone not fighting terrorists in Iraq need a Hummer. Honestly people, if Jurassic Park didn’t need Hummers, you don’t either. That is unless you have to evade gunfire or hungry dinosaurs and drive through the river on the way to the office every morning. But go ahead and drive that Ford Mastodon Extreme Edition V-24 to school and back. At least if you get into a wreck the other person will most assuredly die, right?

The thing that really bugs me is that Americans continue to use absurd amounts of oil in the face of rocketing prices. There’s a lot of it we can’t help right now, but we should be focused on moving away from oil dependency with as much fervor and zeal as Dodge has in shoving HEMIs down our throats. Iran’s getting a real kick out of the idea they should charge more than $100 a barrel for oil and there’s not much we can do about it. So while the dude or lady in their massive, towering truck holds their heads up high while roaring through town, they will certainly feel the pain when they have to fill up. By the end of the summer people will pay around $100 for a tank of gas in these bigger trucks. I hope it’s worth it.

If we find alternative fuel sources and reduce our dependency on countries like Iran, then we won’t be subject to the crazy whims of these psychopaths. They’d like to blame the oil situation on us, but isn’t that typical of everything? One thing’s for certain: whatever you drive, prepare for a brutal summer.

Tyler Wittman is a senior speech communication major. His column runs every Tuesday in the Collegian.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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