Big, bad SUVs

The urban commuter rises, unwraps his breakfast and heads out into the garage where his shiny, gold-trimmed Sport Utility Vehicle looms.
It is the commuter’s most important tool of urban professionalism — and suburban acceptance.
Nothing can more safely or stylishly convey his precious, fragile paperwork and wireless communication equipment.
Nothing can more expediently deplete the earth’s fossil fuel resource, forcing a reactionary society to finally find an alternative energy source.
And nothing makes his insurance agent happier than another oversized, unstoppable, unmanageably top-heavy and overpriced monstrosity barreling down the road. Ah, the disaster potential!
Sedan, coupe, hatchback and station wagon drivers beware: Insistence on staying behind the times in the name of economy and practicality will surely force them to run you over.
Not to mention that refusal to succumb to the inevitable everlastingness of this trend in automotive gluttony will definitely make soccer moms look bad at games.
“You’re still driving a minivan?” one might hear. Or worse: “A sports car? Oh, please … whatever will you do when faced with the daunting task of climbing a steep rock formation in the American Southwest?”
Luckily, nearly every automotive company offers a station-wagon-body-on-pickup-truck-chassis with primitive brakes and subpar handling capabilities.
Never fear — avoiding accidents is unnecessary when it’s the other person’s car and body that will be destroyed by the impact.
SUVs also offer priceless amusement to their owners, whose cavalier attitude toward those less fortunate allows them to pretend they are in a monster-truck competition.
One Landcruiser owner who actually thinks he might take his incredible bulk off the route to the mall someday does not intend to use it to help stranded motorists.
“I will be giggling gleefully as I drive over the hood of your stranded little car in my Landcruiser,” he said, “and enjoy the comfort of my leather seats as I talk to my friends on my cell phone.”
Only advertising genius could have facilitated the trend toward young executives believing that high adventure awaits them on the road to the grocery store — and only a rugged embodiment of automotive virility can handle the numerous stop signs, on ramps and parking lots that surely lurk in the murky beyond.
Of course, as Jeep Cherokees begin popping up on suburban driveways all over the country, the company will be forced to change its motto from “There’s only one Jeep” to “There’s only one Jeep owner who actually takes the thing off-roading. (He’s the one who doesn’t care about the paint-job).” And finally, the rise in popularity of the SUV has boosted the automotive industry like nothing else. J.D. Power and Associates estimate that SUVs now account for 15 percent of automotive sales, but yield a whopping 60 percent of industry profits. SUV owners’ gullibility can be the only explanation for this astronomical markup and subsequent market explosion.
So while the weight and high center of gravity make SUVs less adept at accident avoidance maneuvers — and while primitive 4WD and chassis technology make SUVs priced tens of thousands of dollars above their actual value — their owners will still think themselves safe, savvy and stylish. And that’s really all that matters.