Friday, May 18, 2007

"Self-seeking, hypocritical sybarite on-board"?

[Mother waiting for child, outside kindergarten.]

It's been a v-e-r-r-y slow week in the SHAMscape, so I thought I'd fill time on this gloomy East Coast Friday by asking another one of my famously peevish questions*: How is it that so many young mothers—once they've got their own kids ensconced safely in their Escalades—seem to have no qualms at all about ignoring stop signs and roaring through school zones on their way home, thus posing significant danger to other people's children?

By no means do I impute universal truth to the underlying contention here, which is based on nothing more than my own anecdotal observations. But I've seen this happen often enough, as I jog by local schools and day-cares, that I feel at least some legitimacy in raising the question—which, by the way, is not rhetorical. If anyone out there has an answer, I'd love to hear it.

We'll get back to the self-help stuff on Monday.

* in the process, further affirming my growing rep as an Angry White Male.


a/good/lysstener said...

Steve, OMG, this is hilarious! One of your funniest, especially since it's so true. And it's really the art that makes it. Where did you ever find that photo?

Btw I was trying to comment earlier but I couldn't find the comment tab.

Steve Salerno said...

Thanks, Alyssa. I noticed that myself (the missing comment tab) when I first put the post up. I figured it was one of those "new blogger" issues and would resolve itself--which it seems to have.

Now go get in your SUV and run someone down!

Anonymous said...

That is a good one Steve. And thank you for addressing my concerns about that other thing. I don't agree with you necessarily but, I see your point.

Two Write Hands said...

Perhaps they're part of a new group, Soccer Mom Darwinians. They know their own children will never be "fittest" as long as other children are still alive.

Steve Salerno said...

Soccer Mom Darwinians...I like it! We could even abbreviate it as SMDs, playing off the acronym that attained such popularity at the start of the most recent Gulf War--only in this case it could also stand for "sybarites of maternal destruction"...

OK, I know. I shoulda left well enough alone.

Anonymous said...

It's been pretty clear all along that you're an angry white man, possibly an MCP, or at the very least a sexist. You can reject this comment I suppose for being too personal, but you're the one who threw open the floor to feedback. Anyway, I'm just reacting to your own footnote. :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm an "aggressive" driver-but an alert one and do my best not to force others to adjust their course/speed on my account. I'm also a single male, 31, no children, no attachments, who drives a mid-size SUV. I also have 5 younger siblings (youngest just turned 14) and am appalled at the carelessness with which others, especially those in SUVs drive--particularly in places where the sudden appearance of a pedestrian or child is high.

My vehicle often feels like an extension of my person, a larger personal space that is less liable to be easily damaged. I have also read this kind of psychoanalysis-type of understanding about people and their cars . . . somewhere.

Sit in a large SUV, notice how much higher your line of sight is than in a car, have your conversation drowned out by the roar of the engine as you accelerate your 4-ton hunk of steel, confident in the extra-traction granted by ABS and on demand four-wheel drive. Pay attention to how easily you can psychologically nudge (without contact) that drifting '95 Corolla back into its lane.

But ignore the fact that anything less than 3.5 feet tall is damn near invisible--especially when you are backing up. So drive faster than others (everything comes at you from the front that way), the promotions say this is a very safe car for your family; and besides, when you're as high as God, you'll see everything, right?

What did Lord Acton say about power corrupting?


Trish Ryan said...

Those mothers must know "THE SECRET": they can run you over on the way to their destiny because if you're in front of their giant SUV, you must have attracted that two tons of metal to yourself, so you're doomed anyway :)

RevRon's Rants said...

I ride a bike, and you wouldn't believe how many times I've had to take evasive maneuvers to avoid becoming a hood ornament for some soccer mom (or golf dad) in a Suburban. Usually with a cell phone in the ear and/or paperwork to review while driving. Makes a fella downright paranoid!

Oh... the reason? Narcissism.

Chris C said...

Afer reading this post, I went to a grandson's T-ball game and was able to observe many, many instances of, as Revron rants about, narcissism. Imagine the crush: 12 fields worth of baseball teams descending upon one little parking lot, all at the same time! Kids scurrying, parents trying to drop the kids off close (can't walk too far now can we?), and then ROARING through the lot in the Escalade, Yukon, or Durango. Since the driver is the only person currently worthy of being alive, all else is just drivel. Cell phone, paperwork, you name it; anything but concentration on the task at hand which is moving a large vehicle through a crowded parking lot with munchkins running around that you cannot see. But, this is seen all over the place in today's society: retail transactions (buyer and seller), driving large vehicles, cell phone conversations in a restaurant, screaming kids ("Hey, your kid is not as cute as you think he is."), etc. Oh, well.

Steve Salerno said...

Yanno, Ron, when I first read your comment, I got this fleeting image of Steve Carrell picking his way through the boulevards on HIS bike (complete with cute little helmet) in "40-Year-Old Virgin." I realize that in your case we're talking about a somewhat different kind of "bike"--but the line still struck me funny, especially since I picture you as a rather large bruiser of a guy.... Sorry.