US of A


Bob Lutz, GM’s vice chairman and the head of the company’s global product development team, said the proposed changes to the government’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards would represent an unfair burden on the traditional Big Three automakers.

He added: “That effectively hands the truck and SUV market over to the imports, particularly the Japanese, who have earned years of accumulated credits from their fleets of formerly very small cars.”

Lutz, a long-time critic of government fuel economy regulations, compared the attempt to force carmakers to sell smaller vehicles to “fighting the nation’s obesity problem by forcing clothing manufacturers to sell garments only in small sizes.” [emphasis added]

Dear Mr. Lutz:

I want to thank you, first of all, for helping to raise public awareness of an issue which has been—literally—a pain in my butt for quite some time.

I went for a ride in a Japanese car today. It was a Honda, actually. And it’s tantalizingly cheap. Its owner loves how it gets close to thirty miles per gallon, and how cheap it was to buy. But he looks the other way when I try to get in and out, and I, having been reared with good manners, am too polite to complain.

It’s awful. The car is just too damn small! I start by opening the door. Even that’s hard. With that dinky little handle, it’s damn near impossible for a fellow to fit more than a finger through it. Pulling a door open with one finger is just asking for a sprain. But the real pain is yet to come.

Once the door’s open, I turn sideways to it. I’ve learned through hard, hard experience that there’s no way both cheeks are going in at once. No. Getting them in takes careful planning and true grit.

The first buttock is easy—a good fit for the half-assed door. Next comes a turn. We’re crack-to-doorjamb now, and starting to get a little sweaty, but the worst awaits.

Bringing in the second buttock requires ducking the head. Ducking the head means leaning forward and squashing the gut. And that head also has to skootch forward and collide with the door pillar if that buttock is going to have any room at all. When it slides in at last, it’s a straining, bruising affair.

I’ve learned not to suffer in silence. We can endure anything in this country, but that doesn’t mean we need to be quiet about it. Singing helps me. Not only does it give me a rhythm to time my pushes, it also restores some of the patriotism I sacrifice when I climb into one of these little crap-cans.

“A-MERRRica, A-MERRRica, God SHED his GRACE on THEE.” A couple of verses like this and I’m usually through. “And CROWN thy GOOD with BROther HOOD from SEA to SHIN—ah that’s it.”

As Arab terrorists continue to threaten our freedom and extort us with their oil prices, we can only expect more of these indignities. Nobody likes this kind of suffering, but the Japanese know they have us over a barrel (literally!) and, painful as it is, we can’t afford not to buy their cruelly-undersized cars.

I applaud you for your statement. Never in a million years would the government try to make us thinner by forcing us to buy smaller clothes, and they shouldn’t force smaller cars on us either. We Americans are the greatest race ever to walk the earth, and great as we are in size, we are even greater in our accomplishments. It takes big cars—and big clothes—to hold all that.

Any sensible regulator can see that reducing CAFE standards would not only fail, it would violate our human rights. Let’s instead focus on LATTE: Letting Americans Triumph over Terrorist Efficiency-mavens. God bless you, and may God continue to bless America and the greatness of her people.


8 Responses to “US of A”

  1. 1 jenlinnan December 27, 2006 at 6:29 am

    Now I understand why you ride a moped.

  2. 2 alden December 27, 2006 at 11:32 pm

    Yes, but it gives me quite a wedgie.

  3. 3 jenlinnan December 28, 2006 at 1:43 am

    Ahh… so people have to look the other way no matter what? Sounds like a bum deal to me.

  4. 4 alden December 28, 2006 at 10:17 pm

    OK, so the bad puns need to stop. I’m really tired of them.

  5. 5 Joseph Shoer December 28, 2006 at 11:04 pm

    …or should we call them “bad ass puns?”

  6. 6 alden December 28, 2006 at 11:28 pm


  7. 7 jenlinnan December 29, 2006 at 6:15 am

    OK, so if you are going to write a post where you talk incessantly about your buttocks and compare the act of getting into a small car to constipation, then you should be prepared to deal with the consequences.

    Also, I am miffed at being prematurely blamed for all of the bad puns.

  8. 8 Joseph Shoer December 30, 2006 at 4:02 am

    OMG this is exactly why I love your blog

    (PS, I drove through Portland today)

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