Small-Car Syndrome

Today I had the privilege of spending a fair amount of time behind the wheel of the “work car,” otherwise known (by me) as the World’s Biggest Benz-o. I love driving, and I love driving all types of vehicles, including the Benz-o. But going from a MINI to Mercedes’ biggest SUV is quite the study in contrasts. I felt like I was living the reality of the saying “I am the captain of my ship,” and very much NOT living the reality of “I am the master of my fate.” Wielding the Benz-o over highway and byway, across hill and dale, through the catacombs of the world’s narrowest parking garage, down the stingy streets of downtown metropoli, and amidst the rabid pedestrians, dastardly speed bumps and non-law-abiding suburbanite drivers of a mammoth shopping center, I narrowly avoided countless disasters by inches, while (hopefully) looking nonplussed. My passenger/audience was precious cargo. Who began to turn a faintly green shade when I accidentally took a few freeway curves slightly el rapido. My bad.

I even managed to execute a six-part parking maneuver. You know, one of those where the gigantic barge swings toward the parking spot, almost colliding with the ass-end of the car in the next spot, then reverses a few inches (without hitting the curb/vehicles/pedestrians behind), then scooches up a few inches, then back, etc., etc., ad nauseum until you finally make it into the spot! With at least 5 cm to spare on either side! Oh, the triumph! And sweat-soaked relief!

I may have small-car syndrome. When I got back in the Red MINI this evening, I thought, “Ah! A human-sized car!”

Oh, wait.

With my last breath, I will sing the praises of small cars. They’re fun, sporty, efficient, user-friendly and, 90% of the time, all that we city folk need. HOWEVER. The Benz-o is comfy and provides a great view, if you’re not afraid of heights. (Obviously, I’m not.) I see the merit of carooming down the road in a leather-appointed tank, a Germanic-ly efficient air-conditioner buffeting you at 80 mph. While knowing you have the ability to carry all of your friends and all of their worldly possessions in the back. If you wanted to. Which you don’t.

I will now say to myself, be ye not a skeptic.

I will try.

A cure for my small-car syndrome may or may not be imminent.