Wednesday, February 4, 2009

NYT's Stumble Is My Certificate of Mental Health

Last month I wrote a blog entry about words that are out to get me. After some fancy footwork to try to deflect observations like, "Yeah, June, that's real sane," I identified the leader of the conspiracy -- the word "lead." I wrote:

Like some kind of evil twin, "lead" likes to stand in for "led," knowing full well that the metal "lead" sounds exactly like the past tense of the verb, which is spelled "led." The dastard.
So today, after nearly a month of scanning the street for men in white coats every time I step outside, today I opened the New York Times and saw

While indicating, again, that he is willing to be flexible, Mr. Obama dismissed some Republican criticisms of his program, saying that they "echo the very same failed economic theories that lead us into this crisis in the first place."


So now that we've established my sanity, let me tell you about the cabal of SUV drivers conspiring to obstruct my view of traffic ...

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Joel said...

Once again, it's not just you. Damn those bastards with their big-ass gus-guzzlers. I am 6'7" and proud to drive my little 626, wouldn't even mind squeezing into a little Prius some day (I've driven one at work and it's remarkably roomy; really). I just wish I didn't have to share the road with so many single-occupant SUVs. Yeah, yeah, I'm sure you (the SUVers) have your reasons, but y'all really get on my nerves. I'd say that they're disproportionately the folks talking on their cell phones while they're not paying attention to the road but I confess that that's probably not an objective assessment.

June Casagrande said...

Just shootin' off my mouth here, but it seems to me that really tall people are less inclined to drive oversized vehicles. Seems they have less of an urge to "feel big."

Now, some of my best friends are SUV drivers. HOWEVER, that said, I think they should be forced to pay into fund to help compensate for the road hazard they create. You could call it a "Frivolous View-Obstructing Vehicle" penalty (with that "frivolous" distinguishing SUVs from minivans).

Seriously, if the guy two cars ahead of me slams on his brakes or hits the guard rail, a split-second's heads up can save my life. Seems wrong that people would take that potentially live-saving advantage away from us just for fashion's sake.

(I've been cranky like this all week.)

Joel said...

I almost clarified that I too have friends who drive those evil beasts and I love them (the friends, not their beasts). Hey, I have my own ways of being a jerk, so why shouldn't I forgive them for theirs?

Since we're ranting, I actually knew a lady with absolutely no need for a big vehicle other than, as she freely and unashamedly admitted, it made her feel safer. So, basically, she had to be driving the biggest thing on the road. Whenever something bigger came out, she was antsy until she too was behind the wheel of the new behemoth. So, as for the rest of us?! It's so "mutually assured destruction" and, um, never mind the collateral damage among the lesser powers. I feel like such a third world country, only I like to think that my little nation is slightly less philistine and more cultured (not to mention the obvious, more peace-loving) than those big nuclear (ooh, we don't have to say "NUK-u-lar" any more) powers.

Part of what bugs me is when folks in vehicles like this are unable to keep them in their own lane.

Again, I love my SUV-driving friends and I can think of some reasonableish excuses to own one, but there are a few of the mega-ultra sized ones to which I have a very pavlovian response of anger.

Re the danger you've been primarily discussing, when I'm in thick traffic, I often try to maneuver myself behind a lower profile vehicle, even if it means I lose a few car lengths. Don't even get me started on folks who weave in and out, blinkerless and otherwise regardless, just to gain those few car lengths.

June Casagrande said...

Wouldn't a Crown Victoria or one of those monster gas guzzlers be safer than an SUV? All the metal, none of the rollover risk.

Still, I have a friend who drives SUVs for the exact same reason.
And she's so NICE. (She recently got a hybrid SUV.) If only I didn't know her and could write her off as a contemptible life form!

Paula J. Lambert said...

Umm...anyone gonna comment on "lead/led"?

I enjoyed the content of the post, enough to click on the comments though I usually don't.

I was led to disappointment...

Love your blog...thought I'd finally say so. Have been reading quite a while.

June Casagrande said...

Thanks for sayin' so! I usually don't read comments on other blogs either because the times I've tried it's always been like for some New York Times columnist or something where so many comments are just maddeningly insane and/or childish.

Kind of got me off on the wrong foot with blog comments. I like the ones here, though!

Thanks for taking time to comment!


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