On the Liberal scorecard you’d think I’d be loving life. I live 1 mile from my job, there are plenty of local businesses all around me, I have easy access to bus lines, cable cars, trolleys, and the subway. The climate is fairly mild and most of the intersection lights count down how much time you have to cross the street. In short, I can live without a car!
I’ve been doing just that for the past 3 weeks and life sucks.
My Volkswagen Bus was rear-ended whilst parked on the street. It will be a while until my vehicle is back to pristine condition so I’ve been on my “feets.” Last year around this time I was also without a car although this was by choice as I was having a sweet 1776cc engine built for my VW.
Take that Bay Area Air Quality Management!
Life sucked then, too.
If I want to do anything I must immediately add 30 minutes to the task. Need to get to work? Instead of 5 minutes it’s 30. Need to get home? Same thing. Need to get my hair cut? 30 minutes there and 30 minutes back. Should I need to go to the grocery store it’s time to grab the backpack and add… 30 minutes each way.
Don’t we have buses in San Francisco? We do. They were 50 cents when I moved here, now they’re $2 per ride. And they still smell, are over-crowded, and often so full they don’t stop to pick up passengers. Riding a bus is like being in a human germ incubator. I just know that upstanding citizen next to me didn’t blow his nose into his hand then grab the rail to steady himself as the bus lurches up Haight Street.
All of the charming people I meet on the street want to sell me weed, ask for money or cigarettes or, maybe as when I walked down a darkened lane… mug me.
I can’t easily get to COSTCO, Target, Safeway, or other money saving places. Should I spend an hour to go buy cat litter and have to carry a 20 pound box home or just go to Walgreens and buy 10 pounds for the same price double this amount would have cost me had I driven someplace else?
I’ll just go to Walgreens it’s only 2 blocks away.
At work, towards the end of the day, I feel like a crackhead looking to score my next high by always asking my co-workers:
Are you leaving? Can I get a ride?
Some people know why I’m approaching them before I even get close.
I don’t care who gives me a ride home, only that I get a ride home.
Because going to the store is such a tiresome experience, I often order in dinner. We all know how healthy that is. Sure, I can walk down the street and enjoy German, Italian, Brazilian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, or ‘merican cuisine but that gets expensive.
Of course, I know people with a car. The lady in my life would drive me to Safeway or COSTCO but this is simply having a car by other means. It’s not truly going without a car is it?
In the book The Long Emergency, which is about what happens to modern life when the oil runs out, the author talks about existence becoming extremely local because there won’t be fossil fuels to carry us all over to save $3 on cat food. Life will also be very expensive, too.
Aside from 6 weeks last year and, possibly, 6 more weeks this year, I’ve only been without a car for 4 years of my life. The first 2 years I lived in a college dorm and didn’t need a car, the second stint was in Paris where I couldn’t own a car.
Let me tell you, owning a car isn’t overrated.
Not owning a car teaches you that if the word “public” is in it you want to stay far away.
Public transportation. Public toilets. Public speaking. Public health.
Liberals would have us all believe that the car is evil and those who forgo ownership of an internal combustion engine are saints. Of course, every real Liberal (like Al Gore or Nancy Pelosi) owns a car (or several). They just buy Carbon Offset Credits so they can say they’re not destroying the environment.
Owning a car isn’t overrated.
Even with the hassles of parking a car gives you freedom and more spare time, access to cheaper goods, and it’s a great way to observe how everyone driving faster than you is a moron but everybody driving slower than you is stupid.
And this story comes from somebody living in one of the best cities one can live in and not own a car.
Now by this point of the story somebody (maybe you?) might be thinking:
Why doesn’t he get a bike?
I’m glad you asked!
I’ve seen too many bikes get stolen or vandalized. I’ve seen too many people get hit by cars riding bikes. A bike can’t get me back from COSTCO with all of my stuff. I have no place to store a bike in my apartment. I’m not going to ride a bike in the rain. My ass hurts when I ride a bike. I don’t want to roll my pants leg up. I don’t want to be engaged in conversations about my bike and why it’s not “right” for me or how there’s a better bike or why don’t I get one without brakes and be really cool? I don’t want to have helmet hair or have my scalp sweet profusely.
And, finally, I don’t want to have someone put cards in my spokes so I get that really cool clicking sound.
I faced the “bike dilemma” 15 years ago.
I solved my problem by getting a car.
Owning a car isn’t overrated but the stories of Liberals as to why we shouldn’t own cars is equally absurd as well.