‘The Vehicular Age’

Published 9:19 am Monday, April 14, 2008

Every once in a while, Drew Millard is faced with a choice.&bsp; I&squo;m not talking dull, insignificant choices such as whether Drew Millard should eat the BLT or the Bacon Buttie when he&squo;s sitting down to eat at Simple Simon&squo;s caf´ in Tryon, or whether he should go to law school or not (In case you were wondering, I always go with the Bacon Buttie and the jury&squo;s still out on law school, pun intended).&bsp; I&squo;m talking about Drew Millard&squo;s one true dilemma, the issue that keeps him awake at night and what drives him to work every day: his car.

I need a car. Why? Well, children, I don&squo;t have one. In the interest of full disclosure, the reason that I do not currently possess a car is that I totaled mine on the way back from Bonnaroo last summer, but that is neither here nor there. The main point of this column is that I&squo;m currently without vehicle, to use the parlance of our times, and I shall soon purchase one.

So the other day I was meditating in the rock garden of my dorm building, and an existential quandary came to mind ‐ what kind of car should I get? I need something fast. Sleek. Sexy. Small. Something I can whip around the hairpin turns of Skyuka Road at blinding speeds. Well, given my less-than-perfect traffic record, maybe fast shouldn&squo;t be my thing.

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What about something that&squo;ll show people how tough I am? Like a pickup truck. That&squo;d be cool. The only real problem is that I&squo;m not really all that tough, and so my having a truck would basically be compensation for the fact that your twelve-year-old sister could probably take me in a fight. Eh, a truck doesn&squo;t sound that great either.

It&squo;s always possible that I could just go with a sedan. But sedans are just so boring. I can&squo;t even think of a word to describe sedans other than &dquo;boring.&dquo; Maybe &dquo;safe.&dquo; Or &dquo;middle-of-the-road.&dquo; But mainly just &dquo;boring.&dquo; To all my readers who actually own sedans, I apologize. I&squo;m not trying to alienate you because I know that there are more sedans on the road than hair follicles on David Hasselhoff, but I&squo;m irrevocably entrenched in the &dquo;non-sedan&dquo; camp.

There&squo;s always the possibility of going European. I&squo;m thinking maybe a Volkswagen, perhaps even a BMW or Mercedes. It seems that the only real issue with these cars is the fact that I&squo;m not exactly in the right tax bracket to buy European, unless the car in question is one of those old VW Bugs from 1973. Which could be cool, as long as I wasn&squo;t planning on going anywhere with the car, as driving 30 miles in a car that old is tantamount to playing Russian Roulette.

It&squo;s clear to me that I must look towards a more non-traditional vehicle, or at least something that gets good gas mileage. The first option that pops into my mind is making sure my car either has a gas/electric hybrid engine or runs on Bio-Diesel. Which would be pretty sweet, but the only problem is that I&squo;m not trying to be one of those environmentally conscious, tree-hugging wack-jobs who listens to the Disco Biscuits (this is a real band, trust me) and drives around in their hippie-mobile all day, because Drew Millard is not that kind of person. Trust me. My dad has become that kind of person by accident, and I swear that I will not make my father&squo;s mistakes.

So if I&squo;m looking for a non-traditional car that isn&squo;t too small or too big, is non-European, and is not a sedan and/or a hippie-mobile, what do I need?

I know what you&squo;re thinking, and you&squo;re right.


How does this not make sense for me? I&squo;m a terrible driver, and so something designed to keep children safe on their way to soccer practice is bound to be as safe as running through a field of extra fluffy mattresses while having pillows strapped to your body. In other words, really safe.

won&squo;t be able to buy a European van though, as nobody in Europe drives actual cars (in England, the only vehicles that I saw looked like soda cans that were blown up using some sort of technological advancement stolen from Star Trek), but I can definitely find a minivan made by our Japanese friends, who are renowned for their advances in minivan technology. And since minivans went out of style around the same time that they stopped showing new episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger, I can probably score some boxy-looking Honda Odyssey on the cheap. I&squo;ll call it &dquo;Night Train,&dquo; and it shall be my faithful steed.

To repeat: A minivan shall be mine. End of story. Have a good weekend.

Hot Jam of the Week‐&dquo;Four Minutes&dquo; by Madonna and Justin Timberlake: Justin Timberlake is clearly a genius of Prince-esque caliber. Why else would he work with one of the luminaries of 80&squo;s dance music on a song that‐though the lyrics are partially obscured by a music track that wouldn&squo;t sound out of place playing over a set of speakers in the year 2265‐I&squo;m pretty sure is about global warming and how we&squo;re running out of time and the earth will soon melt.

&bsp;All in all, this song is pretty terrible, but it&squo;s my Hot Jam or the Week because I really appreciate the song&squo;s message, which is as such: the apocalypse is coming and the world has pretty much thrown in the towel, and so the only option left for humankind is to just dance. And dance we will.