Smart car not so smart

Rick Ryckeley's picture

Last weekend a great debate raged at our house. Was it over money? Although always a worthy topic for a lively debate, money wasn’t the one for last weekend.

The Boy’s another good source of debate, but not in this case. He’s so busy with his new house, there’s no time for arguments or anything else. Now, he just works. Welcome to being a grownup, my son.

No, last weekend was filled with conversation about a Smart Car. Would we be really smart or really dumb to buy one? Just who won the debate? You be the judge. Hint – it’s my newspaper column.

The two-day debate was sparked not by The Wife or me, but rather President Obama. Fortified by his Cash for Clunkers program, if we hurried, $4,500 could be ours to pay towards a new, highly fuel efficient Smart Car. The Wife countered — of course — with logic.

We first had to have a clunker — which we don’t have — to trade in in order to receive the $4,500 credit.

I told her if she was going to use logic and get all nit-picky then we might as well not even have a debate. She’s always using logic, a tactic I find to be extremely irritating and unfair to use in any argument involving a husband.

I countered her logic with some facts of my own. Our new Smart Car, and by ours, I meant mine, will get over 50 miles per gallon. The car can fit into the tightest of parking spaces. With its powerful three-cylinder engine, changing lanes will be a breeze.

To my amazement, The Wife smiled and agreed. Finally she was caving. Logic had been outdone by sheer husband desire. Soon a new yellow Smart Car would be parked in our garage. Unfortunately my victory dance, although always enjoyable to watch, was somewhat premature.

She agreed that the miniature car could fit into any parking space, but at 6-foot-3, I couldn’t fit into the Smart Car.

She agreed that the car gets great gas mileage. Just when I thought I was winning again, she pointed out that so does a go-cart. And a go-cart is bigger.

She also agreed with me that the car could easily change lanes — but maybe not always on purpose.

Any truck passing it would blow the miniature car not only into the next lane but off the roadway, which could be hazardous not only to my health, but to hers also.

If she received a phone call from me saying I was blown off the road, stuck in my yellow Smart Car, upside-down in a ditch, she’d fall over laughing and might have to seek medical attention for her injuries.

The Wife, she’s very funny. Although, logic aside, even I must admit she does make a good argument. The car is extremely small and light, two reasons why buying a Smart Car may not be so smart after all – visibility and accountability. So I had some ideas.

Visibility: To make sure big trucks see me, I had planned on attaching a bicycle flag to the back bumper. I’d attach two, but I’m afraid that the extra weight would tip me over. Besides, the three-cylinder engine may not be able to overcome the drag of two flags.

Accountability: The guys at the fire department said they didn’t have a problem with me driving a Smart Car to work. On the first day I’m sure they’d probably stop laughing around lunchtime, about the same time I’d be able to unfold myself from the front seat.

They said they didn’t have a problem with my miniature imported toy car being parked in the parking lot, a lot full of big American-made full-sized pick-up trucks.

They also said they didn’t have a problem watching as, each morning, I searched for where it was hidden. My guess is they’ll hide it behind the water heater.

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Submitted by Bonkers on Sat, 08/29/2009 - 5:15pm.

with a sewing machine engine!

Still beats what my Grandfather rode everywhere when a youngster working. A horse.

A trip of 40 miles took 2-3 days each way! Sleep in barns or some homes or on the ground. Eat jerky and biscuits.
PTC type folks had a buggy and could pay for a stay in a barn.

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Sat, 08/29/2009 - 5:07pm.

not important---Smart People are!Lots of misguided activities in the auto market recently, mostly driven by our taxpayer dollars helping consumers who just can't wait to create personal debt!

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