Archive for the ‘SUVs’ Category

The sun was setting in the metro on a cool late afternoon. The orange glow mixed with Atlanta’s pollution was casting a strange feeling over the neighborhood. I was out in the front yard attempting to kill my so-called lawn’s thriving weeds among the dry, browning grass. I admit it’s a useless exercise to make my suburban lot appear presentable. Since the drought has plagued our poor lawns, suburbia is not looking as nice as it used to.

Suddenly, a parade of vehicles streamed down my street out of the sunset. One by one, a line of SUVs, minivans, pickups and Hummers came roaring down the street-humped passageway. It seemed like it would never end as each suburban assault vehicle strained over the massive speed breakers. For me, it was fun to watch these morons who were speeding in the first place, slow down at the last second, only to realize that they’re fucking up their tires, brakes and hopefully their entire gas guzzlers as they eased over the hump. Ah, poetic justice, suburban-style.

I guessed correctly where these jack-offs were headed: Gus’ house. Yes, another Hickory Hills Republican Club meeting was about to begin at my neighbor Gus’ overpriced palace. Every time Gus conducts these meetings, squeaky-clean shit-bags from the area hop into their fuel-sucking autos so that they can eat his wife Allison’s artery-clogging beef-sausage-cheese casserole and engage in GOP talking points fed to them by right-wing radio and TV imbeciles including Sean Hannity who has never produced an original thought in his life.

When their conservative convoy came to a stop, 21st century Stepford Husbands and Wives jumped out of their overpriced grand, super-sized house on wheels and waddled into Gus’ spacious home replete with plenty of lighting courtesy of Georgia Power and high ceilings that are heated by Scana Energy. From the moment they slammed their doors in unison, the conservative butt-holes walked in perfect order to Gus and Allison’s tacky light brown front door. Gus loudly greeted them with a cigar hanging out of his mouth. From where I stood, the words were unintelligible, but the sounds were obnoxious as Gus roared at them with his thoughts as he held his lit stogie. The fat bleach blond biaches cackled as his Boxer dog barked endlessly.

“Top of the evening to you Bobby!” Gus yelled out to me.

“Have fun Gus!” I yelled back, as I squirted poison onto my front lawn.

Somehow I always thought there was hope for Gus. I never hated him. Certainly he’s irritating as hell, but I just think he was brainwashed with neo-con bullshit since the doctors in Eufaula, Alabama delivered him into the world 55 years ago.

There is one positive thing I can say about Gus: At least he believes the crap that he spews. I don’t think I could say that for his followers. They just seem like they’re the biggest phony assholes who will do anything to fit into his world. To them, Gus is a rock star. After all, he has a picture with Dan and Marilyn Quayle who both look like they want to rape him in the 20-year-old photo that graces his fireplace.

So, the dumb schmucks filed into his house doing and saying who knows what for three hours. After I put the lawn poison up and packed it in for the evening, it was pitch dark. The morons emerged from Gus’ house exchanging fake pleasantries and then heading off to their gas guzzlers. I know them all. I see them at the drug, convenience or grocery store. Some acknowledge me and others ignore me. I could care less who they are or what the fuck they think of me. The biaches are as fake as the color of their hair. The dick-wad husbands are dipshits who also think they know everything while they parade around in their overpriced golf shirts that their little honeys bought for them at Macy’s. On weekends, they walk around unshaven in ball caps and T-shirts and/or sweatshirts bearing the names of their favorite southern college football team while their wives fret over Hamburger Helper while their hubbies fall asleep in their leather recliners while the a sporting event is blaring on their big screen TVs. The kids are typical zombies who are off in their own rooms zoning out to their own TVs, iPods and/or computers.

When the convoy vacates the area, I see Larry the Liberal, the one neighbor who disagrees and stomachs Gus’ bullshit. Suddenly I realize that there is life beyond these goobers.

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Fast-food nation to the max

Posted: August 10, 2007 in cars, fast, food, restaurants, SUVs, TV

While dining at a neighborhood Chinese restaurant, my dining companions, including my wife, father-in-law and daughter, sensed something unfamiliar in the eatery. It was the smell of fast food. We hypothesized that perhaps the nearby Burger King was operating in overdrive, churning out Whoppers by the truckload. After all, there are days at my daughter’s school when the smell of greasy burgers permeates the air and she guessed the culprit correctly.

Our findings were dismissed when we heard the ruffle of fast-food paper bags at the next table. We followed the sound and witnessed two children, approximately 8 or 9 years old, dining on Whoppers, fries and soft drinks as the parents studied the menu.

While it all seemed perfectly normal to this family, we were appalled. Never mind that the children are eating fattening burgers and artery-clogging fries and downing sugary drinks. Never mind that the scene is utterly hideous and embarrassing to the patrons and the restaurant owners.

The point is that the parents are complete pushovers by letting their children run the show. Instead of disciplining them to join the family meal, these parents chose the path of least resistance by satisfying their children’s instant desires.The parents are buying into the myth that it is psychologically damaging to “force” their children to eat what is on the menu at the restaurant they are patronizing. Perhaps they fear that their children will retaliate in ways unimaginable in a few years, all because they were not allowed to eat their highly processed meals in nice restaurants.

It is even more disappointing to see that the children are not being introduced to international cuisine, thus perpetuating their egocentric, gluttonous view of the world.

Speaking of gluttony, I was driving behind a minivan one day and noticed a television monitor above the windshield between the driver’s and front passenger’s seats.”Could it be one of those global positioning system devices that help you find your way?” I asked my mother-in-law. I was ready to marvel at another technological wonder. Upon further inspection, we discovered that instead of a street map, it was Bugs Bunny playing on the “car theater.” “Oh, those TVs are great,” said my mother-in-law. “Our friend has one for her daughter; it really keeps her kids occupied. No more ‘Are we there yets?’ “Sounding older than she, I asked whatever happened to teaching children patience and how to enjoy the scenery and music on the radio, not to mention the conversation in the automobile.

My rant continued as I asked, “Do children need more television?””Oh, relax. You are too uptight about exposing your daughter to television and fast food. It’s all quite innocent,” my mother-in-law said.

Yes, children should enjoy themselves, but what is defined as “enjoyment”? Is it a Playstation 3-DVD-CD Player-Microwave-Your-Quick-Burger-In-A-Box toy? Or is it using your imagination by playing dress-up or building a Lego house?I know that I enjoyed the latter in my childhood, and believe it or not, I am not traumatized by the experience. Oh yes, my mother “found herself” in the ’70s and reduced her time in the kitchen by taking us to McDonald’s on many occasions, and no, I am not traumatized by digesting that junk food over the years.

Nevertheless, I was exposed to something that is foreign to children today — play. My best friend and I created Super 8 mm films, made haunted houses in his basement and built go-carts.

This all wasn’t so long ago.Now, suburbia is scared. Children rarely go outside for fear of being abducted or having their lungs collapse from the foul air created by the fleets of SUVs in the metropolitan area.

On any given spring or summer day, suburbia is a ghost town. Children are inside their luxury oversized, air-conditioned homes dining on Happy Meals while gazing at “Porky Pig” reruns.

As a community and nation, we can reject this lifestyle by encouraging physical activity through publicly funded playgrounds, bike paths, strong libraries and community centers. No, the playground at McDonald’s does not solve this problem. As parents, we should act in a concerted effort not to run our households in a democratic fashion where the children tote their fast-food meals and televisions into every crevice of their lives.

Perhaps I am becoming the food Nazi/television police that my family says that I am, but it does concern me that we are raising a nation of obese zombies. More and more children are becoming type 2 diabetics, have high cholesterol and will most likely become obese adults with a host of health problems that will plague our already damaged health care system.

As reports prove the link between children’s television viewing habits and overeating, I become ever more convinced that bringing junk food and television into all places is harmful to children and our future as a nation.